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  • ItemEmbargo
    Second-hand Stories: Reported Testimonies in Contemporary Italian Literature (1980-2020)
    Pinton, Luigi
    The thesis offers a new interpretation of contemporary Italian narrative - in a timeframe that spans broadly from 1980 to 2020 - through the identification of the category of the second-hand story. I call ‘second-hand stories’ contemporary narratives that hinge on the figure of a narrator who listens to and reports other people’s words. Positioning himself or herself as a witness, the narrator engages in a face-to-face encounter with another person and bears witness to this encounter by reporting the other person’s story. Developing the older literary convention of the reported tale and revitalising the figure of the narrator as storyteller (as famously described by Benjamin), this narrative form provides an ethical reflection on the value of listening and reporting other people’s stories. To account for the diffusion and the multiplicity of forms of the second-hand story the present thesis is articulated in four author-led thematic chapters, arranged chronologically. By focusing on Alberto Arbasino’s *Un paese senza*, Chapter One explores the fertile cultural milieu in which the second-hand story has started to emerge in Italy between the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s. Chapter Two, examining Antonio Tabucchi’s *Tristano muore*, traces the development of the second-hand story during the 1990s concurrently to the Italian debate over the memory of WWII and the Resistance and to the emergence of forms of secondary orality and shared authorship. Chapter Three investigates Helena Janeczek’s *Lezioni di tenebra* to read the evolution of the second-hand story in connection with contemporary discourses on experience, asking how transgenerational transmission of memories and experiences can be represented in literature. Finally, the analysis of Melania Mazzucco’s *Io sono con te. Storia di Brigitte* and Luca Rastello’s *La guerra in casa* in Chapter Four puts to test the ethical, political, and fictional limits of the form of the second-hand story. By tracing the evolution of the second-hand story and by highlighting its salient characters, the thesis achieves two main outcomes: first, it encourages an approach to the analysis of the history of literary forms that challenges easy periodisation and the adoption of restrictive labels; second, it suggests the emergence of a relational paradigm in contemporary Italian narrative.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Women Writers of In Morte Poetry: Negotiating Grief in Renaissance Italy
    Monti, Simone
    This thesis focuses on in morte poetry by Renaissance women writers, examining the cases of Vittoria Colonna, Veronica Gambara, Laura Battiferri, Chiara Matraini, and Francesca Turina. It explores how these women negotiated space and legitimacy for their poetic voices in relation to the previous literary tradition, longstanding cultural representations of female mourning, and individual self-fashioning, but also how they dialogued with and influenced each other, reshaping the in morte genre. After a discussion of the previous scholarship in the Introduction, Chapter 1 opens by tracing a brief history of the debate on the legitimacy of grief within Christian culture and the association between women and inappropriate mourning in the Medieval and Renaissance periods. It then analyses the socio-cultural condition of widows and the regulation of their behaviour in consolation letters and conduct books for women. Lastly, the chapter introduces the case studies and tackles the issue of the relationship between biography and poetry in reading the work of women writers. The following three chapters offer close readings and macro-textual analysis of the work of these women writers in relation to the context previously delineated and male-authored in morte poetry. Chapter 2 examines displays of grief and the discussion of its legitimacy, making use of Fra Remigio de’ Girolami’s categories of maerere, gemere, flere, plorare, plangere, and lugere. Chapter 3 analyses the justification of literary mourning and meta-poetic reflections, pointing out how they are intrinsically connected with both the justification of grief and the issue of its display. Chapter 4 explores the moment when weeping ends, consolation strategies, and spiritual conversion. The Conclusion presents the results of this analysis in relation to the wider perspective of Renaissance women’s writing. It also traces future research avenues to explore further the relationship between grief, gender, and poetry in Renaissance Italy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Anthropology and Modern Italian Literature: Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Gianni Celati
    Maiolani, Michele
    This thesis looks at the different ways in which anthropology and literature interact, focussing particularly on the works of Italian writers between the 1960s and the 1980s as an example of a moment of especially fruitful and intense exchange between the perspectives and epistemological frameworks of the two disciplines. The Introduction starts with a brief historical reconstruction of the relationship between anthropology and literature, followed by a discussion of a set of shared epistemological problems. The Introduction goes on to propose that the decades in the period spanning from the immediate post-war years to the 1980s, which were characterised by a sharp rise in the publication and translation of anthropological books as well as transformative changes in Italian literature, can be defined as the “anthropological moment” of Italian culture. The following chapters (2-5) are dedicated to the close reading through an anthropological lens of the works of the three authors considered in this thesis as case studies: Italo Calvino, Primo Levi and Gianni Celati. They reconstruct how each of the three authors first came into contact with anthropological studies and retrace the readings in this field that had a major impact on their ideas of literature and their writing choices. Each chapter is devoted to the close reading of key works written between the 1970s and the 1980s, compared with the anthropological sources and perspectives from which writers took inspiration. These include, among others, Calvino’s ‘La Poubelle agréée’ and Sotto il sole giaguaro, Levi’s ‘Gli stregoni’, ‘Verso Occidente and I sommersi e i salvati, and Celati’s Fata morgana and Verso la foce. They show how Calvino, Levi and Celati do not simply consider anthropological books as a repertoire of sources, but engage closely with their methodology, borrowing the tools of the anthropologist and applying them to their analyses of different cultural aspects of reality. This thesis aims to demonstrate the existence of profound connections at the level of epistemology and literary invention between anthropologists and writers, and to hypothesise the presence of an anthropological-literary eye in the literary and ethnographical works compared in its chapters.
  • ItemOpen Access
    'Forse in Parnaso esto loco sognaro'. Parnassian Imagery and Dante's Earthly Paradise
    Carrai, Alessia
    This dissertation investigates Dante’s reworking of classical myths and tropes connected to Parnassus in the Commedia. References to Parnassian imagery, seemingly scattered throughout the poem, have been studied by Dante’s scholars only on a case-by-case basis and in the context of single cantos. However, these references are not isolated and independent from one another and I propose to look at them as part of a carefully planned metaphorical system. Through an in-depth analysis of the text of the Commedia and an investigation on classical and medieval sources, this research examines how Dante reshapes the classical idea of Parnassus and adapts it to his needs. My intent is to show how Parnassian imagery fosters some fundamental reflections on the power, the limits, and the purpose of poetry. Following an Introduction that describes the aims,scope, and method of the dissertation, Chapter 1 analyses the occurrence of Parnassian images in Purgatorio XXII and pinpoints the main lines of reflections conveyed by the presence of Parnassus in the poem. Chapter 2 and 3 focus on the cantos of the Earthly Paradise (which contain the majority of Parnassian allusions in the Commedia) and investigate Dante’s reuse of Parnassian myths and tropes at the end of Purgatorio, proposing a series of parallels between Parnassian and Edenic landscapes. Chapter 4 revolves around the last reference to Parnassus in Paradiso I and reflects on the interaction between classical and Christian poetry at the beginning of the third cantica. Finally, the conclusion summarises the most significant findings of the dissertation and suggests future related lines of research.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Women Writing Folklore: Politics of Folk and Fairy-tale Collections from Italian and Irish Islands (1870-1920)
    Sottilotta, Elena Emma
    This research aims to explore how the cultural phenomenon of collecting and compiling folklore and fairy tales was influenced by nineteenth-century ideologies, national identities and linguistic thought by focusing on the works of women writers and folktale collectors in Italy and Ireland. Sharing a mutual interest in reviving the culture and traditions of their native islands, women such as Laura Gonzenbach (1842-1878) in Sicily, Grazia Deledda (1871-1936) in Sardinia, Lady Jane Wilde (1821-1896) and Lady Augusta Gregory (1852-1932) in Ireland, were interested in folklore and ethnographic research and produced works that, beyond their geo-cultural contingencies, are concerned with gender issues. The objective of this study is therefore to examine the influence of these women writers and collectors on the perpetuation of folkloric insular narratives in Italy and Ireland by relocating them within a broader transcultural and transnational framework. By focusing on Italian and Irish insular contexts, this research investigates the conceptions of ‘the folk’ underpinning these women’s folkloric writings, the use they make of the folk material at their disposal and their attitudes towards vernacular languages. This thesis ultimately seeks to unveil the peculiarities as well as the commonalities between folk imaginations from dissimilar islands and to retrace the trajectories through which women’s folkloric narratives emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century. Such a comparative approach aims to create an intertextual dialogue between diverse patrimonies of European traditions that have been mostly studied in isolation and helps to shed light on the collection of folklore through a gender perspective, in a crucial historical phase when the process of nation-building was taking shape.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Sensory Perception in Dante's Dreams and Visions
    Kiltinaviciute, Aiste; Kiltinaviciute, Aiste [0000-0002-0810-116X]
    My thesis analyses Dante’s dreams and visions in the Vita nuova and the Commedia from a sensory-cognitive point of view, examining them as moments of privileged perception, when the sensations described appear not to correspond to perceptions necessitated by immediate external surroundings. While Dante’s dreams have been examined by scholars such as Dino Cervigni (Dante’s Poetry of Dreams 1986) and Guglielmo Barucci (‘Simile a quel che talvolta si sogna’: i sogni del Purgatorio dantesco 2012), to mention only a few, the novelty of my research lies in the methodological approach chosen. Drawing upon cognitive literary studies, the history of the senses, and the philosophy of mind, I focus not so much on decoding the meaning of dreams, but rather the purpose of the sensory and affective responses that dreams elicit from the pilgrim Dante and the readers of Dante’s poetry. The project looks at Dante’s representation of dreams and visions across his oeuvre, with the greatest emphasis on Purgatorio. The Introduction traces the development of Dante’s visionary vocabulary in the early poetry and the Vita nuova. Chapter 1 looks at the depiction of visions in Purgatorio 15 and 17, the cantos that offer the most extensive explicit reflection on the so-called inner senses, thought to be crucial in the reception of dreams and visions. Finally, Chapters 2 and 3 offer a close analysis of Dante’s purgatorial dreams, showing how they question the dominant medieval discourses about rapture (Purgatorio 9) and sensory delight and pleasure (Purgatorio 19 and 27). While each chapter of my thesis takes an individual dream or a series of dreams as a starting point, further analysis reveals them to be representative of larger issues in the scholarship on medieval dreams and visions. These issues are explored by linking Dante’s writing to some of the most influential medieval visionary texts, such as Augustine's classification of visions in De genesi ad litteram, and Augustine’s and Thomas Aquinas’s theories of rapture. The project offers an extensive analysis of Dante’s visionary vocabulary, situating it within the developing Italian medieval dream vision tradition more generally. My work’s larger contribution to Italian and medieval studies consists in highlighting the key role of the multisensory in the ethics and aesthetics of Dante’s dreams and visions. I demonstrate that the representation of perceptual acts in Dante shows a greater synergy of the senses than has hitherto been accounted for in the scholarship, which has emphasised the primacy of vision and/or hearing in medieval Italian culture.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Industrial Writing and Anticolonial Discourse in Italy, 1955-1965
    Bellia, Erica
    This dissertation investigates the intersections between industrial literature produced in Italy between 1955 and 1965 and the anticolonial discourse and debate which was circulating around Italy and Europe in those same years. Adopting a transnational and transdisciplinary approach, it shows how anticolonialism was far more vividly present as a discourse in Italian industrial intellectual milieux and in industrial literature than previously acknowledged, thanks to the mediation of key figures such as Giovanni Pirelli, Giovanni Giudici, and Franco Fortini, among others. It also traces a strong conceptual link that was established in those same milieux between colonial situations of occupation, exploitation and oppression, and industrialisation in Italy. Following an Introduction that provides essential contextual details and describes the aims, scope, and method of the dissertation, Part One looks at how colonial and anticolonial questions were addressed between 1955 and 1965 in a cluster of periodicals related in various ways to industry: from industrial company publications (for example, Il gatto selvatico), to militant anticapitalist journals (Quaderni piacentini and others), to literary reviews (such as Il menabò). What emerges is a sense of the awareness that Italian industrial intellectual milieux developed in relation to colonial dynamics and anticolonial movements in the contemporary world and also of the different interests that these milieux pursued in committing (or not committing) to anticolonialism. Part Two identifies and scrutinises a cluster of keywords and narrative tropes that the anticolonial and industrial discourses shared (such as ‘alienation’, ‘paternalism’, ‘race’) that allows us to trace key lines of affinity between the two spheres. An anticolonial reading of six Italian industrial novels by Ottiero Ottieri, Paolo Volponi, Goffredo Parise, and Giovanni Pirelli that deploy clusters of these keywords and tropes is then proposed, supported by the findings presented in previous chapters. It is argued that Italian industrial writers proved so receptive to anticolonial thought because they were obliged to tackle analogous sets of questions in industrial settings. The conclusion summarises the most significant findings of the dissertation and suggests future related lines of research.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Objects and Object Fetishism in Italian Short Stories: 1930-1959
    Maniero, Nicole
    The subject of this thesis is the literary representation of objects and of the phenomenon of object fetishism in Italian short stories written between 1930 and 1959. The examination of the recurrence and representation of these motifs offers both a viable route for an exploration of the impact on literature of the rise of material culture during this period of modern Italian history, and a deeper understanding of the expressive modalities adopted to depict that culture. The interpretative approach adopted in this study is both critical and theoretical. It hinges upon a selection of four different theoretical frameworks, which conceive of the ideas of objects and of the phenomenon of object fetishism in radically different ways. Each chapter is centred on one theoretical approach and uses it to undertake textual analyses of short stories by Dino Buzzati, Italo Calvino, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Tommaso Landolfi, Elsa Morante, Alberto Moravia, and Anna Maria Ortese. This thesis also shows how the application of the selected theoretical approaches can fit with the existing critical literature on the authors, whilst simultaneously providing more complex and refined considerations on the texts. Following these premises, the thesis is articulated in five chapters. The introduction lays out the historical, cultural, and literary background of the period. Chapter One applies psychoanalytical theories to texts by Morante, Ortese, and Calvino. Chapter Two is based on the application of Marxism-derived theoretical parameters to the analysis of texts by Gadda and Moravia. Chapter Three adopts a new materialist approach to the study of short stories by Landolfi and Buzzati. Chapter Four considers dust and rubbish theories and discusses them in reference to texts by Gadda and Calvino. These chapters are followed by a conclusion.
  • ItemMetadata only
    ‘Io fui, et sono, et sarò Margarita’: Margherita Costa as Virtuosa on the Literary Stage of the Seicento
    Wagner, Anna-Luise
    Margherita Costa (c. 1600–after 1657) was one of the most prolific female authors of seventeenth-century Europe. As a singer and rumoured courtesan, she made her way in the courts and theatres of Rome, Florence, Turin, Paris, Venice, and perhaps even Germany. Costa was a virtuosa performer on both stage and page: between 1630 and 1654, a period marked by a decline in secular women’s writing in Italy, she produced fourteen full-length printed works across a remarkable range of genres, topics, and registers. Her unique position on the margins of courtly society allowed Costa to move more freely across the literary stage than any other female writer of her generation, switching easily between high and low style, decorous elegance and erotic allusions, encomiastic speeches and satirical parody. This literary versatility, combined with her talent as a performer, earned her the support of an enviable collection of elite patrons, including the Medici, the Barberini, the French royal house, and the Dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. Though this charismatic virtuosa inspired admiration in her contemporaries and left behind an astounding literary legacy, her oeuvre remains understudied. This dissertation is the first study to take a more comprehensive approach to Costa’s trajectory as a virtuosa on the literary stage of the Seicento, from her early works in Florence in the 1630s to her last full-length publication in Venice and final printed poems in the 1650s. Rather than only focussing on one period of her literary career, the central aim is to give readers an understanding of her extraordinary adaptability in different cultural and patronage contexts. Costa’s journey opens a window onto the society and culture of a travelling musician and woman writer with a striking ability to succeed in an environment increasingly hostile to female public engagement.
  • ItemOpen Access
    16 October 1943. History, Memory, Literature
    Josi, Mara
    16 October 1943. History, Memory, Literature The thesis considers the largest single round-up and deportation of Jews from Italy during the German occupation of 1943-45, which took place in Rome on 16 October 1943. It examines Italian cultural memory of the Roman round-up through the perspective of literary writings over the long post-war era, exploring the triangular relationship between history, memory, and literature. It uses the methods of cultural memory studies to analyse the influence of literature on individual and collective memory: in other words, on the reader and on society. The corpus of enquiry of this PhD project is based on the four most complex and influential Italian literary texts dedicated to the Roman round-up. They are texts of different and mixed genres: a chronicle-narrative-essay published in book form in 1945 by Giacomo Debenedetti, 16 ottobre 1943; a historical novel published in 1974 by Elsa Morante, La Storia; an autobiographical novel-essay published in 1997 by Rosetta Loy, La parola ebreo; and a work of popular history published in 2013 by Anna Foa, Portico d’Ottavia 13. These four works absorb different sources, ideological or historical viewpoints, and individual memories. They are examined and re-read as autonomous texts and in dialogue with each other, underlining the strong intertextuality between them. The socio-cultural context of the years in which they were published is considered, thus mapping changes and developments in Italian cultural memory of the Holocaust over the last seventy-five years. The thesis demonstrates that these four texts have stored and transmitted knowledge, as well as transformed it into an element of artistic texts. It discusses how they have engaged in an enduring dialogue with historians regarding the interpretation of the Roman round-up. It shows them to be bearers of historical knowledge and channels of memory; not only outcomes of remembrance, but also active ingredients in the process of forging cultural memory.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Making and Marketing a Theatre Couple in Seventeenth-Century Italy: Giovan Battista Andreini and Virginia Ramponi
    Laiena, Serena
    The present study is the first treatment of the careers of two professional actors as a couple in early modern Italy. It examines the success achieved by Giovan Battista Andreini (1576-1654) and his wife Virginia Ramponi (1583-ca.1631) as a result of the self-representation and marketing strategies they devised and adopted. Their careers are considered as a unicum; two faces of a single product to be sold on the market: the professional theatre couple. This thesis presents a pair of mirrored images: it looks at specific moments of the careers of Andreini and Ramponi from both his perspective and hers, in order to define their individual contributions to the success they enjoyed together and to show that their achievements were the result of a synergy. Against the historical background of post-Tridentine Italy, this study illustrates their literary, performative, iconographic and epistolary tactics as both a reaction to the opposition to professional performers led by Counter-Reformation clergy and a response to the promotion of professional performers led by academicians. By exploring Andreini and Ramponi’s engagement with Counter-Reformation thought, their relation with cultural and political institutions, their power and artistic networks, this study offers a new perspective on the historical and cultural context of early modern Italy. In revealing the leading role of Ramponi in the company of which the Andreinis were part, and the impact of her international prestige in the reception of professional performers, it aims to enrich the scholarly discourse on the agency of women in early modern Italy. By looking at the career of the comici as a couple, it writes a new chapter in the social history of early modern theatre which opens up new avenues of research on professional theatre.
  • ItemOpen Access
    'A me stesso di me pietate vène.' Lyric Subjectivity in Guido Cavalcanti's Rime
    Mele, Valentina
    This thesis examines articulations of subjectivity in the love-lyric corpus of Guido Cavalcanti (c.1258-1300). That Cavalcanti has a central role in the development of the modern lyric subjectivity is widely accepted in scholarship. The present study aims to deepen current understanding of Cavalcanti’s poetry by analysing ways in which the subject of the enunciation is articulated in the Rime. This research adopts a traditional critical approach (i.e. philological, lexicographic, and semasiological) in conversation with linguistics, narratology, and literary theory. The main textual strategies which contribute to the expression of subjectivity in the cavalcantian corpus are analysed in the context of the Duecento Italian love-lyric tradition. Chapter 1 historicises and maps the main debates concerning the issue of subjectivity in medieval texts which prove significant for reflecting upon the cavalcantian subject and defines the thesis’ methodological framework. Chapter 2 and 3 discuss the most significant results of a comprehensive indexing and analysis of deictics. It provides an examination of the ways in which subjectivity is encoded in the Rime, as related to the main coordinates of the discourse (person, time, space). Chapter 4 examines Cavalcanti’s use of apostrophe and the direction of the poetic message as strategies to redefine the lover-beloved polarity of the lyric tradition. Chapter 5 analyses voices that are “other” to the traditional one of the poet-lover in the Rime and their contribution to the articulation of a specific subjectivity in the lyric discourse.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rhythmical Figures in Dante’s Commedia: A Study of Memory and Composition after Gianfranco Contini
    Pepin, Ryan
    This thesis takes Contini’s 1965 study ‘Un’interpretazione di Dante’, and its discussion of repeated lines and part-lines, as its point of departure in order to pursue new understanding of the compositional processes of Dante’s Commedia. It shows how the repetition of similar items, or ‘figures’, relates to orality both in a transmissional, or textual-critical sense, as well as in a compositional, or oral-formulaic, sense. Recollected language in the poem is discovered to be more pervasive than hitherto thought, and this data is then interrogated, revealing a conception of heterogenous units of rhythm and syntax susceptible of re-use. This challenges the frameworks for prosodic description that have been used to date to describe the poem, while setting up a new historical understanding of rhythm as ‘shape’. These intertwined rhythmical-syntactical units, revealed through line-by-line comparison of the entire poem, are then shown to be historically emplaced – a product of the language-learning practices of the medieval grammatica. Figurae uerborum, a medieval conception of syntax and rhythm belonging to the grammatica, and Contini’s ‘figure ritmiche’ together raise an interpretive challenge: they ask for an autonomous way of speaking about achievements of syntax and rhythm, with reference to new critical categories – particularly memorability and authority. A final section proposes a rhythmical-critical experiment: a practical-critical analysis of a specific rhythmical shape, exploring how the new compositional dynamics discovered in the course of the thesis change how the critic relates to the newly conceived poetic object. From medieval grammarians to twentieth-century philologists, this thesis uncovers a tradition of thought that sees rhythm not as an accident of poetic language, but as a grammatical phenomenon, best exemplified in the poets.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Linguistic Prestige and Early Modern Italy: A Contribution to Historical Sociolinguistics
    (2020-05-16) Serra, Eleonora
    My thesis examines the sociolinguistic notion of prestige in the context of sixteenth-century Italy, with reference to the dynamics which arose between Tuscans and non-Tuscan learners over the ownership and nature of the literary variety based on fourteenth-century Florentine that was being codified and promoted. The notion of prestige is investigated by focusing on the relationship between: prestige and standard; prestige and context; prestige and social networks. My thesis brings together investigation of metalinguistic sources to reconstruct language attitudes (chapters 1 and 2) and the analysis of a corpus of correspondence to reconstruct actual usage (chapters 3 and 4). Chapter 1 employs a ‘new speaker’ paradigm borrowed from the field of endangered languages to explore the dynamics between Tuscan and non-Tuscan writers in early modern Italy, and the prominent role played by the latter in the codification of the literary variety. Focus is placed on the different prestige targets of non-Tuscan learners, on the problematic reception of the archaising ‘standard’ in Florence, and on the way prestige came to be attributed to the standard through a process of interaction between different groups of language users. Chapter 2 focuses on the importance of context when it comes to assessing the prestige or stigma attributed to the codified Florentine variety. Chapters 3 and 4 move to the analysis of usage, focusing on a corpus of Tuscan correspondence produced by the network surrounding the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti and his family members (1496–1585). The diachronic and diastratic analysis presented in chapter 3 reveals the gradual emergence and the social embedding of a range of codified, archaic Florentine features in the informal written language of a group of Tuscans in the course of the sixteenth century. In chapter 4, this macro-analysis is complemented by a micro-level approach which examines the language of individual members of one generation of the Buonarroti family. The network structure of each writer is reconstructed and related to their acceptance or resistance of archaic Florentine features. This chapter aims to integrate prestige explanations within a social network model. My project aims to offer a contribution both to our knowledge of the history of Italian and to the field of historical sociolinguistics. The rich metalinguistic documentation, the relatively high literacy rates and the abundance of written sources documenting usage make early modern Italy fertile ground for historical sociolinguistic investigations. Moreover, Italian is an interesting case-study as it appears to stand out from other linguistic traditions for the prominent role that has often been attributed to normativity in the development of the language.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reflexes of Finiteness in Romance
    (2020-04-25) Groothuis, Kim Anouk; Groothuis, Kim Anouk [0000-0002-9887-0690]
    This dissertation investigates the concept of finiteness across Romance, a theoretical notion very frequently used within linguistics although still poorly understood (Ledgeway 2007:335). Various Romance verb forms and clauses which are not readily classifiable as either finite or non-finite are examined, such as personal and inflected infinitives, as well as Balkan-style subjunctives in Romanian, Salentino, and southern Calabrian, morphologically finite verb forms which behave syntactically as non-finite verbs. First the categorial status of irrealis complements is studied; it is argued that both non-finite (the Romance infinitival complementisers deriving from Latin AD and DE) and irrealis complementisers (southern Calabrian mu, Salentino cu, Upper southern Italian che and Romanian să) are spurious categories. Specifically, it is shown that AD, DE, mu and cu can head variously sized clauses with different degrees of syntactic finiteness and that the morphological form of the verb does not seem to influence the clause size nor the degree of finiteness. Romanian să-clauses, on the other hand, are consistently CPs. It is thus concluded that there is no cross-linguistic correlation between finiteness and clause size. Second, the diachrony of these irrealis complementisers is analysed as well; they all result from a process of downwards (re)grammaticalisation, whereby grammatical elements originating in the C-domain come to occupy the lowest position of the CP, and, in the case of mu and cu, also come to head smaller complements and thus to occupy lower functional heads. This process is accompanied by a reanalysis from phrase (XP) to head (X) with concomitant phonological reduction. Third, it is shown that, unlike finite verbs, non-finite and semi-finite verb forms consistently move to a high position within the clause. This is also true of subjunctives; all have a common feature that requires the verb be moved to the edge of the inflectional domain. This movement renders the regular subject position SpecTP unavailable in most of these cases. The central proposal of the dissertation is that finiteness is not a linguistic primitive, but should be broken down into the anchoring of both Tense and Person. Both allow for different degrees of anchoring to the speech act (independent, dependent, or absent). There is an asymmetrical relationship between the two: only when Tense anchoring takes place, can Person anchoring obtain too. The combination of both anchoring mechanisms yields a scalar view of finiteness that matches more closely the wide range of semi-finite and non-finite forms explored in the dissertation. It is the dependent anchoring which triggers non-finite and semi-finite verbs to move high, while the absence of this anchoring automatically renders reduced complements non-finite. Finally, only when both anchoring mechanisms act completely independently does a fully finite clause obtain.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pier Paolo Pasolini and the work of subjectivity
    (1993-05-25) Gordon, Robert Samuel Clive
    This dissertation examines the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini through the diverse forms and operations in which subjectivity presents itself and determines the orientation of his aesthetic, cultural and ideological practice. It develops a model of the work of subjectivity which is then applied in turn to the three major areas of his life and work. Part I examines his activities as an intellectual operator, or cultural activist, which show him using and creating opportunities for self-promotion and self-expression in a wide range of intellectual arenas, each with its own audience and professional obligations. Part II concentrates on his poetry, which is seen as a privileged locus of aesthetic selfexpression, and identifies a subtle pattern of shifting modulation of imagery and vocabulary, which is constantly renewed and transformed by use in different contexts. And Part III analyses his semiological theory and practice of cinema, showing how the totalising nature of representation which attracts him to cinema overshadows the play of variation and formal patterning in poetry, and thus regularly displaces the locus of subjectivity away from the films themselves and towards ancillary discourses. The dissertation demonstrates that Pasolini consistently manipulates the formal characteristics of the idioms, media and genres in which he works, creating multiple dynamics of variation in each. This particular variatio, which Pasolini came close to theorising in his formulation of 'sperimentalismo', is shown to be the vessel for the implicit and neverfixed work of subjectivity. The complex interplay between form and subjectivity, which emerges from the close detail of the analysis, is posited as an interpretative key to Pasolini which challenges more direct and superficial critical commonplaces, such as the dichotomy between 'passione e ideologia' suggested by Pasolini himself and followed by many since.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Forgotten Bestselling Author: Laura Terracina in Early Modern Naples
    (2019-04-27) Papworth, Amelia
    This dissertation provides a critical assessment of Laura Terracina (1519-c.1577) and her works. It argues that she was a consummate product of her age, embodying the tensions which ruled the Italian peninsula. Terracina published eight books and left a ninth in manuscript at the time of her death, winning legions of admirers and making her sixteenth-century Italy’s most commercially successful female author. Yet in spite of her enormous popularity amongst her contemporaries, scholarship has largely neglected Terracina. This dissertation will open up an overdue field of enquiry into her life and works, exploring the significance of her role as a sixteenth-century female poet through the lenses of gender and class. By mapping her place in the literary landscape, it is hoped that this thesis will encourage scholars to afford Terracina the attention she so richly deserves. The first chapter of the dissertation situates Terracina as a poet of Naples, seeing her as a product of her family’s political standing within the city, her academician status, and her own construction of an urban coterie of supporters. The second chapter considers the mechanics of the journey into print, assessing Terracina’s own input and her close collaboration with male editors and publishers. It proposes a greater attribution of agency to Terracina than has thus far been made, arguing that she is, in fact, an important figure in the process of her texts reaching the hands of readers. The third chapter considers how the poet used her printed books as social tools, employing them to gain social and literary capital. The second section of the dissertation looks at two thematic strands within Terracina’s poetry. Chapter four considers her political poetry, including her attitude towards the harm done to civilian populations across Europe. Chapter five looks at the religious dimension to Terracina’s work, the spiritual poetry written in her later years, and the relationship this bears to her secular lyric. Finally, the dissertation concludes with a chapter on the contemporary reception of Terracina’s texts, providing preliminary thoughts on how she was read, before closing with a consideration of her literary afterlife in the centuries that followed.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Romance morphosyntactic microvariation in complementizer and auxiliary systems
    (2019-02-23) Colasanti, Valentina; Colasanti, Valentina [0000-0002-8295-5868]
    This thesis describes and analyses patterns of complementation and auxiliation in the languages spoken in an understudied area of Italy, namely Southern Lazio. From a descriptive perspective, this thesis serves to document several severely endangered Romance languages spoken in the Italian peninsula. In so doing, several previously undocumented complementizer and auxiliary systems are illustrated for the first time. From a theoretical perspective, this thesis accounts for the patterns of variation found in these auxiliary and complementizer systems. Traditional descriptions of Italo- Romance treat these systems as entirely unrelated. Indeed, to date, no previous study has compared the distribution of complementizers and auxiliaries in Italo-Romance to investigate similarities and correspondences between them. This dissertation takes the original step of demonstrating that the distribution of particular auxiliary systems correlates with the distribution of particular complementizer systems, offering, in turn, an integrated and complementary theoretical analysis of both phenomena.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Aspects of Animal Imagery in Petrarch’s 'Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta'
    (2019-01-26) Morelli, Nicolo
    This thesis examines the role of animal imagery in Petrarch’s 'Rerum vulgarium fragmenta' (Rvf) as a means of elucidating his poetics in conversation with his predecessors. To achieve this aim, the present study compares and contrasts Petrarch’s poetry with that of the poets quoted in Rvf 70, namely Arnaut Daniel, Guido Cavalcanti, Dante Alighieri and Cino da Pistoia. My research sheds light on the way in which Petrarch draws on and diverges from his precursors as he establishes his poetic language. The comparison between Petrarch and one or more of his predecessors poses three areas of enquiry central to my research: Petrarch’s reuse of traditional animal images, such as those in troubadour poetry; the question of allegory in the Rvf; and the language and communication strategies which characterise Petrarch’s poetic exchanges. Chapter 1 introduces a theoretical framework, based on the sources in Petrarch’s possession, which discusses and reviews the implications, in medieval culture, of the notion of animality in relation to and in the representation of human passions. Chapter 2 considers Petrarch’s potential engagement with the repertoire of animal imagery in the tradition of Occitan poetry. It examines the set of zoological images of bestiary derivation that Petrarch shares with the troubadours, specifically focusing on Petrarch’s debt to Arnaut Daniel. Chapter 3 explores the role of allegory in Petrarch’s animal imagery as compared with Dante’s poetry. Chapter 4 considers how the employment of animal images varies between the poems without apparent correspondents and those with specific recipients. The first part of the chapter is concerned with the lyrics of Guido Cavalcanti and Cino da Pistoia, while the second part analyses animal vocabulary in the Rvf and in the poetic exchanges that Petrarch left uncollected as 'estravaganti'.