Original Research

City and labyrinth: Theme and variation in Calvino and Duranti’s cityscapes

R. Wilson
Literator | Vol 13, No 2 | a746 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v13i2.746 | © 1992 R. Wilson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1992 | Published: 06 May 1992

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R. Wilson, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

For a number of Italian writers the modem city has come to mean as much a style, a fractured syntax, a paratactic sign-system, as a physical construct with certain demonstrable boundaries. In the works of such authors as halo Calvino and Francesca Duranti the crisis of reason is symbolized by indeterminate aleatory structures - such as the labyrinth or the chessboard - all of which can be considered variations on the theme of the modem city. Calvino and Duranti’s invisible or labyrinthine cities serve as an infinitely malleable poetic dramatization of the mind. The cities are both projections of their respective narrators and images that shape the reader's experience. By analysing the spatial structures of the narratives and by examining the use of space as a locus of fantasy this article shows how these novels chart cityscapes of the mind.

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