Imagined Essay

Imagined Essay-29
When the economic boom of the 1990s spread housing subdivisions farther than ever into the countryside, more suburbanites could imagine themselves as backyard farmers. A time and place created by globalization but imagined as timeless, a consciously promoted landscape of forgetting.Les sept recueils d’essais de voyage composés par Vernon Lee et le rapport accordé à l’espace dans ses écrits ont jusqu’à présent peu intéressé la critique.By the time it became a popular term for the region, especially after the 1980s, writers used “Heartland” to capture the idea that Midwesterners were more stable, cautious, and traditional than folks in other regions.

When the economic boom of the 1990s spread housing subdivisions farther than ever into the countryside, more suburbanites could imagine themselves as backyard farmers. A time and place created by globalization but imagined as timeless, a consciously promoted landscape of forgetting.Les sept recueils d’essais de voyage composés par Vernon Lee et le rapport accordé à l’espace dans ses écrits ont jusqu’à présent peu intéressé la critique.By the time it became a popular term for the region, especially after the 1980s, writers used “Heartland” to capture the idea that Midwesterners were more stable, cautious, and traditional than folks in other regions.

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As her friend and executor Irene Cooper Willis commented, ‘the places she visited were to her more than her friends’ and[t]o go a walk [sic] with Vernon Lee, to climb with her the quarry valleys, thick with myrtle scrub, near her Florentine home, to visit some village church or old villa, was to be admitted into her rapt enjoyment and to feel how vital—as vital as air—to her were [these] impressions.

(Lee 1937, xiii–xiv)Considering how strongly Lee’s experience of life was shaped by her encounters with places, a spatial approach to her work constitutes an important addition to existing Lee scholarship, which so far has focused primarily on issues of gender and sexual identity, ethics, and Lee’s role in discourses of aesthetics and , and her preoccupation with different types of nostalgic emotion, memory and loss, distance and absence in her response to places, constitute a central aspect of Lee’s short fiction and especially her essays on places.

Le concept de « Thirdspace » ou d’« espace de représentation » développé par Edward Soja fournit un point d’entrée supplémentaire pour rendre compte de la façon dont Lee envisage les lieux comme des points de rencontre situés entre le réel et l’imaginaire, le présent et le souvenir.

Il résulte de cette analyse que le thème du Sud et de l’Italie fonctionnent comme des « secondspaces » — des espaces mentaux de représentation qui, associés à des pratiques spatiales (« firstspaces »), correspondant aux voyages de Lee produisent un « espace de représentation » (Thirdspace) complexe de l’Italie.

Ainsi, dans ces essais, l’idée d’un génie du lieu ou d’un esprit des lieux s’avère occuper une place prépondérante et conditionne la façon dont Lee appréhende les lieux et perçoit l’espace.

Les impressions sensorielles se mêlent aux souvenirs, aux références intertextuelles et aux sentiments de nostalgie et engendrent un texte où Lee exprime un ressenti intense et personnel des lieux traversés.Cet article porte sur ses essais consacrés à l’Italie (qui fut son pays d’adoption) et montre en quoi ces derniers offrent un regard singulier et complexe sur la vision portée sur le Sud à l’époque victorienne et édouardienne.Ces essais publiés par Lee entre 1897 et 1925, tous écrits avant la première guerre mondiale, façonnent deux visions à la fois distinctes et liées de ce que représentent l’Italie et le Sud en tant qu’espace géographique ancré dans la réalité et en tant qu’espace mental construit symbolisant l’absence et le désir.his essay offers six thematic approaches to the history of the region we often call the “Heartland.” Taken together they suggest the varied images of the region over time, and the varied experiences of its inhabitants.But first, let’s explore when and why central North America became known as “America’s Heartland.” The U. Census Bureau declared the frontier of settlement closed by 1890, but the term “Heartland” was not regularly applied to the American Midwest until the late 20th century.Throughout the essays, the idea of the or spirit of places is crucial to Lee’s understanding of place and the perception of space.Sensory impressions interact with memories, intertextual associations and feelings of nostalgia in order to produce Lee’s intense and personal emotional reactions to places.Lee’s essays – published between 18 but all written before World War I – construct two distinct but related tropes of ‘Italy’ and ‘the South’.These visions of ‘the South’ and ‘Italy’ are embodied in specific locations but they also serve as mental spaces of absence and longing.Literary criticism on Vernon Lee has so far focused little on either her seven published collections of travel essays or on her intense engaging with space and place in her writing.This paper considers Lee’s essays on Italy, her adopted country of residence, as a nuanced and complex contribution to late Victorian and Edwardian visions of the South.

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