The Two Hotels of Elizabeth Bowen: Utopian Leisure in the Age of Mechanized Hospitality Chapter uri icon


  • In his short manifesto, The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (1985; 2nd edition 2003), self-proclaimed ontological anarchist Hakim Bey describes a mythological space that enacts his peculiar brand of metaphysics - a brand of metaphysics that, at first glance, seems wholly unrelated to the utopian politics of the work of Elizabeth Bowen. Yet, in the following passage, Bey explains the poetic and spatial origins of his political programme in a way that recalls the care and beauty of Bowens prose: Pomegranate, mulberry, persimmon, the erotic melancholy of cypresses, membrane-pink shirazi roses, braziers of meccan aloes & benzoin, stiff shafts of ottoman tulips, carpets spread like make-believe gardens on actual lawns - a pavilion set with a mosaic of calligrammes - a willow, a stream with watercress - a fountain crystalled underneath with geometry - the metaphysical scandal of bathing odalisques, of wet brown cupbearers hide-&-seeking in the foliage - water, greenery, beautiful faces [] all of them pretenders to the throne of an Imaginal Egypt, an occult space/light continuum consumed by still- unimagined liberties. (Bey, 2003, pp. 1314)

author list (cited authors)

  • Ross, S.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Ross, Shawna

editor list (cited editors)

  • Reeve-Tucker, A., & Waddell, N.

Book Title

  • Utopianism, Modernism, and Literature in the Twentieth Century

publication date

  • January 2013