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A Multitude of Women

A Multitude of Women: The Challenges of the Contemporary Italian Novel

Stefania Lucamante
  • Book Info
    A Multitude of Women
    Book Description:

    Lucamante looks at the ways in which both Italian literary tradition and external influences have assisted Italian women writers in rethinking the theoretical and aesthetic ties between author, text, and readership in the construction of the novel.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8866-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. Introduction: What Women Writers Do with the Knowability of the World
    (pp. 3-27)

    AMultitude of Womenlooks at how Italian women writers have distinctively produced texts in which both Italian literary tradition and external agents of influence have assisted them in the process of rethinking the theoretical and aesthetic ties between the author, the text, and its readership in the construction of a novel. A new epistemology of the novel is the result. The scope of this book is to set forth the valuable contribution of Italian women writers to the contemporary novel and to illustrate the relevance of their female precursors’ novelistic examples. Also, this study demonstrates the relevance of feminist...

  6. chapter 1 ‘Writing Is Always Playing with the Mother’s Body’: Mothers’ Rewrites
    (pp. 28-108)

    Women writers’ presence in the development of the Italian novel justifies the argument in the present chapter that these women reread, and find inspiration in, not only the texts of their male predecessors but also those by some of the most fundamental female authors. This chapter expands some of the theoretical tenets treated in the Introduction. At its core lies the analysis of the relationship between one particular literary mother, Elsa Morante, and her literary daugthers, namely, Mariateresa Di Lascia, Simona Vinci, and Elena Ferrante. My close readings illustrate how the novels of these contemporary artists¹ and their respective relationships...

  7. chapter 2 Of Fathers and Daughters, or the Italian Family Interrupted
    (pp. 109-180)

    The realist novel often avoids the elevated subject matter of tragedy in favour of the quotidian; the average, the commonplace, the middle classes and their daily struggles with the mean verities of everyday existence – these are the typical subject matters of realism. Until the advent of the Italiangialloof recent years, no melodrama, international conspiracies, aristocratic high life, and bizarre eccentrics made up the fabric of Italian novels. The Italian realist novel has often dealt with the fictionalization and narrativization of family by means of the banal verities accompanying conjugal love – or lack thereof. Often we read a realistic...

  8. chapter 3 Italian Sexual Patho-Politics Revisited
    (pp. 181-233)

    This chapter ofA Multitude of Womenaddresses the literary representation of sexual politics in the past decade. In fact, the theoretical engagement of Italian feminist philosophers and thinkers with the issue of gender as a social and political construct in the debate on the sex/gender issue of the 1990s went hand in hand with a profound transformation in women’s novelistic narratives. Almost at the same pace as, but disconnected from, theoretical groups such as Diotima, several Italian women writers have investigated in their fiction what Rosi Braidotti calls ‘the specific ways of knowing of the human flesh’ in a...

  9. Conclusions
    (pp. 234-242)

    Drawing a map of female novelistic expression over the past decade was arduous from the outset, and I realized the further dangers that could derive from confining women novelists to their ‘territory.’ The overall scope of this book is a demonstration of women’s writing, which, while early on committed to mainly male canonical models, has slowly slid towards what, at this point in literary history, one might comfortably define as other women writers’ canonical texts. In fact, the thematics and the articulation of contemporary novels can no longer justify or find sufficient a palimpsest that is exclusively male. The uncontested...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 243-296)
  11. Works Cited
    (pp. 297-314)
  12. Index
    (pp. 315-324)