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Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguria

Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguria

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 280
  • Book Info
    Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguria
    Book Description:

    Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguriaoffers a fresh approach to these writers' groundbreaking literary achievements and profound interest in poetic expression as cathartic self-liberation.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9582-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. [Illustrations]
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. Preface: Ligurian Geopoetics
    (pp. 3-20)
  7. I ’Twixt Halcyon and Marathon:: Azure Spell and Difficult Beauty

    • Riviera Existence
      (pp. 23-35)

      Liguria’s lure may well be legendary. More than one poet dived into its sea – Byron swam, Shelley drowned. Not unlike the legends surrounding these poets, albeit hardly as short as their lives, Liguria’s is a fairly recent lure, in that its legend’s most remote protagonists are, indeed, middle-aged English Romantics sojourning in and around La Spezia in the early nineteenth century, just prior to their premature deaths. About one hundred years after their departures from this shoreline, in 1919, Italian playwright Sem Benelli baptized the Golfo della Spezia theGolfo dei Poeti– the same year that the Futurists...

    • On the Ligurian Edge
      (pp. 36-80)

      According to Dante in ante-Purgatory, “tra Lerice e Turbìa la più diserta, / la più rotta ruina è una scala, / verso di quella, agevole e aperta” (the loneliest, most jagged promontory that lies between Turbìa and Lerici, compared with it [the purgatorial slope], provides stairs wide and easy). This triplet mounts a potent comparison between the purgatorial geography and that of Liguria, ranging from Turbìa (the French La Turbie) in the west, to Lerice (the Italian Lerici) in the east. Dante’s lines about Liguria’s “loneliest, most jagged promontory” are framed by a few comments on Plato and Aristotle at...

    • Luring Onomastics
      (pp. 81-102)

      Liguria provides one possible access to Predrag Matvejević’s dream of a Mediterranean poetics in which its place as precise cultural geography matters as much as a writer’s poetic affinities with it. In other words, Liguria presents itself as a borderland that invites a redefinition of time-honoured Mediterranean imageries into something denser and harder, drier and steeper than Goethe or the Manns would have dreamt of – the Goethe, that is, who with his “Lied der Mignon” (1782–3) as something like a primeval text of yearning and a textual referent for an elsewhere established the German literary desire for Mediterranean...

  8. II Nietzsche, Freud, Benn:: A Ligurian Complex

    • Copious Dawns, High Noons, Blessed Isles: Nietzsche’s Ligurianity
      (pp. 105-127)

      Nietzsche characterized the Provencal notiongaya scienzaas an “Einheit von Sänger, Ritter und Freigeist” (unity of singer, knight, and free spirit), claiming that “das Klima deslittoral provençal(climate of the Provençal coast) was the creative condition for him to complete hisZarathustra: “ich hätte den Schlußreim zu meinemZarathustranur an dieser Küste dichten können, in der Heimat dergaya scienza” (I could only have found the final rhyme for myZarathustraon this very coast, the homeland of the gaya scienza) – a rhyme of great noon and morning sun.²

      Nietzsche’s belief in art as the only...

    • Guilt Trips on Royal Roads: Freud’s Ligurian Affinities
      (pp. 128-162)

      “C’était septembre, et c’était la Provence”; thus opens Alphonse Daudet’s account of Tartarin’s last adventures, entitledPort-Tarascon.27Well, it was September and it was Liguria when Sigmund Freud embarked on a one-night furtive whistle-stop at the Grand Hôtel Savoia in Rapallo, accompanied by his sister-in-law, Minna Bernays, with whom he enjoyed a brief but intense “moment” at the Châlet Nina, the portion of Rapallo’s lido that belonged to the Savoia at the time. Nietzsche could not have lodged at the Savoia – for one thing, it only opened in 1899; but more importantly, he was never in a position to...

    • Blind Spots, Alibis, Sceneries: Benn’s Ligurian Complexes
      (pp. 163-192)

      “Da geschah ihm die Olive” (then the olive befell him) and “der Troubadour kehrt zurück” (the troubadour returns), wrote Gottfried Benn in 1916 and 1943, respectively. These deceptively simple sentences contain his Ligurian poetics in a nutshell, presenting in condensed fashion what Benn repeatedly calls “Ligurian complex” (first in 1919), and represent his most serious challenge as an imaginative geopoetic writer whose travels, and ideas about travelling, are by no means as straightforward as those of Dante and Goethe, or Nietzsche and Freud. When Goethe writes of the Italian citrus, he (or Mignon, his protagonist or persona) clearly longs for...

  9. Postface: Liguria Rediviva
    (pp. 193-204)

    Emphasizing the need for a precise territory in order to break the spell of the traditional canonization of Italy’s alleged magic, this book’s comparative gesture consists in spelling out Liguria’s geopoetic dimensions.The Azure Spell of Liguriatraces a (post)-Nietzschean return to this site and focuses its inquiry on the expressiveness of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), Sigmund Freud (1856–1934), and Gottfried Benn (1886–1956), as well as on the crucial role that Liguria (broadly defined and including Provence) as a geographically and poetically saturated territory has played as an intersection (via Nietzsche) for these three writers. The Alps and...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 205-228)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 229-250)
  12. Index
    (pp. 251-264)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 265-265)