Università degli Studi di Milano, 2012-03-02

The novels of Antonio Fogazzaro (Vicenza, 1842-1911) occupy a considerable place in the Italian literature of the end of the nineteenth century: at his time, Fogazzaro achieved a great success because he depicted the troubled relationship between a passionate love and an ideal faith in God. Nonetheless this bond, that has effectively enchanted the bourgeois reader, has been often judged harshly by critics, particularly in the twentieth century. Therefore, my dissertation aims to offer a new critical approach to this author and his literary works: through a historical, stylistic and narratological method, I try to enlighten the way his ‘rhetoric of fiction’ operates, and in which manner this author has been able to portray a charming but unquiet life-style. Thus, the first part of this work is committed to recompose Fogazzaro’s worldview, by the analysis of his activity as lecturer and essayist, especially in the last decade of the nineteenth century, when he treated aesthetic and literary issues, philosophical and religious problems, and even scientific theories, like that of darwinian Evolution. The second part investigates, with a comparative point of view, how Fogazzaro manages his plots with a recursive series of ‘topoi’ that can be divided into four broad categories. The ‘sentimental’ one describes the inner life of the main characters fighting between sensuality and Christian morality, while ‘pathos’ is mostly used to call forth mighty emotions in the reader in order to gain his approval to ethic statements of the narrator. Also the melodramatic genre is engaged in the construction of his novels, to the extent that it sets out many crucial narrative passages. Finally, Fogazzaro often uses ironic or comical techniques to qualify his secondary characters or his sub-plots. In the third and last part of the study, I examine from a diachronic perspective the evolutions of his poetic, from the major successes till the final crisis. In the first part of his career, from “Malombra” (1881) and “Daniele Cortis” (1885) to “Il mistero del poeta” (1888), Fogazzaro elaborates his considerable romantic and decadent inheritance developping two specular themes: the spiritualization of earthly love and the sentimental nature of his religious faith. In 1895, the novel “Piccolo mondo antico” - undoubtedly his masterpiece - redefines in a original way many features of this narrative model, describing the struggle for independence during italian Risorgimento in a small lombard valley, named Valsolda. The last three works - “Piccolo mondo moderno” (1900), “Il Santo” (1905) and “Leila” (1910) - are more influenced by the attempt to deal with the subject of the religious reform, that in those years was suggested to him by the modernist movement. But this effort was narratively ineffective; moreover, the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated both “Il Santo” and “Leila”. In the end - without wanting to rehabilitate Fogazzaro's novels nor to condemn them to oblivion once again - the main purpose of this dissertation is to suggest a more proper and thorough placement of his narrative literature in his historical, cultural and literary era.

diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
tutor: B. Falcetto ; coordinatore: F. Spera
Settore L-FIL-LET/11 - - Letteratura Italiana Contemporanea

Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: Italiano. | Paese: | BID: TD16000750