Public and Private Spaces in Modern Italian Culture
PART III. URBAN SPACES: BETWEEN REALITY AND IMAGINATION
PART III URBAN SPACES: BETWEEN REALITY AND IMAGINATION 151 CHAPTER 8 Private and Public Spaces. The Anatomy of three Italian Cities Caserta, Bologna, Milan Laura RORATO Bangor University The contemporary city seems to refuse to be described and analysed in the terms used by scholars in the past; its representation seems to slip from our grasp. And it has slipped from the grasp of administrators and politicians, architects and sociologists, anthropologists and town planners. (Gomorra, May 2004, 45) The proliferation of fictional texts devoted to Italian cities has been progressively increasing since the beginning of the twenty-first century,1 a trend which was probably initiated by the publication of Alessandro Baricco’s City in 1999.2 Besides, during the period 2003-2007 five issues of the journal Gomorra, published by Meltemi and edited by the sociologist Massimo Ilardi, were devoted to individual Italian cities: two to Rome (June 2003 and October 2004), one to Bologna (May 2004), one to Genova (March 2005) and one to Catania (November 2006).3 As the opening quote indicates, the city seems to demand new forms of representation and interpretation. This article analyses the literary portrayal of three Italian cities, namely Caserta, as described by Antonio Pascale in La città distratta,4 Bologna, as captured by Emidio Clemen- 1 In 2006, the publishing house Laterza alone, for instance, brought out four books on Italian cities written by various authors such as Covacich (Trieste), Cilento (Naples), Stancanelli (Florence) and Scateni who edited a collection of short stories entitled Periferie....
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