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Title: A different mimesis : the fantastic in Italy from the Scapigliati to the postmodern
Author: Reza, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 0911
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigates the literary fantastic in Italy from the late nineteenth century to the second half of the twentieth century. The purpose is to analyse the way in which the fantastic functions in a story—its ʻmechanicsʼ—and to see how the fantastic evolved structurally over the first century of its existence in Italy. This investigation is carried out by the development of a new theoretical methodology together with the close reading of a selection of texts from four key Italian authors of fantastic literature. The thesis is divided into six chapters. The first chapter is a historical overview of the emergence of the fantastic in Italy in the late nineteenth century up to the second half of the twentieth century; it examines the obstacles the fantastic has faced and some of the thematic and structural characteristics of texts which emerge. The second chapter is a literature review of the theoretical models used to analyse and understand the fantastic, followed by an outline of a new model, entitled Different Mimetics, which looks at the internal logic of the fantastic. In the following four chapters Different Mimetics is applied to the study of a selection of fantastic texts by four authors. Chapter three focuses on Ugo Tarchetti, and shows that his stories are defined by coexistence and coincidence in both historical and thematic terms. Chapter four demonstrates how Giovanni Papini reverses the mechanics one might expect, and how his stories are structured as internal narratives. Chapter five looks at how Dino Buzzatiʼs stories are characterised by instability and stretched narrative paradigms; and finally, chapter six looks at how Italo Calvinoʼs narratives focus on world creation and paradox and how they question the stability of narrative paradigms.
Supervisor: Bonsaver, Guido Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Italian ; Italian,Romanian,Rhaeto-Romanic literature ; fantastic literature ; fantasy literature ; literary theory ; literary history ; Italy ; nineteenth century ; twentieth century ; Ugo Tarchetti ; Giovanni Papini ; Dino Buzzati ; Italo Calvino