Cities & Signs

Rethinking Calvino's Urban Imaginaries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Reading a literary text means placing it in a context and constructing a meaning. It implies inserting the text in the world and observing how it makes us think about that world while confronting us with critical insight and social knowledge. Literature presents the world as Vorstellung or scenario. In this chapter, the five pieces entitled ‘Cities & Signs’ will be scrutinized and put in a context. After an introduction on the strategy of reading, the question addressed is what is the implication of the ideas on signs and signification presented in the texts, when we connect these to the notion of ‘urban imaginary’ (Andreas Huyssen) and to ideas on ‘ways of seeing’ (John Berger)? Subsequently, the focus will be on the newcomer in town: the explorer who does not know where to look and what to make of signs observed. In this part Calvino’s literary text will be tied to non-literary online texts describing the experience of expats in European cities. In the conclusive section, I argue that Calvino’s text can be read as representative for a spreading global mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterrupting the City
Subtitle of host publicationArtistic Constitutions of the Public Sphere
EditorsSander Bax, Pascal Gielen, Bram Ieven
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherValiz, Amsterdam
Pages65-85
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9789492095022
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Italo Calvino
Literary Text
Online Texts
Social Knowledge
John Berger
Scenarios
Signification
Newcomers

Keywords

  • Public Sphere

Cite this

Heynders, O. (2015). Cities & Signs: Rethinking Calvino's Urban Imaginaries. In S. Bax, P. Gielen, & B. Ieven (Eds.), Interrupting the City : Artistic Constitutions of the Public Sphere (pp. 65-85). [1] Amsterdam: Valiz, Amsterdam.
Heynders, Odile. / Cities & Signs : Rethinking Calvino's Urban Imaginaries. Interrupting the City : Artistic Constitutions of the Public Sphere. editor / Sander Bax ; Pascal Gielen ; Bram Ieven. Amsterdam : Valiz, Amsterdam, 2015. pp. 65-85
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Heynders, O 2015, Cities & Signs: Rethinking Calvino's Urban Imaginaries. in S Bax, P Gielen & B Ieven (eds), Interrupting the City : Artistic Constitutions of the Public Sphere., 1, Valiz, Amsterdam, Amsterdam, pp. 65-85.

Cities & Signs : Rethinking Calvino's Urban Imaginaries. / Heynders, Odile.

Interrupting the City : Artistic Constitutions of the Public Sphere. ed. / Sander Bax; Pascal Gielen; Bram Ieven. Amsterdam : Valiz, Amsterdam, 2015. p. 65-85 1.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

TY - CHAP

T1 - Cities & Signs

T2 - Rethinking Calvino's Urban Imaginaries

AU - Heynders, Odile

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Reading a literary text means placing it in a context and constructing a meaning. It implies inserting the text in the world and observing how it makes us think about that world while confronting us with critical insight and social knowledge. Literature presents the world as Vorstellung or scenario. In this chapter, the five pieces entitled ‘Cities & Signs’ will be scrutinized and put in a context. After an introduction on the strategy of reading, the question addressed is what is the implication of the ideas on signs and signification presented in the texts, when we connect these to the notion of ‘urban imaginary’ (Andreas Huyssen) and to ideas on ‘ways of seeing’ (John Berger)? Subsequently, the focus will be on the newcomer in town: the explorer who does not know where to look and what to make of signs observed. In this part Calvino’s literary text will be tied to non-literary online texts describing the experience of expats in European cities. In the conclusive section, I argue that Calvino’s text can be read as representative for a spreading global mobility.

AB - Reading a literary text means placing it in a context and constructing a meaning. It implies inserting the text in the world and observing how it makes us think about that world while confronting us with critical insight and social knowledge. Literature presents the world as Vorstellung or scenario. In this chapter, the five pieces entitled ‘Cities & Signs’ will be scrutinized and put in a context. After an introduction on the strategy of reading, the question addressed is what is the implication of the ideas on signs and signification presented in the texts, when we connect these to the notion of ‘urban imaginary’ (Andreas Huyssen) and to ideas on ‘ways of seeing’ (John Berger)? Subsequently, the focus will be on the newcomer in town: the explorer who does not know where to look and what to make of signs observed. In this part Calvino’s literary text will be tied to non-literary online texts describing the experience of expats in European cities. In the conclusive section, I argue that Calvino’s text can be read as representative for a spreading global mobility.

KW - Public Sphere

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SN - 9789492095022

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Heynders O. Cities & Signs: Rethinking Calvino's Urban Imaginaries. In Bax S, Gielen P, Ieven B, editors, Interrupting the City : Artistic Constitutions of the Public Sphere. Amsterdam: Valiz, Amsterdam. 2015. p. 65-85. 1