Socially Symbolic Acts: The Historicizing Fictions of Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, and Antonio Tabucchi

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Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2006 - Foreign Language Study - 312 pages
This book discusses issues of broad cultural consequence by examining the work of three of Italy's most prominent living novelists--Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, and Antonio Tabucchi. It uses an approach that is both historicist and psychoanalytic to address topics in cultural studies and Italian studies. Its critical analyses of fictions of very recent publication--such as Tabucchi's Tristano muore and Eco's La misteriosa flamma della Regina Loana--fill important gaps in the critical bibliography. Close readings relate texts to their historical and cultural contexts, critiquing their ideology while preserving their utopian moments. The chapters on Eco deal with the manner in which his "poetics of the Model Reader" informs his novels. The "interlude," dedicated to the work of Vincenzo Consolo, analyzes the Sicilian writer's poetics, the linguistic experimentation that distinguishes his fictions, his use of ekphrasis--paying special attention to Retablo, a novel that deals with, among other topics, painters and paintings--ending with a discussion of Oratorio, which was written for the theater. The section on Tabucchi considers first his poetics, then his development as a writer consequent to ekphrastic and theatrical investigation and experimentation then engages Si sta facendo sempre piu tardi and Tristano muore.

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Umberto Eco
Il nome della rosa
Inaction and Reaction in Il Pendolo di Foucault
Lisola del giorno prima
Interlude Vincenzo Consolos Poetics of Memory
Antonio Tabucchi
The Self as Other in Tabucchis Ekphrastic and Theatrical Writings
Fragments of the Discourses of Lovers and of Other Strangers
Whos Zoomin Who in Tristano muore
Epilogue Somethings Burning A Mysterious Flame

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Page 27 - The manifold processes of introjection seem to be ossified in almost mechanical reactions. The result is, not adjustment but mimesis: an immediate identification of the individual with his society and, through it, with the society as a whole. This immediate, automatic identification (which may have been characteristic of primitive forms of association) reappears in high industrial civilization; its new "immediacy," however, is the product of a sophisticated, scientific management and organization.

About the author (2006)

Francese is Associate Professor in the Department of Romance and Classical Languages at Michigan State University.

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