Six Impossible Things before Breakfast: Dream-worlds, Labyrinthine Journeys, Imaginary Shapes (I)

Iulia MICU


For many observers, the incessant processes of urban growth that started at the beginning of the twentieth century had transformed the cities fin de siècle into foreign and crowded places of a labyrinthine tangled metropolitan space. Inspired by several cinematic and textual analogies, our purpose as urban explorers will be to read the imagistic and textual codes and attempting to discover the fascinating pathways of interpretation. Without confining ourselves to a simple flanêrie, to a subjective gaze objectifying urban space, as once required by the Modernist view, our approach seeks to think about cities in various ways, but mainly as imaginary constructs – coincidentia oppositorum of rationality and sensitiveness, of conscience and inspiration. By setting out precisely some similar features between the city as organic form and the human body, our study doesn’t aim to provide any historical or chronological frame but attempts to bring together complex ways of analysis from the privileged terrain of urban studies to geocriticism, art history, mythology and even psychoanalysis.

Keywords: labyrinth, dream-world, dream architecture, subconscious, tessellation, initiatic journey, dromenon