In Scientific Cooperation with Daina Teters
Edited By Zdzislaw Wasik
Ioana Boghian: The semiotics of urban space and architecture in literary discourse of the Victorian period 195
Ioana Boghian “VASILE ALECSANDRI” UNIVERSITY OF BACĂU The semiotics of urban space and architecture in literary discourse of the Victorian period Approaching space and architecture from a semiotic point of view gives us the chance to investigate the way in which such signs as, for ex- ample, the Victorian garden, yards and gates act as intermediary spaces between the public space of the town/city and the private space of the house in terms of Ali Madanipour’s distinctions (2003). The use of semi- otics for interpreting the architectural signs in novels written by the Brontë sisters, Charlotte Brontë (1816–1855) and Emily Jane Brontë (1818–1848), as well as by Charles Dickens (1812–1870) aims at detect- ing the meanings hidden between the lines of a ‘concrete, tangible archi- tectural discourse’, meanings that can be defined as the more ‘abstract discourse of power’ with all the types of relationships implied. 1. Space, architecture, discourse and semiotics This introductory, theoretical section of the paper will deal with the concepts of space, architecture, architectural discourse and with the way in which these notions can be approached semiotically. Its second part, in turn, will illustrate our perspective by semiotic tools applied to literary fiction of the Victorian period. The first distinction we would like to draw is that between the con- cepts of space and place. The term space (cf. Hornby 1975: 657) is de- fined as an area, extent, expanse, lapse of time, while place (cf. Hornby 1975: 812) represents an open...
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