‘Literary City Limits: Cognitive Mapping in Contemporary Marseille’
Abstract: Marseilles can be thought to constitute a singular urban complex – both marginal and transitional – within a broader French territorial imaginary and political discourse. Proposing successive readings of literary works by Emmanuel Loi (Marseille amor, 2013), Sabrina Calvo (Sous la colline, 2015), and Maylis de Kerangal (Corniche Kennedy, 2008), this article examines how such works mobilise aspects of this singularity in the development of striking and occasionally ambivalent utopian problematics, reframing the city with respect to a set of vectors (both temporal and spatial) that expose the subject to the troubling horizons(s) of both individual and collective agency. The article reflects on the specific parameters of a ‘space of possibility’ in the urban context under discussion. Moving from this sited problematic, it argues for a version of cognitive mapping that incorporates varieties of affective disposition key to the relations of reason and emotion in a utopian perspective: melancholy, curiosity, and disobedience.
PublicationForum for Modern Language Studies, 2023, 59 (1) pp. 140-159
PublisherOxford University Press
Sustainable development goals
- (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities
- (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions