La Ville européenne dans la littérature fantastique du tournant du siècle (1860-1915)

Fournier Kiss, Corinne (2007). La Ville européenne dans la littérature fantastique du tournant du siècle (1860-1915). Lausanne: L'Age d'homme

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This monograph takes as its starting point the premise that from the second half of the 19th century onwards the fantastic in literature was no longer content with such stereotypes as the isolated castles and remote regions with which it had previously been identified, but that it began to pervade the very framework par excellence of modernity: the city. Yet how can we reconcile the principles of rationalization, intellectualization, visibility and readability on which the city at the turn of that century was based, with the fantastic which, by definition, requires that areas of shadows and mysteries be preserved in order to develop?
In an attempt to unravel this paradox, the author uses a resolutely interdisciplinary method: literary texts, belonging to the most diverse European linguistic sources (from French to Czech, English, German, Hungarian and Russian), are not only analyzed through tools of literary theory, but also contextualized and confronted with the reflections proposed by other scientific disciplines (sociology, urban planning, philosophy, psychoanalysis, history of art and architecture, history of mathematics). The main interlocutor of this comparative approach is the German philosopher Walter Benjamin: the notion of "allegory", which he uses to designate a palimpsestic way of perceiving reality, in which the Ancient suddenly overlaps the Modern, as well as the rigorous opposition he traces between Erfahrung (experience rooted in time and history) and Erlebnis (momentary experience without content) provides the author with the essential keys for a new and original definition of the modern fantastic. The fantastic ---or allegorical--- perception of modernity would ultimately be an attempt to recover, however fleetingly and partially, the Erfahrung seriously damaged by the city at the turn of the 20th century in favor of Erlebnis.

Item Type:

Book (Monograph)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of French Language and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Fournier Kiss, Corinne


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 840 French & related literatures
400 Language > 440 French & related languages
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
100 Philosophy > 190 Modern western philosophy
400 Language > 490 Other languages
500 Science > 510 Mathematics
700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
700 Arts > 720 Architecture
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 830 German & related literatures
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 890 Other literatures




L'Age d'homme




Corinne Ingrid Fournier Kiss

Date Deposited:

16 Aug 2017 11:07

Last Modified:

05 Jun 2020 11:05


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