The early skyscraper posed a persistent challenge to modernist mimetic description during the early twentieth century. Although canonical urban novels resisted the skyscraper, the structure appears as a speculative object of mystery within the genred space of weird fiction. As a cipher for the recently closed Western frontier, these fantastic depictions of the skyscraper channeled both American melancholy for this lost space of American imagining and ethical distaste for its legacy of barbarism and misanthropy. With the decline of the mythic frontier and the rise of the amorphous space of the metropolis, the weird skyscraper played out the nation’s anxieties about the nation’s cosmopolitan and colonial future as inherited from America’s old spatial legacies of both creation and destruction.


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pp. 165-188
Launched on MUSE
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