Dalle Città di carta alle città di Erode. Il furto degli spazi e del futuro nella narrativa per adolescenti

Nicola Galli Laforest


With his sacrifice, Nemecsek – the little soldier of The Paul Street Boys – predicted and sanctioned the end of an era when teenagers were the lords of the city, free to run all day long, build military headquarters and wage war, plant their flags so as to affirm their claim over what they felt to be their own territory.

Since then, over more than 110 years, YA fiction has represented the city, with a few rare exceptions, as a setting that, in its spatial organization, seems no longer an urban fabric of streets, houses, and squares, but a legacy from a mythic past, the way the young flaneur is, too.

If the city, on the contrary, is socially formulated as a system of human interactions and political organization, its presence in the YA fiction of the last decade becomes even excessive, between Plato’s Republic and Orwell’s 1984. We only need to observe the impetuous rise of the most successful literary genre in recent times – dystopian fiction – and the ways, terrible and distorted, dystopia organizes its communities.

What does the loss, or transformation, of the city in YA fiction entail from a pedagogical point of view?


children’s and YA literature; city, dystopia; collective imagination; adolescence

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1970-2221/6711

Copyright (c) 2017 Nicola Galli Laforest

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