Playing with the city of Rome
Abstract:This article discusses the continuing fascination with Rome as evinced by the Roman writer Marco Lodoli, Isole: guida vagabonda di Roma (2005) [Islands: A Vagabond Guide to Rome], and the contemporary British artists represented in the exhibition Responding to Rome (British School at Rome 2005). It suggests that continuing artistic and cultural interest in Rome may relate not only to Rome's historic association with the Western imaginary, and the aspect described so powerfully by Freud – the literal existence of the past, as inscribed in the spatial organization of its physical and built environment – but with the unconscious links between these dimensions and the mental space elaborated in the emergence of the earliest sense of self, through separation and differentiation from the child's earliest environment, the mother. The encounters of Roman writer and British artists with place are discussed with reference to the work of the English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, who proposes that the sources of imaginative production involve the mind's ongoing encounters with others, real and imaginary, and their evocation of early emotional life.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2010
More about this publication?
- Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.
Published in Association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
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