Landscapes in Between

Landscapes in Between: Environmental Change in Modern Italian Literature and Film

MONICA SEGER
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt1287v6n
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Landscapes in Between
    Book Description:

    Landscapes in Betweenanalyses Italian authors and filmmakers who turn to interstitial landscapes as productive models for coming to terms with the modified natural environment.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-1964-7
    Subjects: History, Film Studies, Environmental Science, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Chapter One Introduction: Exploring the Interstice
    (pp. 3-23)

    In Italy, as in much of the world, the physical nature in which many find delight, sustenance, or refuge is more often than not a modified nature – land repeatedly built upon and ecosystems forever altered. Such modified nature is rarely articulated in popular literary and cinematic representations of the Italian landscape, which instead offer images of gently rolling hills with poppies and poplars swaying in the breeze and nary an industrial drainpipe in sight. Images of idyll under the Tuscan sun may have much to offer an audience in terms of beauty and pleasure. We run a great risk, however,...

  5. Chapter Two Economic Expansion, Environmental Awareness in the Early Works of Italo Calvino
    (pp. 24-49)

    In 1958, Italo Calvino writes: “An instinctive inclination has always pushed me toward the authors of yesterday and today in which the terms nature and history (one could also say society) appear together.”¹ He then lists great authors of past eras who have drawn the relationship between nature and history, or society, to the forefront of their texts. He lauds in particular Balzac, for his discovery of the natural “organic” vitality of the city. While this essay, “Natura e storia nel romanzo,” sheds light on Calvino’s tastes as a reader, it also speaks to his general attitude regarding nature and...

  6. Chapter Three Pier Paolo Pasolini: Boundaries and Mergers in (Ex)Urban Film
    (pp. 50-69)

    From his earliest poetry of the 1950s to his final films of the 1970s, Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975) investigates the physical space in which subjects negotiate social reality. So very much of his work addresses landscape, one that is often Italian and always portrayed in relation to city structure and urban development. Yet landscape, and certainly the Italianpaesaggio, might not be what first come to mind for most readers when they encounter his name. Ideology, critique, class; poetics, allegory, style; scandal, heresy, sexuality – all of these terms are likely to precede landscape. And not without reason: whether on...

  7. Chapter Four Observation and Acknowledgment in Gianni Celati’s Verso la foce
    (pp. 70-93)

    Gianni Celati (b. 1937) has created texts for public consumption since the late 1960s. Throughout this time he has worn many hats – as a writer of fiction, composer of critical essays, professor, translator, and more recently, film-maker.¹ In all of these roles, he has focused on interpretation and representation of the contemporary. He has directed a steady gaze towards the scene before him, be it the immediate plane of individual experience or that of the expansive external world, the physical vista or the social. His texts suggest that Celati himself tends not to make such distinctions. The physical and social...

  8. Chapter Five Simona Vinci: Provincial Dwellings, Natural Beings
    (pp. 94-121)

    Simona Vinci’s work is firmly grounded in contemplation of dwelling and being, the currents of which also run steadily throughout Calvino, Pasolini, and Celati’s texts considered herein.Dwellingcan be nominal as well as verbal, describing a physical space of shelter as well as the physical and psychological act of residing in such a space, what Heidegger defines as a simultaneous state of peace and caretaking.¹ Both forms of the word are appropriate for an environmentally engaged study. Thinking in terms of dwelling(s) allows us to ask several questions: What sorts of shelters and homes do we construct and with...

  9. Chapter Six Daniele Ciprì and Franco Maresco: On Horizons and the Human
    (pp. 122-138)

    In the collaborative films of directors Daniele Ciprì and Franco Maresco, all landscapes successfully embody the interstice without relationship to what lies beyond. Questions of where city meets country and where nature might claim space once lost are not as relevant here as they are for, say, Pasolini. Ciprì and Maresco operate from a place beyond designations likepostindustrialorexurban.The directors present a world in which active industry and a thriving urban culture are so distant as to have vanished from collective memory, and any lingering debate between primary versus second nature is irrelevant, because the latter is...

  10. Afterword
    (pp. 139-140)

    It is a rather somber choice to end this work with the films of Ciprì and Maresco, for the picture they paint is a gloomy one: human culture doomed due to having overlooked the nature in its midst. It is no wonder that the termsapocalypseandpost-apocalyptichave often been applied to the realms ofLo zio di Brooklyn, Totò che visse due volte,andA memoria, discussed in chapter 6.Apocalypseis, after all, commonly interpreted to mean the end of the world. And yet the term possesses another meaning as well: “revelation” or “disclosure,” often of something...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 141-172)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 173-188)
  13. Index
    (pp. 189-196)