In "La Coscienza di Zeno", Svevo inscribes himself within the Habsburg literary tradition: A Habsburg subject writing in Italian more than an exclusively Italian national. Zeno’s behaviour towards Italian nationalism could be read as indifferent, while his allegiance is towards Trieste’s metropolitan identity under the Austrian empire. Svevo’s own pen name was culturally hybrid: it placed a strong emphasis on his identification with both Italian and German communities, seen as a merging of two equal cultures and their literary traditions.
The essay focuses on the fact that Zeno challenges the Italian cultural nationalism of Irredentist Trieste by means of an epistemology of the vernacular, thus it discusses the tension between Italian standard and dialect in Svevo’s earlier novels. The analysis then concerns "La Coscienza", where the protagonist’s autobiographical account springs from a seminal Ur-memory: the clandestine smoking of an Austrian brand of cigarettes that displayed the Habsburg coat of arms. Finally the author proposes a closer reading of the confessions presented as a diary. This last study might reveal a set of rhetorical strategies that aim at undermining the very cultural politics of Italian nationalists to which Zeno allegedly subscribes.
Chuck Palahniuk’s "Fight club" (1996) is a novel about security and vulnerability both on the personal and the political sphere, where the boundary between the two is considered to be very thin, and the vulnerability is seen as a consequence of a world-spread crisis of responsibility.
In the essay, the author considers "Fight Club"’s construction of a fictional world grounded on a generalised sense of shared vulnerability, and explores how this sense results in a problematic re-appropriation of violence and the creation of a liminal community that challenges the mainstream globalised American community from the inside. The analysis then moves on to explore the ‘sociology of knowledge’ behind the construction of "Fight Club"’s oppositional community, reflected in the novel’s narrative strategies and structure, and speculates on degrees of responsibility corresponding to various levels of embeddedness and awareness on the part of the members of the group.
By constructing fight club as a liminal community, the novel offers a possibility to break the cycle of appropriation, turning a scenario of vulnerability into a reflection on the political constituencies that endorse protection for certain subjects and exclude others from it.
Elizabethan readers read poems both with their eyes and with their ears, and this is the reason behind the fortune of shaped poems and emblems at the time.
Shakespeare was interested in the competition between verbal and visual modalities, rather than in their collaboration. The images used in the Sonnets are illuminating only if the possibility to ‘imagine them’ is perceived. It is from this capacity to imagine and the capacity of poetry to picture the mind, that Shakespeare’s Sonnets re-elaborate the attempt of the hypostasis between word and image.
The Sonnets (especially the first ones) abound of conventional images, which are almost emblems.
The essay discusses in particular the images of the rose and that of the monument, both featured in the Sonnets. In the compositions, the text becomes a real image. In this progression, the reader can follow the passages from the illustrated poem, to the poem added to the image (emblem), to the poem on the image and finally to the poem as image; to the text as symbol of the written, verbal, and aural invention of the Poet.