No. 22 (2024): Water and Migrations
This issue examines the multiple meanings of water and its importance in literary texts. As a symbol of totality, where everything is possible, the ocean, in particular, links numerous aquatic mythologies which resort to mysterious dark seas and primordial waters as the world’s site of origin from the abyss of the night. The ocean thus has the ambivalent function to both separate and reunite, thanks to well-established routes that over time have intensified trade relations, territorial ambitions, scientific and technological discoveries, and general theories. Even the Atlantic Ocean has been traversed by numerous voyages, despite having long been considered as the terror of sailors, the External Sea, the Sea of Darkness, and the impassible Surrounding Ocean, before the revolutionary voyage of the three caravels in 1492. These voyages include those embarked on by many Italians who, from the second half of the nineteenth century onwards, set out in search of a new homeland filled with promises, but also with obstacles to overcome. The articles in French, English and Spanish investigate the multiple meanings of water across different continents and highlight conceptual similarities in spite of territorial specificities. Nor could it be otherwise, since water is both a source of perpetual change and an essential element of nature and humans, who have a conflictual, but at the same time gratifying, relationship with it.