Fantastic architecture and the building of Europe in Valerio Evangelisti’s Eymerich fiction

Mikula, M., 2006. Fantastic architecture and the building of Europe in Valerio Evangelisti’s Eymerich fiction. In: M. Hill and V. Karaminas, eds., Proceedings of the Imaginary Worlds Symposium, 2006. Sydney: University of Technology Sydney, pp. 1-13. ISBN 0646452398

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Concomitant with the horizontal expansion of EU territory through physical and political enlargement is a genealogy narrative, which emphasizes the ostensible roots of Europeanness in classical antiquity and Christianity. In the face of this sanitized genealogy, which lies at the heart of the European constitutional project, a range of alternative and more inclusive narratives circulate in contemporary European popular fiction. This paper focuses on a series of fantasy novels by the Italian author Valerio Evangelisti, featuring Inquisitor Eymerich as hero-investigator. In his highly popular novels, Evangelisti seeks to uncover layers of shared historical memory untainted with post-Enlightenment rhetoric.
The central architectural tropes of Evangelisti’s imaginary world are those of a castle and a convent, epitomizing the temporal and sacral power in European history. Each isolated from its outside environment and built on layer upon layer of subterranean chambers and corridors, the castle and the convent conceal a past quite different from the one championed in the official European genealogy. Memories of pagan worship and Islamic or Judaic learning – banished from the official rhetoric – continue to thrive, dark and threatening, in the subterranean strata of Evangelisti’s European edifice. Evangelisti thus provides an incisive critique of the official European story of origin, which threatens to suppress any alternative visions of European history or unorthodox avenues for European identity formation.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Mikula, M.
Publisher: University of Technology Sydney
Place of Publication: Sydney
Date: 2006
ISBN: 0646452398
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 10 Dec 2015 14:49
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 14:49

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