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Goethe in Naples: a Morphology of Ordered Chaos


This paper examines J. W. Goethe's morphological description of Naples from a spatial perspective involving the intersection of phenomenology, geology, geography, and culture. This analysis is based on Goethe's legendary travelogue Journey to Italy [1786-1788] and aims at extricating problems inherent in the description of a complex space, such as a city. This study takes as its point of departure Goethe's theorization of the Primal Plant and his reflections on Homer, which inform his morphology in significant ways. Naples is the concrete object of this analysis of the urban space, but the observation included in this essay can be applied to other cities, particularly in the context of the Mediterranean.


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