home page

This article has been subjected to double blind peer review

This article has been published in: Ocula 12, Alibi: an Approach to the Semiotics of Travel

author: Massimo Leone (Dipartimento di Filosofia, Università di Torino (IT))

From Panoramic to Prosopopeial: Notes for a Semiotic of the Traveling Body

language: italian

publication date: March 2012

abstract: The industry of tourism progressively strips the travel of one of its core anthopological and existential values, namely, being a laboratory where the traveller is allowed to experiment a temporary break up of his/her habits of sedentary belonging, shielded by the planned return home. In such perspective, the non-touristic travel is one of the best ways to test the limits of one's tolerance of cultural diversity and therefore to assess the identity of one's cultural and existential 'home'. Nonetheless, modern and contemporary travel texts usually celebrate the traveller's heroic ability to pass the limits of his/her tolerance. By arguing that the above emphasis springs from the colonial wish to tame and assimilate the world and its diversity, the article aims at subverting this logic and replacing the panoramic travel literature, dominated by the subjects' will to power, with the prosopopeial (that is, based on personification) one, which tells the stories of how the things of the world, the relics from centuries of civilisation, reject the traveller and his/her desire of domestication and conquer. As an example of such a subversion the article proposes a semiotic exploration of toilets, their variety and their 'cultural resistance'.

keywords: viaggio, turismo, letteratura di viaggio, colonialismo culturale, toilette

➞ PDF [1,504Mb]

DOI: 10.12977/ocula3

citation information: Massimo Leone, Dal panorama alla prosopopea: appunti per una semiotica del corpo viaggiante, "Ocula", vol.13, n.12, March 2012. DOI: 10.12977/ocula3



Ocula.it publishes articles and essays in semiotic research, with a particular eye on communication and culture; it is open to dialogue with other research fields and welcomes contributions from all the areas of the social and human sciences.

Editorial Committee

Anne Beyaert-Geslin (Université Bordeaux- Montaigne, France)
Marcel Danesi (University of Toronto, Canada) president from 2014
Alessandro Duranti (University of California Los Angeles, USA)
Guido Ferraro (Università di Torino)
Roberto Grandi (Università di Bologna)
Pino Paioni (1920-2013) (Università di Urbino) president from 2009 to 2013
Susan Petrilli (Università di Bari)
Maria Pia Pozzato (Università di Bologna)
Andrea Semprini (Université de Lille, France; Iulm, Milano)
Alessandro Zinna (Université de Toulouse 2, France)

Editorial Board

Coordinator (Editor in Chief): Salvatore Zingale (salvatore.zingale@polimi.it) from 2012 to 2017

Cinzia Bianchi (cinzia.bianchi@unimore.it)
Michela Deni (michela.deni@gmail.com)
Francesco Galofaro (galofaro_francesco@hotmail.com)
Davide Gasperi (davide@davidegasperi.it)
Valentina Manchia (valentina.manchia@gmail.com)
Antonella Mascio (antonella.mascio@unibo.it)
Federico Montanari (federico.mont@gmail.com)
Giampaolo Proni (giampaolo.proni@unibo.it)
Ruggero Ragonese (ruggero.ragonese@unimore.it)
Stefano Traini (straini@unite.it)
Salvatore Zingale (salvatore.zingale@polimi.it)

You can support our initiative by donating in a safe way using PayPal or your credit card

ISSN 1724-7810   |   DOI: 10.12977/ocula

Ocula adheres to the principles of Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI)

Ocula is indexed by Directory Open Access Journal (DOAJ) and Google Scholar

The content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) 

  |  Privacy  |  Ocula.it is published by Associazione Ocula, via Berti 2, 40131 - Bologna