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The enchanted path: magic and modernism in psychogeographical walking

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alastair Bonnett



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Geographers have a developing interest in the place of enchantment and the ‘extra-ordinary’ in the modern city. The paper shows that magic has a significant role in the work of many psychogeographical writers, artists and activists and argues that this phenomenon needs to be understood in the context of the wider use of magic as a site and symbol of creativity and subversion in modernist cultural expression. Drawing on a survey of British psychogeographical forms and a more detailed study of three London literary examples, it examines how psychogeographical walkers have expanded and developed ‘magical modernism’. Across the varied terrain of psychogeographical walking magic is used to conjure an openness and vulnerability to voices ‘hidden’ in the landscape. As well as providing more in-depth discussion of these themes, the three examples of London psychogeography that I explore complicate them by illustrating further specific and diverse uses of magic; namely magic as environmentalist critique; magic as humour/humour as magic and magic as activism

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bonnett A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Year: 2017

Volume: 42

Issue: 3

Pages: 472-484

Print publication date: 01/09/2017

Online publication date: 28/02/2017

Acceptance date: 19/12/2016

Date deposited: 06/01/2017

ISSN (print): 0020-2754

ISSN (electronic): 1475-5661

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/tran.12177


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