Università degli Studi di Milano, 2012-02-22
Neil Gaiman’s narrations are inscribed in a contemporary postmodern sensibility. As a matter of fact, his stories illustrate how parody and intertextuality influence popular genres comprehensively, and display a multiplicity of narrative perspectives within their structure, destabilizing readers’ expectations of a unifying and coherent narration, instead fragmented by heterogeneity and textual instability. In his literary production, Gaiman often discloses the process and mechanisms of storytelling, adding a metatextual consciousness to his narrations. He plays freely with the many layers of a text through the filter of his authorial voice, intertwining different literary modes, codes and registers. Besides, Gaiman shapes his stories both into a palimpsest where the Anglo-American literary tradition is continuously rewritten and into a site of struggle between the canon and the popular culture. Gaiman’s works include novels, short stories, comics, screenplays, poems, and songs. In all his works, Gaiman interweaves heterogeneity and hybridity into the fabric of his narrative production through the practice of appropriation in a constant dialogue with the past, rewritten according to a postmodern viewpoint, breaking the boundaries between genres and between elite and mass cultures. Although the label ‘postmodern’ has achieved an exaggerated range of meanings as a cultural and literal experience, it can define many of Gaiman’s aesthetic preoccupations and communicative techniques. Eventually, Gaiman is a prolific writer of such a multiplicity of narrations that I considered to make a selection of his works to circumscribe the scope of my thesis. Thus, I have decided to focus on five of his novels, that are Stardust (1999), American Gods (2001), Coraline (2002), The Graveyard Book (2008), Odd and the Frost Giants (2009), and on his most significant graphic novel, The Sandman (1989-1996). In the first chapter, I have examined a few unifying features in Gaiman’s narrations, such as the continuous dialogue with the past of the Anglo-American, and more generally, of the Western literary tradition. Gaiman problematizes this relationship through a series of intertextual practices (e.g. appropriation, parody, pastiche) informing his whole literary production, therefore becoming useful interpretative instruments for the investigation of his works. Another unifying element is the fact that Gaiman outlines fantasy as a popular genre and as a wide category, inclusive of his whole literary production. In addition to these general features, I have traced three main paths running through Gaiman’s works, by pinpointing a few recurrent themes in order to organize the heterogeneity of his narrations. The first stage (chapter 2) is connected to Gaiman’s manipulation of literary popular genres, underlining the role of fantasy contaminated by gothic or fairy tale motifs and the surfacing of uncanny or grotesque elements within his narrations. The second stage (chapter 3) is related to narrative areas, from children’s literature to mythology, that Gaiman exploits as reservoirs for further literary experiments. Finally, the third stage (chapter 3) is linked to Shakespeare, his plays, especially A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, and his life. Through the contemporary medium of the graphic novel (The Sandman, one of his most popular work), Gaiman employs Shakespeare as a character, triggering various considerations on storytelling and on the storyteller as a manipulative, and manipulated, figure..
diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/closedAccess
tutor: C. Pagetti ; co-tutor: C. Patey ; coordinatore: A. Costazza
Settore L-LIN/10 - - Letteratura Inglese

Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: Inglese. | Paese: | BID: TD16000834