The City as Labyrinth: How a Myth Was Rewritten between 1950 and 1980

Bolzoni, Enrico (2012) The City as Labyrinth: How a Myth Was Rewritten between 1950 and 1980, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Le letterature dell'Europa unita - Les littératures de l'Europe unie, 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5052.
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Between 1950 and 1980, a new form of labyrinth took shape, in novels by European authors such as Michel Butor, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Italo Calvino, Patrick Modiano and Alasdair Gray. This labyrinth is elusive and can't be mapped. In order to describe it, we must take into account both the model of the rhizome, from the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and Michel Foucault's concept of heterotopias. The spatiality of these novels also leads us to consider the rewriting of the labyrinth myth along with the characters Theseus, Ariadne, the Minotaur, and Dedalus. The resulting adaptations use irony as well as parody and satire, inviting us to consider their distance from the traditional model and the effects of what can be called « bricolage mythique ». The novelistic representation of the labyrinth stresses the absence of the centre on the one hand, and, on the other, points to the extreme openness of the contemporary city. As the authors get fuller awareness of the labyrinthine aspects of urban spaces, their texts themselves gradually start to take on a maze-like form: therefore, the space of fiction becomes metafictional space. Between the Fifties and the early Seventies, the Néoromanciers emphasized the idea of a possible play-like attitude through the instruments of fiction, in order to heighten the absence of meaning in city life as well as in the practice of writing itself. Calvino innovates this concept of fiction, emphasizing the importance of a meaning, however hidden it might be. For this reason, at the end of the period that we are investigating, other authors, such as Modiano and Gray, inherit their forerunners' paradigm of the labyrinth, but in order to adapt it to their own ethic responsibility.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Bolzoni, Enrico
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze umanistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
ville, labyrinthe, XXe siècle, Michel Butor, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Italo Calvino, Patrick Modiano, Alasdair Gray
Data di discussione
17 Settembre 2012

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