Posted by Canto Rodado on September 25, 2006
A fictional narrative is an agitated space. A story world is constructed with attention to selection of detail and level of its description (setting and its establishment of tone, subtext and above all, physical place). The traditional role of the author has been to carefully use these tools to create the other world. The city is also an agitated space. A city is a collection of data and sub-text to be read in the context of ethnography, history, semiotics, architectural patterns and forms, physical form and rhythm, juxtaposition, city planning, land usage shifts and other ways of interpretation and analysis. The city patterns can be equated to the patterns within literature: repetition, sub-text shift, metaphor, cumulative resonances, emergence of layers, decay and growth.
The city is rich with layered semiotic systems on even a cursory, immediate reading.
There is at present a dual city to be read, the denotative and connotative city, if you will. The city exists to navigate and “read” on a literal level of interpretation of architecture, shifts, movement, traces of past and the patterns that form as one walks through the city. This is the denotative city. The author utilizing the concepts and form of narrative archaeology can form a reading of the second city (the connotative city or semiotically charged) with points in street layout pinpointed to address the resonance of multiple readings and resonances of buildings, street signs, navigation, infrastructure.