Paesaggi d’acqua e idrofilia. Luoghi, letteratura, percezioni tra geografia letteraria e coscienza ecologica

  • Carlotta Favaro Dipartimento di Economia, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia, Italia
  • Francesco Vallerani Dipartimento di Economia, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia, Italia
Keywords: humanistic geography, ecocriticism, hydrophilia, Renzo Franzin


The main goal of this paper is to develop a further examination of the intriguing interaction between geography and literature, with a special focus concerning environmental issues. According to the methods developed within the humanistic geography, individual perceptions and emotional relationships are investigated to shed light on the involvement with everyday places and practices. Literary texts have really adequate chances to improve the conventional analysis and interpretation of both territorial disorder and people’s related uneasiness. The growing needs to be aware about the environmental problems are more and more a shared urgency. It follows that ecocriticism can be identified as the proper approach to better investigate the ecological troubles affecting worldwide societies. Through such theoretical trajectory, waterscapes and water related narratives and perceptions are considered in order to clearly identify the pertinence of the concept of “hydrophilia”. It could actually be defined as an ancestral perception concerning the aesthetic experience that begins with physical stimulation of the senses, that is the physiological mechanisms of sight, smell and hearing, and ends in moods, emotions and meanings. Such inborn appreciation obviously depends on human physiology and vital needs so that humans, throughout history, have always tried to settle themselves close to rivers, lakes and coastlines. The paper besides develops the fruitful relationships between environmental psychology and geography, paying special attention to the effects of waterscapes on human perceptions. Water preferences are therefore explored taking into consideration both individual and social behaviors. Ecological awareness is easily detectable when considering Italian hydrography that is a stimulating chance to deal with contemporary local writers.