Is all Quiet on the Eastern Front? Semiosis and the Deeper Structure of the Border of Trieste

Matteo Colombi


The article deals with Trieste as centre of the troubled eastern Italian border. Ivan Verč claims that Trieste’s border area has been „not semiotized“ by Italian culture: the complexity of what lays beyond being reduced to a generic Slavic East. This hypothesis is interpreted on the one hand on the background of Trieste’s history in the 19th and 20th century. On the other hand it is reconsidered through the reflections of the Triestine psychoanalyst Paolo Fonda: the absence of conscious semiosis is the product of intense fears and desires that pervade the construction of ethnic identities in Trieste. Fonda’s exhortation to a more balanced depressive position (Melanie Klein) recalls the pleading of other intellectuals (e.g. Verč) for a not naïf but dynamic concept of cultural dialogue.   


Trieste; Sloven; Border; Multilingualism; Minority; Psychoanalysis

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