• The Double in Late Nineteenth-Century Italian Literature: Readings in Fogazzaro and His Contemporaries (confirmed version)

    Samuel T Fleck (see profile)
    Italian literature, Literature, Nineteenth century, Psychoanalysis and literature
    Item Type:
    Columbia University
    Fogazzaro, Tarchetti, Double, mourning, De Marchi, 19th-century literature, Psychoanalytic criticism
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    This dissertation is organized around main axes: the literary and critical concept of the Double and the analysis of Antonio Fogazzaro’s 1881 novel, Malombra, in which the Double plays a complex thematic role. In the first chapter, I address the concept of the Double as a critical category, assessing its meaning across three different levels of reality: in terms of the cultural specificity of the representation (the nineteenth century and Romantic literature), in terms of the theoretical approach (whether it is construed as a transcendental figure, as in Freudian theory, or a transgressive figure, as in Jungian theory, etc.) and in terms of its placement relative to the other themes in the text. In the second chapter, I take up the analysis of three Italian texts from the second half of the nineteenth century which privilege the theme of the Double and invest it with idiosyncratic meaning: Uno spirito in un lampone by Iginio Ugo Tarchetti (1867), Due anime in un corpo by Emilio de Marchi (1877) and Le storie del castello di Trezza by Giovanni Verga (1875). My reading of these texts draws on diverse psychoanalytic perspectives, namely those of Jung, Lacan and Abraham and Torok. In the third chapter, I carry out an extensive analysis of Fogazzaro’s Malombra. The first part of the analysis, which focuses on the novel’s two primary characters, Marina and Silla, shows how these characters’ unconscious conflicts animate the narrative, shape its itinerary and anchor its fantasmatic universe; the second part examines the ways in which the primary aspects of the plot work in tension with, and are offset by, the novel’s two subplots; the third part looks at points of comparison between Malombra and the three texts discussed in the second chapter, both in relation to the theme of the Double and other generic discourses.
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    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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