Storied Cities: Literary Imaginings of Florence, Venice, and Rome
Greenwood Press, 1994 - 310 oldal
The analysis points to Florence frequently being depicted in terms of binary oppositions, including Hebraism versus Hellenism, past versus present, stasis versus movement, and light versus darkness. Venetian narratives are commonly infused with motifs relating to dream and unreality, obsession, voyeurism, isolation, melancholia, and death. History is a controlling metaphor for Roman fiction and poetry, combined with the motif of change and, especially, fall from innocence to experience. Ross shows how writers have self-consciously built on the literary conventions set earlier and anticipates that these cities will remain natural loci for continued post-modernist experiment. In a wider theoretical framework, he examines this writing identified with place for the light it sheds on the issue of the importance of setting in literature.
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As metaphor , the Eternal City retains its power both to focus and to polarize the poetic imagination . The idea of the " Eternal City " is of course a myth , a piece of poetic licence ; but the licence has been earned .
Again and again , matters of timing assume a crucial importance within the Eternal setting . A bizarre example is Muriel Spark's novel The Public Image ( 1970 ) , in which the heroine's malicious husband schedules his suicide to occur ...
Like other visitors , however , he is immediately staggered by the antiquity of what he beholds : after twenty minutes still absorbed in his first sight of the Eternal City , he was conscious of a certain exaltation that devolved on him ...
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