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Title: 'Geografie e topografie': Landscapes of Desire in the Poetry of Vittorio Sereni
Author: Southerden, Francesca Emily
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is a monograph on the poetry of Vittorio Sereni [1913-83] which treats all four of his principal collections: Frontiera [1941], Diano d'Algena [1947], Gli st11lmenti umani [1965] and Stella vanabi/e [1981]. It focuses on his redefinition of the lyric'!' and his establishment of new and highly original modes for its construction in poetic space. The later poetry (post-1960) is presented as the place in which this revision of the poetic subject comes to the fore, and I demonstrate how Sereni's textual landscape is co-ordinated in such a way as to communicate the extraneous qualities of a subject exiled to a space outside of the securer domain oflyric verse. Importandy, Sereni's subject is exiled linguistically as much as physically, and I advocate an interdisciplinary approach to interpreting his poetry which bridges psychoanalysis and linguistics. My study is set apart from existing scholarship in making the text the focus of analysis, which permits a greater degree of insight into the specifically poetic characteristics of Sereni's crisis of identity and its expression in language. Two main dimensions of Sereni's poetry are revisited and reassessed. The first is the role of liminality, which I present as a condition of writing and as a sign of the presence of a desiring subject whose most desired object is the complete poem or total identity which eludes him; the second is his debt to tradition and to a whole series of authors, including Dante, Petrarch, Leopardi and Montale, who mediate his contact with a textual beyond which slips further and further from view. Deixis is the syntactical matrix Sereni uses to communicate these facets of 'desire-space' and it emerges as the binding unit between one tradition and the next as well as what measures the distance between them. I argue that Sereni's unique brand of experimentalism develops from this point and that he represents a unique moment in the history of twentieth-century Italian poetry in the way in which he adapts preexisting models oflyric discourse to new modes of expression.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available