Università degli Studi di Milano, 2016-07-07

ABSTRACT This thesis examines the relationship between adolescent female characters, as represented in the work of three different authors from Norwegian Literature (Henrik Ibsen, Cora Sandel and Tarjei Vesaas), and the particular descriptions of the places inhabited or lands travelled by those characters. From the latter part of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, childhood and the transition to adulthood have fascinated intellectuals, artists and people of science alike in terms of the wider perspectives offered relating to the process of formation of human identity. None more so than, adolescence – the transitional period between the reality of childhood and that of adulthood. It is a metamorphic, ever-changing period which cannot easily be defined nor labelled; it is characterised by a tumultuous display of contrasting tensions which reflect a vacillating and fermenting identity equilibrium. In short, it is a time of crisis that mirrors the radical revolution within the inner structure of the individual. It causes a heightened creative potential, precisely at a moment when new balances are being forged and refined. In this thesis it is argued that even in texts written by various authors from different periods, it is possible to discover a common tendency to portray “the places of adolescence” with a similar array of symbols and motives. The landscape hosting the adolescent characters tends to display attributes which correspond to those of the characters themselves. Such places could be called isomorphic, using a notion derived from the field of Anthropological Studies. Ambiguity, paradox and a subversive drift are typical of those spaces. They are unstructured, unstable and ephemeral places that perpetually reformulate their own meaning and identity. Within them, everything is possible – every road can be discovered and taken which can lead towards the very edges of imagination. Those places embody realms of pure possibility, intimately connected to the structure of crisis which is characteristic of the adolescence years. Referring to the works of the psychoanalysts Erikson, Winnicott and Kristeva, an open and metamorphic structure has been postulated – a structure of crisis – for all the literary places where the adolescent subject is free to develop and grow in a creative way. Following Roland Barthes’ theory about the Neutral as that which “outplays the paradigm”, the convention adopted is that such places are considered neutral - ambiguous and rebellious, something that cannot be reduced to a fixed definition. Using a category firstly introduced by Erikson regarding identity structures, other places – which at first can bear some resemblances with those of crisis – are considered rigid and close. In them no real movement is possible and all roads reveal themselves as dead ends. Analysing Vildanden (1884, The Wild Duck) by Henrik Ibsen, Elvegaten (1924, The Street On the River) and Barnet som elsket veier (1947, The Child Who Loved the Streets) by Cora Sandel and eventually Is-slottet (1963, The Ice Castle) by Tarjei Vesaas, examples of both types of landscapes are revealed, ones of creativity and growth and others of stasis and death. Referring to Ibsen’s Vildanden, the analysis will focus on the hidden loft where the wild duck is kept in captivity. Although being a real space, the loft is never completely visible to the audience, a detail which triggers the spectator’s and the reader’s imagination. It is a place where fantasy can thrive and where new stories are free to take shape. The creative characteristics within the loft draw an association of imagery with water which holds ambiguous meanings. This place gradually reveals itself as being intimately bound to the young main character’s tragic destiny. In Sandel’s Elvegaten and Barnet som elsket veier isolated streets and country roads are seen to embody freedom and creativity. They contrast sharply with the busy streets of the bourgeois town, where the individual feels hemmed by social conventions and forced into a pattern which is imposed from the outside. No real inner maturation is possible there. In Tarjei Vesaas’ Is-slottet two areas are particularly meaningful for the analysis in question : The ice-castle, where one of the two main characters – Unn – gets lost and dies, and the streets which accompany the other character – Siss – first into a state of confusion and isolation and then back to life. Having tailored relevant methodologies and an original theoretical framework to investigate the nature of similar literary landscapes, future extension using such convention could be applied to analyse works which describe other literary spaces that reflect different crisis points during human development.

diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
In relazione con info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/hdl/2434/399859
tutor: A. Meregalli ; coordinatore: G. Garzone
Settore L-LIN/15 - - Lingue e Letterature Nordiche
Settore M-PSI/04 - - Psicologia dello Sviluppo e Psicologia dell'Educazione

Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: Italiano. | Paese: | BID: TD17002519