Elisabetta Abignente

Love Hanging by a Thread. The Topos of Waiting for a Call

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The paper aims to explore the main functions of the literary topos of waiting for a telephone call in the 20th century literature. Based on the definition of love as a continous wait proposed by Roland Barthes, both in The Lover's Discourse: Fragments and at his classes at EPHE, various examples are given from the narrative works of Marcel Proust, Italo Calvino, Ingeborg Bachmann, Gabriel García Márquez and from the plays of Jean Cocteau and Annibale Ruccello.


  • Telephone Call
  • Literary Topos
  • 20th Century
  • Roland Barthes


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