The City by Foot: an analysis of the different paths of literary walkers in New York City

Open Access
Miller, Laura
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Benjamin Jared Schreier, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lisa Ruth Sternlieb, Honors Advisor
  • Jeffrey Nealon, Faculty Reader
  • urban
  • literature
  • Auster
  • New York City
  • city
  • Kazin
  • Whitehead
  • Foer
  • Crane
  • Roth
  • Carpenter
This thesis discusses how, in contemporary urban literature, New York City serves as a mechanism for self-chronicling, a mechanism for self and community production, and a mechanism for self-dissolution. This paper details these phenomena in three separate chapters, utilizing the theories of Walter Benjamin and Michel de Certeau. This paper further explores each of these mechanisms through six separate works – A Walker in The City by Alfred Kazin, The Collosus of New York by Colson Whitehead, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Saffron Foer, City of Glass by Paul Auster, Maggie: A Girl of The Streets by Stephen Crane, and Call It Sleep by Henry Roth.