The City and the Resurfacing of the Repressed. Space in the Novel "U registraturi" by Ante Kovačić

Dejan Durić
Together with the decline of the nobility, the city schooling of a country child and the twofold village-city relationship are the key themes of Croatian realism, as well as realism world-wide. Croatian realists and their European contemporaries were fascinated by urban space, although it was predominantly pictured as the negative pole rife with violence, rootlessness, depravity, and moral decay, while the village represents the return to tradition and basic human values. This paper attempts to interpret the city space as a psychological entity, and the antagonism between the village and the city as a conflict between the Freudian reality principle and pleasure principle. Within these defined relationships, Ivica Kičmanović is constantly balancing his struggle to transform himself from a naïve country child into an educated urbanite. During this process, urban space is realized as the unconscious which signifies the resurfacing of the repressed through the narrative figure of a femme fatale.
Key words
the city; the unconscious; desire; repression; femme fatale; the pleasure principle; the reality principle
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