Romancing the Utopian marketplace: Dallying with Bakhtin in the Powerscourt Townhouse centre

Pauline Maclaran, Lorna Stevens

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

7 Citations (SciVal)


In this chapter we adopt a ‘stream-of-scholarly-consciousness’ approach in order to evoke the romantic spirit of the utopian marketplace. In using the word ‘romantic’ we mean to suggest that rather than reflecting the external reality of the retail landscape of the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre we seek to describe the experiential and emotional response that it engenders in us. As we browse around the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, a festival marketplace in Dublin, we use the concepts of Mikhail Bakhtin to light our way and highlight the utopian aspects of our experience. Our exploration becomes a spellbinding journey around a place which is pure theatre, pure entertainment; where players and spectators intermingle in a brilliant and dazzling fiesta; and where desires float freely in a perfect mixture of fantasy and reality. Sometimes it is the vibrancy and variety of the place, sometimes the fascination of the people and sometimes the lure of the products themselves that capture our collective imagination and send it soaring towards the dizzy heights of the Powerscourt atrium. Here in the heart of this theatre of dreams the utopian flame burns brightly, kindling our hopes and desires as we stroll in a postmodern haze of illusion and reality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRomancing the Market
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)0203360729, 9781134669738
ISBN (Print)0415184185, 9780415184175
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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