Lo spazio anomico dell'eccesso: la satira urbana nel primo Settecento inglese
Giorgio Agamben, in "Stato d’eccezione", analyses the ways in which a legal institute affirms the suspension of legality as the only way to preserve law itself. The author of the essay wants to demonstrate how the metropolis, as the new topos of modern Western culture (for English culture, London after the Restoration), represents an image of the place of anomia that emerges in those situations in which the legal suspension of the norm is applied to the (judicial) order, thus dis-applying it. The work by Agamben may help in the reading of this privileged coincidence of city and anomic space in the rites and origin myths of the modern metropolis (here of London), at least for how it appeared to contemporaries during the early 18th Century. In this period, the carnivalesque becomes an essentially urban phenomenon, a phenomenon signalled not only by the increasing number of fairs, festivals and occasions for unrestrained entertainment, but also by the centrality of literary genres which are principally urban, such as satire and the mock-heroic poem. This urban and turbulent literature witnesses the 18th-century fascination with the city’s licentiousness and excesses, so vital and passionate but also dangerous and deadly.
Prospero. Rivista di culture anglo-germaniche
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Flavio Gregori "Lo spazio anomico dell'eccesso: la satira urbana nel primo Settecento inglese", in: Prospero, X (2003), pp. 33-54