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Satura: varietà per verità in Dante e Gadda = Satura: Truth through Variety in Dante and Gadda

Vandi, Serena (2018) Satura: varietà per verità in Dante e Gadda = Satura: Truth through Variety in Dante and Gadda. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis is a comparative study of the works of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) and Carlo Emilio Gadda (1893-1973), and more specifically, of Dante’s Commedia and Gadda’s main literary corpus. It aims to demonstrate that we can identify in both authors’ works a similar correlation between ‘variety’ (linguistical, rhetorical, stylistic, and of content) and the need to reveal the deepest truth of reality. To identify this correlation, the thesis makes use of the category of ‘satura’: by using the original name of ‘satire’, I aim to extend beyond that genre two of its key aspects, variety of form and content and a mission to unveil the truth, to identify them and their connection as fundamental structures in the works of Dante and Gadda. The main methodology of this research will be a rhetorical-stylistic analysis of Dante’s and Gadda’s texts, paying particular attention to their metaliterary meanings, alongside the observation of the authors’ reflections on poetics. Some specific intertextual references are used to reinforce the main comparative approach, which aims to go beyond issues of literary influence. By identifying what ‘satura’ means for Dante and Gadda, this comparison aims, on the other hand, to help us to understand Dante through Gadda, and Gadda through Dante. After the introduction, which focuses on the purposes, theoretical framework and methodology of this study, the first section defines the theoretical correlation ‘truth through variety’ in Dante and Gadda, which appears to lie at the base of their works, tying together ethics, metaphysics, gnoseology and poetics. In the second section I move on to a comparative analysis of three rhetorical-stylistic strategies in Dante and Gadda: enumeration, simile and compound neologism; these techniques have in common the function of relating a variety of elements. The third and final section observes the ways in which that ‘relating’ process gets close to the aim of revealing the truth; I analyse some rhetorical ‘extremes’ of satura, in relation to the issue of the ineffability of the truth, the dialectic between the form of satura which implies ‘fullness’ and the contrasting form based on textual ‘emptiness’, and finally the textual borders of satura (openings and endings), in order to consider its all-encompassing anxiety and its power to reveal the ultimate truths: God, for Dante, and grief, for Gadda. Beyond the fundamental differences which separate a medieval and a twentieth-century author, or precisely on the basis of them, the thesis offers a reflection on some general matters in literary criticism, in particular on an essential relationship in literature: that between the formal structure of the text and its ethical-gnoseological potentiality.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Dante Alighieri, Carlo Emilio Gadda, satire, Italian studies, comparative literature, medieval literature, twentieth-century literature, stylistics
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > Italian (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Serena Vandi
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2019 13:40
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2020 11:32
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22892

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