Digression: A Narrative Strategy in the Italian Novel
'Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine; - they are the life, the soul of reading'. So declared Laurence Sterne in his Tristram Shandy, the greatest of all monuments to digression. The modern Italian novel was not slow to pick up on Sterne's lesson. This book examines the workings of digression in the novels of five major Italian authors - Manzoni, Dossi, Pirandello, Gadda, and Calvino - from the birth of the modern novel in the early 19th century to the era of postmodernist experimentation. Digression is shown to play a role in defining not only the poetics of the five authors, but also their underlying world-views, their cognitive and philosophical dispositions. The book explores the tensions digression engenders in narrative texts, by creating extra time within narration, disrupting the readers' expectations, and generating an act of reflection upon the narrative process itself. What emerges is a sense of the vitality and flexibility of the device of digression in the Italian tradition, both within the canonical novel and the anti-novel, as well as an illuminating and original web of relations between the five authors under analysis.
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Alberto Pisani Alessandro Manzoni analysis antinovel Benedetti Carlo Dossi Carlo Emilio Gadda cento centomila Chapter characters critical described digres disorder Don Rodrigo emphasise episode essay example fatto Fermo e Lucia fiction genre giallo Gianfranco Contini Giovanni Macchia gression groviglio guazzabuglio humour il disordine interpolated interruption Italian Italo Calvino L'umorismo Laurence Sterne letteratura lettore lettura libro linear linguistic literary literature Luigi Pirandello Manzoni Meditazione mente metaphor Milan mirror Mondadori mondo Moscarda multiplicity narrator narrazione nessuno e centomila Note azzurre novel ogni Palomar parody parole passage Pasticciaccio philosophical plot and digressions poetic promessi sposi propria protagonist Qfwfq Racconto italiano Raimondi reader reading reality reflection Renzo romanzesco romanzo Roscioni Scapigliatura self-reflexive sempre senso Signor sion SPSV Sterne's Sternean story strategy of digression structure style technique tempo tension tion tradition Tristram Shandy tutta tutte tutto vero Vita di Alberto writing