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Title: Indeterminacy in the Italian novel : five case studies from Tozzi, Landolfi, Vittorini, Gadda and Ortese
Author: Rossi, Laura Lucia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 3165
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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This research analyses the manipulation of literary indeterminacy (i.e. the interpretative openness of a literary work) in the novel. It is based on reader-response theory and on the notion of literary indeterminacy as theorised by Wolfgang Iser and Roman Ingarden. Its objective is twofold. Firstly, it aims to explore how textual strategies manipulate indeterminacy, and how the latter triggers the reader’s interaction with the text. Secondly, it aims to examine how indeterminacy is handled in five Italian case-study novels, which critics have often described with terms belonging to the same semantic field as “indeterminacy” (for example: “openness” and “ambiguity”). Consequently, this research does not necessarily study how indeterminacy is increased or limited but, rather, the effects of its manipulation. The introductory chapter focuses on the notion of indeterminacy, its potentiality for textual exploration, and the research methodology. Moreover, it introduces the Italian context and the analysed corpus. Subsequently, one chapter is dedicated to each of the novels examined. Each individual analysis considers indeterminacy as operating in the text at different levels and with different strategies. In doing so, the case studies bring to light the different way in which each novel manipulates indeterminacy, as well as its links with each individual author’s poetics. In particular, we find: a textual vertigo effect in Federigo Tozzi’s Con gli occhi chiusi; an interplay with the fantastic mode in Tommaso Landolfi’s La pietra lunare; an open and dialogical structure in Elio Vittorini’s Conversazione in Sicilia; the use of accumulative devices in Carlo Emilio Gadda’s La cognizione del dolore; and an hybrid form with elements from literary nonsense in Anna Maria Ortese’s L’Iguana. In the conclusion, comparative remarks are drawn on how these novels manipulate indeterminacy to cope with the problem of realism in literature and how they elicit the reader’s intervention.
Supervisor: Santovetti, Olivia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available