The image of the spiral underlies many of Brooke-Rose’s novels. In particular, it is central in her *Amalgamemnon*, where it is introduced as the “spiral of repression-terrorism-repression-terrorism”. If in this context this image recalls that used by Giambattista Vico to represent the notion of the repetition of history delineated in his *La scienza nuova* (1725) (closely connected to Brooke-Rose’s idea that the past perpetually returns in our present), simultaneously it can be used to illustrate, as Barthes did, the continuous shifts in narrative levels which become an important feature of what Barthes calls the 'plural text'. My paper therefore wants to analyse to what extent Barthes’s criticism has determined Brooke-Rose’s fiction not only on a thematic level, but also on a structural one. I will therefore examine the relationship between the use that Barthes in his critical work and Brooke-Rose in this novel make of the image of the spiral, suggesting that Brooke-Rose seems to proceed along a sort of circular path according to which she first begins with a critical notion borrowed from Barthes, using it as a metaphor in her narrative, just to end by going back to criticism in order to refer to other critical notions such as 'the death of the author' and the linguistic nature of all forms of identity.
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