The paper focuses on the conception of speed as a Futurist myth, handed down to Roland Barthes in reference to the popularity of motor and cycling races. What happened in Rome on May 27, 2018 demonstrates that speed races can be held only in safe and suitable places: the final stage of the Giro d’Italia was neutralized after three laps because of the cobbles and treacherous potholes along the 11.5km circuit. The contrast between the fascinating but dangerous cobbled streets of Rome and the concern of riders attests that speed can only be an “anti-passéist myth” reiterating the narrative of human craving for immortality and freedom. This is made possible through the removal of the “spectacle barriers”, preventing the show from unfolding. The most important national competitions allow us to appreciate the atavistic dimension of the efforts pushing riders to challenge nature and overcome human limits. The Tour de France, like the Giro d’Italia, becomes “the narrative of the day’s epic”, enhanced by the image of supremacy and victory.

Roland Barthes and the “spectacle barriers”: Cycling as an anti-passéist myth

Andrea Lombardinilo
2018

Abstract

The paper focuses on the conception of speed as a Futurist myth, handed down to Roland Barthes in reference to the popularity of motor and cycling races. What happened in Rome on May 27, 2018 demonstrates that speed races can be held only in safe and suitable places: the final stage of the Giro d’Italia was neutralized after three laps because of the cobbles and treacherous potholes along the 11.5km circuit. The contrast between the fascinating but dangerous cobbled streets of Rome and the concern of riders attests that speed can only be an “anti-passéist myth” reiterating the narrative of human craving for immortality and freedom. This is made possible through the removal of the “spectacle barriers”, preventing the show from unfolding. The most important national competitions allow us to appreciate the atavistic dimension of the efforts pushing riders to challenge nature and overcome human limits. The Tour de France, like the Giro d’Italia, becomes “the narrative of the day’s epic”, enhanced by the image of supremacy and victory.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/707022
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