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

  • Matteo Colombi Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas di Lipsia
Keywords: Trieste, Sloven, Border, Multilingualism, Minority, Psychoanalysis


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.   


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Author Biography

Matteo Colombi, Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas di Lipsia
is research fellow at the Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas (Leipzig, Germany). His research field are the relations between Slavic cultures and literatures and other European cultures, especially in Prague (Czech-German relations) and Trieste (Italian-Slovene relations). He published several articles on this topic, e.g. “Il flâneur e le città di Praga”, in: Guardare oltre. Letteratura fotografia e altri territori, ed. by S. Albertazzi and F. Amigoni, and “Modernism and Multiethnicity? Interwar Czech Literature from Prague and Slovenian Literature from Trieste”, in: Primerjalna književnost, 32.1 (2009).


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Negrelli, Giorgio, “Trieste nel mito”, Il Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Eds. Roberto Finzi - Claudio Magris - Giovanni Miccoli, Torino, Einaudi, 2002: 1337-1370, II.

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How to Cite
Colombi, M. (2011). Is all Quiet on the Eastern Front? Semiosis and the Deeper Structure of the Border of Trieste. Between, 1(1).
Cartographies of Comparative Studies