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

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Fairleigh Dickinson University 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
Vincenzo Consolos Poetics of Memory

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About the author (2006)

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

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