Browsing 2018 / 23 Prospero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere by Issue Date
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- Publication“There are more than two options in this world”: The Challenge of Liminality in Kirsty Logan’s The Gracekeepers(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Ferrari, RobertaThe paper intends to analyse Kirsty Logan’s much acclaimed debut novel, The Gracekeepers (2015), by focusing attention on its spatial dimension, particularly on the key-concept of liminality (Klapcsik 2011). Logan’s imaginary topography draws inspiration on her home landscapes, the fascinating harsh environments of the Scottish islands and seacoast, while the fantastic side of the story owes much to Celtic myths and folklore; yet, the novel transcends local colour to provide a universal allegory of contemporary times and their harsh conflicts. The story is set in a dystopian flooded world suspended between land and sea, with the former inhabited by an elitist minority, the “landlockers,” while 90% of the population, the so-called “damplings,” struggle for daily survival on boats. The investigation of the spatial dimension, however, reveals that this rigid dichotomous structure is in fact undermined by a number of liminal places where characters from different worlds actually meet and exchange experience. The two female protagonists – Callanish and North, a landlocker and a dampling respectively – are destined to bridge all gaps, and their “liminal” love is intended to mark the beginning of a new approach to reality, based on the acceptance of difference, contamination, and hybridity as the only way to salvation. Thus, the novel ends up challenging both realism and fantasy by engaging in a thorough rethinking of boundaries, of clear-cut distinctions between worlds, genders, and even literary genres.
- PublicationElias Canettis Idee der Sprache und der Literatur. Überlegungen in Die Blendung und Die Stimmen von Marrakesch(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Ferron, IsabellaThe present papers aims to investigate Canetti’s ideas of Language and Literature in his novel Die Blendung. It is a comparative analysis with his travelogue Die Stimmen von Marrakesch that tries to highlight the role Language plays in Canetti’s work. In Wien of the early 20th Century the young Canetti was fascinated by Karl Kraus, he experienced the debates about the determination of Language (Mauthner, Wittgenstein). Language has a fundamental role in Canetti’s life and work, not only from a biographical point of view: he considers Language as a mysterious force that allows people to know the world. Language is for him not only a medium to communicate, but also a reflection of the world. Language represents a timeless activity that allows the development of subjectivity and individuality.
- PublicationRendez-vous avec l’histoire: Raphaël Élizé dans le roman de Gaston-Paul Effa(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Sperti, ValeriaThe article analyses the intertwinement between documentation and creative intuition in Gaston-Paul Effa’s novel Rendez-vous avec l’heure qui blesse (2015). The work is centred on a character emblematic of colonisation, the veterinary Raphaël Élizé, a descendant of slaves and first black mayor of a rural French community, a victim of Nazism, who becomes a hero of the French republic. The analysis highlights the characteristics of a ‘mirror’ narration, where the protagonist’s biographical events reflect milestones in the History of humanity. The narration brings into play both black and Jewish memory, slavery, colonialism, and holocaust in the background of power relationships amongst men, which are compared to those between men and animals.
- PublicationProspero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere N° XXIII - MMXVIII(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Prospero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere è una rivista annuale a stampa e online ad accesso aperto del Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici dell’Università di Trieste (DiSU), pubblicata dal 1994 presso la casa editrice EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste. È apparsa in precedenza con il complemento di titolo Rivista di letterature e civiltà Anglo-germaniche e, dal 2005 al 2011, con quello di Rivista di Letterature straniere, Comparatistica e Studi culturali. La rivista pubblica contributi originali dedicati alle letterature di lingua inglese, tedesca e francese. Prospero ospita contributi inediti di studiosi italiani e stranieri che pongono il testo letterario e l’analisi testuale al centro di più ampie riflessioni di carattere ermeneutico, filologico e storico-culturale. In particolare, si apre alle convergenze di carattere interdisciplinare e transdisciplinare tra la letteratura e gli altri saperi. Numeri monografici curati da guest editors italiani e stranieri su temi specifici si alternano a numeri miscellanei.
- PublicationÉvolution éditoriale et réception décalée en Algérie. Le cas de la production algérienne de langue française récente(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Miliani, HadjCet article tente de tracer à nouveaux frais quelques faits marquants de l’évolution du champ littéraire de langue française en Algérie durant la dernière décennie. En dehors de la bipolarisation relative entre la France et l’Algérie au travers certaines oeuvres et quelques écrivains, le secteur paraît assez dynamique quoique dominé par des polémiques et des controverses exacerbées. La présence plus fréquente dans l’espace éditorial d’écrivains ‘tardifs’, la multiplication des réseaux de publication hors les éditions traditionnelles (auto-édition, publications numériques, etc.) et les phénomènes de médiatisation offrent de ce fait un paysage hétérogène d’où semble néanmoins émerger assez fortement une sorte de « littérature moyenne » qui s’impose autant auprès des critiques que des lecteurs algériens et étrangers. Serait-ce une nouvelle composante morphologique ou seulement les signes d’une situation transitionnelle dont il faudrait attendre la décantation pour voir se profiler un ensemble institutionnel stable et une production littéraire renouvelée ou marquée par un continuum?
- PublicationOne whose “fate” was writ’ in water: Percy Bysshe Shelley and the water sublime, between poetry and cultural memory(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Canani, MarcoPercy Bysshe Shelley’s first biographers suggest that water was a mesmerizing presence in his life. Particularly the mid nineteenth-century life-writings written by Shelley’s friends Thomas Medwin (1847), Thomas Jefferson Hogg (1858), and Edward Trelawny (1858) narrate the poet’s ‘water sublime’ from end-to-start, almost searching for incidents and poetic hints that might anticipate Shelley’s fate. Indeed, Shelley’s poetry provides several examples of his sublime attraction to water. In “Mont Blanc” (1818), water is depicted in the sinuosity of the flowing streams and in the unfathomable magnificence of the ice blocks, while “The Cloud” (1818-19) suggests Shelley’s knowledge of Adam Walker’s and Luke Howard’s studies. More significantly, water becomes a metaphor for poetic creation in A Defence of Poetry (1821). By interrelating life-writing and poetry, this article investigates the role of water in Shelley’s life and work in the light of his pantheistic views. By focusing on contemporary sites of memory, the article subsequently discusses the ways in which water has been associated to Shelley’s image in cultural memory, taking into account several media, from lithographs to paintings and monuments. In addition to Shelley’s graves in Rome, The Rising Universe – the kinetic memorial installed in Horsham for the poet’s bicentenary in 1996 – suggests water as a primal source of inspiration and experience for the poet. From this perspective, material culture responds to Shelley’s old and new biographies, creating a narrative that, at least in part, re-writes his life from his death.
- PublicationMathilda by Mary Shelley: An Intertextual Analysis(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Marino, ElisabettaEven before P.B. Shelley’s drowning, Mary Shelley’s first stay in Italy was marred by the death of her two children (Clara Everina died in September 1818, while William passed away in June 1819), and by her subsequent estrangement from her husband, held partially responsible for her inconsolable loss. In the Summer of 1819, while she was sojourning in Villa Valsovano (near Leghorn), Mary Shelley occupied herself with the composition of a novella entitled Mathilda, which she completed in a very short time. The only copy of her manuscript (a story dealing with the theme of a father-daughter incest) was immediately sent to Godwin, who was supposed to superintend its publication. Nonetheless, Mathilda was not published until well after the writer’s death, in 1959, nor was the manuscript ever returned, despite Mary’s requests. Up until recent years, the novella has received little critical attention; moreover, most of the scholars engaged in the analysis of the text have chosen a strictly biographical approach, focusing on the complex and troublesome relationship between Mary Shelley and her family members. Conversely, this paper aims at offering an intertexual investigation of the text, connecting it with her debut novel Frankenstein, and with Proserpine (a verse drama published immediately after Mathilda), thus demonstrating that, far from merely mirroring her life events, Mathilda can be regarded as a landmark of Mary Shelley’s career as a writer.
- PublicationÉmergence d’une identité judéo-alsacienne. Claude Vigée et ses aïeuls(2018)Schulz, ElisabethDepuis leur installation sur la rive gauche du Rhin, les Juifs d’Alsace ont eu des échanges culturels et religieux interrompus avec ceux d’outre-Rhin tandis qu’ils ont développé moins de contact avec les Juifs de la « vieille France ». Mais la Révolution française entraîne la fermeture des frontières, notamment entre la France et l’Allemagne. C’est ainsi que, comme le souligne, à juste titre, le chercheur Freddy Raphaël « c’est la Révolution qui en fermant les frontières, a délimité l’entité alsacienne et a amené les Juifs d’Alsace à prendre conscience de leur relative spécificité ». Au fur et à mesure qu’ils prennent conscience de cette identité et qu’ils s’enracinent en Alsace, « leur horizon rétrécit ». La frontière est donc liée à l’affirmation d’une identité et paradoxalement c’est elle qui est à l’origine d’un repli sur soi, comme nous le montrerons à travers l’oeuvre littéraires de l’écrivain et poète Claude Vigée.
- Publication‘Peopling the World’: from Scheherazade to Rushdie’s Nights(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Parlati, MarilenaSince their very beginnings as a magmatic concoction of oral tales of very different origins, what Anglophone Western cultures call The Arabian Nights are remarkably open-ended, vertiginously intertwined, replicating framed narratives which ‘bifurcate’ and answer readers and listeners back with amazing panache. After the fundamental arrival on European soil of the stories in book form due to the very successful enterprise of François Galland, The Nights have undoubtedly been an unrelenting presence in global cultures, so much so that it would be easier to detect writers, artists, cultures who and which do not inscribe them within their textures. While the nineteenth century has seen very innovative and allegedly ‘authentic’ translations, it has also inaugurated a trend towards a series of declared rewritings and reappropriations, often vociferously claimed by widely intended ‘Arabian’, non-European, global authors. Among the very recent re-surfacings of this well of stories that I shall briefly survey, I chose to focus mainly on Salman Rushdie’s Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights (2015), a lively repository of histories and stories in which he reads through the Nights and sees post-modernity, global capitalism and terrorism through his usual ironical glittering fairy-tale-like lenses. In his usual irreverent style, Rushdie refashions Scheherazade’s voice and uses the tradition of the Nights to merge updated circulatory materials which range from Ibn Rushd to millennial New York and the world of the jinni. While a continuous presence in Rushdie’s writing, these Nights seem innovative in their ending with a reassuring shift away from programmatic open-endedness, with a collective chorus who brush chaos off page and acknowledge the “extravagant” circulation of stories set in a securely distant past, but also distance them away from the seductive power of a tricky woman narrator or ‘heroine’.
- PublicationParsing the Poetics of Letitia Landon’s “song of grief and love”(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Chakravarti, DebnitaLetitia Elizabeth Landon was one of the most successful Victorian female writers enjoying an enviable popularity in an age that laid down strict codes for women in general, and women authors in particular. Her poems reveal an abiding engagement with India and Indian women. In the Victorian annuals like Fisher’s Scrapbook as well as her own long poems like The Improvisatrice, she returns to the idea of an ‘Indianness’ that becomes a recognisable shorthand for certain desirable feminine qualities. In developing her trademark theme of melancholia – a recyclable formula with the ingredients of sorrow, beauty, love and death – India became an important imaginary identity. My article proposes to explore how Landon employs the idea of India, in an age when Britain was increasingly growing fascinated by its expanding empire, in order to construct a saleable self-image that made her into the recognisable brand name L. E. L. I will examine the interstitial spaces between the two cultures as they reveal themselves in the works of a writer who has long been relegated to the margins by the politics of canonisation and is only just beginning to enjoy the scholarly attention she deserves. And in studying this iconic poet of her time, my paper also questions whether our notions of Victorian British identities and its equations with other cultures need to be reoriented in the light of writings that were till now relegated to the dusty archives.