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Title: Rome 1945-1975 : an archaeology of modernity
Author: Trentin, Filippo
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis investigates Rome as a site of modernity and an incubator of aesthetic modernism. More specifically, it analyses Rome’s visual and discursive imagery during the three decades that stretch from the end of the Second World War to the 1970s. It does so through a comparative analysis of literary, cinematic and critical texts. These include novels such as Levi’s L’orologio (1950) and Pasolini’s Petrolio (1992); films such as Rossellini’s Roma, città aperta (1945) and Fellini’s La dolce vita (1959); critical texts stemming from Roman intellectual circles in journals such as Rinascita, La strada, Presente, and Nuovi argomenti; and historical analyses of Rome’s urban development such as those of Benevolo, Insolera, Cederna, and Vidotto. The aim of this study is twofold. On the one hand it challenges traditional readings of Rome as an anti-modern or pre-modern urban entity (i.e. the myth of the ‘Eternal City’), which was generated during the Grand Tour and has continued to inform academic scholarship on Rome. On the other, it shows that Rome lies at the centre of extremely significant constellations of modern images and discourses which can be compared to most studied examples of urban modernity such as Paris, London, Berlin or New York. From a methodological perspective, this thesis delves into Foucault’s notion of ‘Archaeology’. Instead of analysing texts in a strictly philological way, attempting to detect their affiliation or their belonging to specific traditions, this thesis investigates its sources as symptoms of history’s movements. Instead of framing Rome through traditional categories such as ‘Eternal City’ or ‘Modern Hell’, this archaeological analysis suggests the coexistence of three discursive formations of Rome’s modern image, which are based on the concepts of fleetingness, dilation and entropy. These three terms inform the three sections of the thesis. Furthermore, it argues that Rome represents a case of ‘anachronistic’ modernity that might allows us to depart from canonical interpretations of Italian modernity as ‘backward’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick ; Arts & Humanities Research Council (Great Britain)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures