La Trasgressione nella Letteratura Femminile Contemporanea Italiana

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La Trasgressione nella Letteratura Femminile Contemporanea Italiana

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Title: La Trasgressione nella Letteratura Femminile Contemporanea Italiana
Author: Brighenti, Sonia
Citation: Brighenti, Sonia. 2012. La Trasgressione nella Letteratura Femminile Contemporanea Italiana. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: In the last twenty years, Italian female literature has been characterized by a tendency to resort to a transgressive code for creating its fictional discourse. The transgression consists of desecrating those themes that Italians intimately continue to honor as taboo: menstruation, female ugliness, eating disorders problems, the refusal of maternity–or better its degradation to a mere biological fact–and homosexuality. Those issues go beyond what Italians recognize as normal and reassuring. Transgressing them is as a powerful and creative act able to awaken women, and promote their emancipation. These authoresses’ goal is to create a new dynasty of women different from their mothers–examples of women considered models of obedience and submission to the rules of patriarchy. Their aim is to have women conquer the right to talk about topics that have always been invisible and unspeakable. The meaning of transgression, taboos and the “the uncanny” is outlined upfront. The most representative transgressive authoresses in the Italian literary scene are analyzed: Elena Ferrante (L’amore molesto and I giorni dell’abbandono), Mariapia Veladiano (La vita accanto), Alessandra Amitrano (Broken Barbie), Valeria Parrella (Lo spazio bianco) and Elena Stancanelli (Benzina). Each chapter focuses on an author and her work. Historical, cultural, and social background of taboo is offered. An analysis of the text is provided to explain the violation of the taboo, while offering an interpretation of the transgression. The conclusion alludes to the way in which Italian literary criticism still struggles not to condemn works that are inconsistent with what it is determined to be the norm.
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