"Thinking the city: the essay of urban interpretation and the imaginaries"
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Liliana Weinberg (UNAM)
The essay creates realities from the interpretation and re-writing of the world, because the text is an action that names the universe, and, by naming it, is producing it. Writing an essay about the city is not to just think about it, but also to assume the role of creator, sense giver, writer that delivers to the readers a valid and legitimate interpretation of the world. We live in texts, in words that name the unattainable, for what would be of reality without the language that invents it? The interpretations and suggestions about reality that the essay supports complete the universe of meanings that builds the world we live in, because literature plays a significant role in the constant invention of cities.
The aim of this research is to analyze the relation between cities and essays. The analysis of different texts is crucial to understand this relation. Always from urban interpretation point of view, we look to find out the way in which the essay creates the city and vice versa, and the conditions that enable that relation in the middle of the constant transformation of the space city. The research also aims to create an Atlas of this interpretations, emphasizing the cultural memory of cities, since writers depart from this cultural memory to create their own interpretations. The dialogue between the texts that the Atlas promotes allows us to go deeper in the analysis of the different urban representations that we can find through history, and to have a deeper understanding of those that are meaningful for us today. The essay of urban interpretation is, in its own way, a memory genre that appeals to those representations to explain its own present. The writers, as intellectuals who produce cultural benefits, think from their own context about the world that surrounds them: the urban space, which is at once the space of ideology, social relations, memory, is the most important theme in these essays. The research aims to find the way in which space is created not only from an esthetic point of view, but also emphasizing in the different proposals that the writers make to answer the questions that the own city produces in them. Three different axis of analysis will take place in this work: thinking of the city, representing the city and creating the city. In the three of them, the cultural memory of the city has an important place, because, as we said, it is from it that writers can create their own interpretations.