La complessità del diverso nella piattezza di Flatland


Abstract – This paper proposes an analysis of Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions (1884). In particular, it focuses on the first section of the novel, This World, which is interpreted as a satire of the Victorian society. In fact, the fictional world of Flatland appears to have been built exactly upon the middle class ideological standpoint. This is ironically translated into a series of strategies – both at a territorial and at a relational level – through which this group tries to maintain its hegemonic social position and, at the same time, to distance all those elements that may deviate from its image of respectability. This is investigated with special regard to the characters of the Irregular and of the isosceles triangle, towards which the middle class shows an attitude of closure. Such behaviour is nothing else but the satirical depiction of its ambiguous relationship with Otherness.

Sommario – Questo saggio propone un’analisi di Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions (1884) di Edwin Abbott Abbott. Nello specifico, esso si sofferma sulla prima sezione del romanzo, This World, interpretata quale satira della società vittoriana. Difatti, il mondo fantastico di Flatland sembra essere stato costruito proprio sulla base dell’ideologia della middle class, che è ironicamente tradotta in una serie di strategie – su un piano sia territoriale sia relazionale – tramite le quali questo gruppo tenta di mantenere l’egemonia della sua posizione sociale e, al contempo, di allontanare tutti quegli elementi che potrebbero deviare dalla sua immagine di rispettabilità. Ciò è esaminato con particolare riferimento ai personaggi dell’Irregolare e del triangolo isoscele, verso i quali la middle class mostra un atteggiamento di chiusura. Tale comportamento non è altro che la satirica raffigurazione del suo ambiguo rapporto con l’Alterità.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v13p55

Keywords: Abbott; Victorian society; Middle class; Otherness; Science Fiction


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