This is the publication of a Ph.D. dissertation, completed between 2000 and 2004 at McGill University in Montreal. At the work progressed from “dissertation” to “book” status, the primary intention was to keep the publication as close to the original study as possible, in order for the project to retain its phenomenological and hermeneutical methodological tool and character.
Beyont the scientific research which contributes to the comprehension of the topography and morphology of late medieval and renaissence Nicosia, a significant and necessary parameter included in the project was the presentation of human experience. This experience, rising out of everyday needs, labours and desires, contributes to the animation, and thus the better comprehension, of the urban fabric. This animation does not materialize out of a descriptive approach and means, but is rather achieved through a narrative presentation within each chapter, a story which interchanges fact with fiction, faith with superstition, and reality with imagination, as experienced by the dwellers of Nicosia themselves. The protagonists and other characters in the stories have been selected in order to reflect a variety of social classes, ethnic groups and religious beliefs, but they by no means exhaust the cosmopolitan spectum of Nicosia’s urbanites.
While the research and narrative parts of the work are meant to be read together as a single body of text, one can choose to engage only one of the two. However, in this way one will have access at only a partial understanding of the information in and goals of the work. The narratives should not be viewed as an autonomous work of litterature, not only because they certainly do not meet that standard, but also, and more significantly, because that is not their intended use. Rather, the narratives appear, along with the images, as tools for the contexualization of the research text.
While the format and content of this work might intially appear unfamiliar, it has to be kept in mind that the goal of this project was not only the comfirmation of hypotheses or the arrival at one, absolute “Truth”, but, primarily, the opening up of new possibilities and the unearthing and proposing of multiple “truths”. (by Panos Leventis)
458 pages, color & b&w ills / 22 x 30,5 cm / English