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Sartre, Fenoglio, Böll

The Philosophical Space of the Novel

Alberto Comparini

Pages 91 - 107

How does space shape our philosophical understanding of the novel? And how can philosophy shed light on space of the novel? This paper aims at answering to both issues by focusing on fictional characters’s understanding of world ‚through‘ and ‚in‘ space. After outlining the phenomenological methodology of the essay through a discussion of the relationship between being, space, and action in Martin Heidegger, I discuss three novels by Jean-Paul Sartre (‚Nausea‘, 1938) Beppe Fenoglio (‚A Private Matter‘, 1963), and Heinrich Böll (‚The Clown‘, 1963). Through a close reading of passages from these novels, on the one hand I show that characters develop and fulfill their own fictional existence through space; on the other, how does space allow them to embrace and embody the meaning of the novel.


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