Concerning negotiations for the Guelf League in Tuscany against Pisa. Formerly ASF October 29, And then there is silence, an absence, from , where BL may be in secret negotiations in Outremer, Aragon, Genova, Constantinople, apart from a brief return for the Peace of Cardinal Latino. Peace of Cardinal Latino. Letter sent from comune of Palermo to comune of Messina to urge revolt against King Charles of Anjou. Amari I Tesoro Sicilian Vespers account in four manuscripts.
Liber Fabarum , I. Arte di Calimala legal transaction. Lib Fab. Not found in conserved version, flood damage. Guido dei Cavalcanti also listed. ASF Cap Fir. League against Pisa, blockading entry of all foodstuffs into city, on order of King Charles of Anjou. ASF Cap. ASG Cod. ASF 19 January Lib. About peace between Genova and Pisa. Corso Donati also spoke. ASF 8 February Lib. ASF 10 February Lib. ASF 13 February Lib. ASF 16 March Lib. Concerning Lucca. ASF 30 March Manectus Benincasa also spoke. ASF 10 April On number of Priors.
ASF 12 April ASF 5 June Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale II. Prior from 15 August October Would have passed two months in Torre del Castagna by the Badia]. ASF 4 September Provvisioni protocolli I, cc. ASF 3 October Further to previous discussion, Ser Brunetto Latino again speaking. Provvisioni registri II, c. Preparations for war against Arezzo, resulting in 11 June Battle of Campaldino.
ASF 12 July, On funding, after the fact, of war against Arezzo. ASF 12 January II, cc. In choir of Santa Reparata concerning Arezzo. ASF 18 January II, c. War taxation for Arezzo campaign.
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ASF 6 February Concerning an appointment to office and salary. ASF 8 February Is not Cap. ASF 22 February Again on war taxation and funding. ASF 12 March Concerning war with Pisa and embassy, and needed funds. ASF 13 March More of the same. ASF 21 March Concerning disposition of Aretine territories, prisoners.
ASF 20 April ASF 1 May ASF 4 June On Lucca sending forces to aid Florence. In the Badia. ASF 4 November III, c. On Florentine embassy to Prato. ASF 29 June ASF 24 July Again, about freeing prisoners. This section of Liber Fabarum is cancelled. About electing notaries and nuncios to Priorate. ASF 27 February ASF 5 March ASF 3 April ASF 13 April About peace concord. ASF 16 April, Embassy concerning response to Charles II, Apulia. ASF 26 April, About expenses in connection with war with Pisa. ASF 17 June, In Baptistery. Against Pisa. Section cancelled. ASF 22 July, III, circa c.
Council against Pisans, Vanni Fucci Inf. Dante pretends he meets BL in Inf. The bulk of the MSS are of Li Livres dou Tresor and these are to be found as far apart as Madrid, Oxford and St Petersburg several, mainly fragments, later travel to the New World , and they can serve to demonstrate the currency of French, the lingua franca , in medieval Europe. The vernacular Italian works are limited for the most part to Italy. Indeed, Florence exhibits a paucity of Tresor manuscripts only one, Laurentian, Ashburnham , which came later to Florence, out of 88 elsewhere , but a multiplicity 55 out of of Tesoro MSS in Italian.
Dante in Inferno XV. A discussion of the illuminations of the two languages and nations result in different styles and conventions. However, it appears that BL had access to Italian scribes in Arras in northern France where the Lombard community was vigorous during this period, so that there are manuscripts in Picardan French with French illuminations but in the Bolognan libraria script of MS Bb. Many of the earliest and best Italian manuscripts of Rettorica , Ethica , Tesoretto and Tesoro are likewise in this script. The Rettorica translates Cicero, De inventione , and its medieval commentaries, while Tresor gives a more practical version, partly from Ad Herennium.
Thus BL twice wrote on the subject of rhetoric. Maggini C. The manuscripts usually include diagrams. This coulde be Ugo Spina. Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale, II. Maggini, Bolton Holloway. See De Robertis LbI , p. Paper MS, C. Maggini, De Robertis, Bolton Holloway. Rajna, Maggini, base text; Bolton Holloway, S. Miniature of Cicero, BL. Magnificent manuscript, base text for C. Commentary in smaller script than Cicero text; this hierarchy of script is copied in B5 edition.
Previously owned by Servi di Maria della Santissima Annunziata. Maggini, Bolton Holloway, S. Also Fiore di Rettorica. Firenze, Biblioteca Laurenziana, Paper MS. With Fioretto della Rettorica. Firenze, Bibl. Laurenziana, Red. With Orationi. Bound with Tesoro. Munich, Staatbibl. Leiden University, Vulc. Cited, Emil J. Rev , Bertoni BhII. Confusion exists concerning the siglum. Wiese C. Tommaso Casini had written to Wiese telling him of it. But it is not in that MS nor does Mazzatinti list it. I therefore exclude these two fugitive MSS. BL lyrics are found in Vaticano, lat.
A fragment of the Tesoretto and some fugitive BL lyrics are copied out in the C. I ordered microfilms of all these Tesoretto manuscripts, working from these as well as from the originals, but Princeton University Library retained the microfilms. In most manuscripts the text of Il tesoretto is followed by that of Il favolello , a poem on friendship, much influenced by Cicero, Ailred of Rievaulx, Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun.
In one manuscript Favolello alone is given Bb. Only one manuscript is illuminated Bb. There are 18 manuscripts which contain Il tesoretto in whole or in part, perhaps more, and the one with Il favolello only. Three Tesoretto manuscripts, interestingly, are bound with the Commedia Bb. Brunetto dedicates the Tesoretto to King Alfonso X el Sabio of Spain, to whom he had gone on embassy to seek help for Florence at the time of the Montaperti disaster. The Strozzi manuscript Bb. Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Strozziano Written on vellum in the late 13 C, according to Bandini, in the 14 C according to later editors.
The gatherings are in three quires with signatures, one of 8 plus 2, one of 8, one of 12 folios. Beginnings of sections of the poem use large alternating red and blue capitals, typical of many Tesoretto manuscripts. Each line begins with a small capital that has a yellow wash applied to it, and each line ends with a period. Illuminations occur, in delicate sanguine and grisaille and in Italian style, at the foot of many of the pages. See Campbell F.
Monti Ia. Bertelli BhIII. Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Laur. Early 14 C Florentine manuscript, similar to S, with alternating red and blue capitals and a yellow wash applied to smaller ones. Cart BhI. The quires are in 8s with 27 folios, Favolello beginning at c.
The text is in two columns. Pages have been cut from original size. The text has more errors than S, is copied from it by a different scribe. Early 14 C Florentine. This lengthy manuscript contains first an entire Commedia of leaves. Il tesoretto , written in three columns to the page, takes up folios Pozzi C. Modern binding. Marchesini BhI. Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale, Palatino Brescia, Queriniana, A. Fine 14 C Emilian manuscript of 46 leaves in Bolognan libraria.
Its words are carefully spaced and capitals given to proper nouns, which is not the usual practice with Florentine Tesoretto manuscripts. It lacks Il favolello. See Picci BhI. Dated by Wiese C. This manuscript was owned by the Bishop of Acerno and was used by Ubaldini C. Is it the MS Rezzi C. In three columns, incomplete. See Bd, Be. Evidence of prison copying and Averroist material. See Petrucci, Catalogo BhI. It has 39 leaves. Corrections have been made to the text from Strozziano manuscript, probably by Ubaldini in readiness for his edition C.
Very similar to Riccardiano siglum R; Bb. These manuscripts are both written in a crude cursive Gothic upon parchment that exhibits a similar disparity between their hair and flesh sides. Like C1 in being an omnium gatherum. Il pataffio C. Wiese BhI. It is a fragment in Bolognan libraria from a good early MS. Irene Maffia Scariati finds it corresponds to Strozziano , fols 2vv, lines Paper, 15 C MS.
P is descended from M. The manuscript also contains part of the Epistolarium and astronomical material and is a Florentine common-place book. Il tesoretto fragment is at cc. Prose Troy tale follows. Five-pointed stars on fly leaves. See Bertoni BhI. Venezia, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Zanetti 49 Beautiful Humanist script, frontispiece illuminated with gold borders, decoration. Attests to 16 C popularity of the poem.
MS also contains Petrarchan material. Firenze, Biblioteca Riccardiana, Riccardiano Contains Il tesoretto and the poem once thought to be by BL, Il mare amoroso, as well as a sonnet. While Contini C. Teresa De Robertis identified script as 13 C. Its text speaks of the writing of the French Li Livres dou Tresor in the past; the others speak of that task in the future tense.
It is not. On Mare amoroso , see N. Base text for Wiese C. Cornell University 4. Il tesoretto. Written in Florence, early 15 C. De Ricci, Supplement , p. Plut Contains only Il favolello which begins at c. Colophon dates MS Pozzi B. Laurentian binding. Red and black rubrication. Wisdom book. The dedications became increasingly sarcastic when it became clear that Charles had no intention of following these teachings. Fauriel E. Carmody, published C. Edith Brayer BhII. To their description should be added the observations by art historians M. See Alison M. Stones DVD.
His siglum E, Paris B. Thus Carmody listed one MS twice. His R6, Vatican lat. It is extremely fragmentary and of no validity. D4 Bc. His T4 had likewise been destroyed in a fire in Torino, in His Z4 Bc. Carmody placed S2 Bc. Oen instead of St.
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Chabaille was more exact. The stemma Carmody C. See Chabaille C. Italian, Spanish and German libraries may not have been sufficiently searched. Besides the Plimpton manuscript which Carmody thought was at Yale but which is at Columbia with a second manuscript, there was also a manuscript in the collection at Warwick Castle which was probably sold off in the Edwardian period and has vanished without a trace, unless it became the one destroyed in the fire at Dunkerque.
In addition to these, Fauriel E. Morbio E. Chabaille, p. Spurgeon Baldwin C. Bolognan libraria. Miniatures, including BL teaching. Related to Y. Chabaille C. Related to Y BbI. Segre-Amar BhII. Unknown to Chabaille, Carmody. Magnificently illuminated late manuscript, Cicero text is illuminated with scene of Parliament, c. Italian scribe. Very like fr Z2, BbI. Chabaille, Carmody, Gathercole Ib. Arras association. Interlinear corrections. Miniatures, Brunetto Latino teaching, c.
Magnificent miniatures. Best exemplar of many similar early MSS. Final leaves missing. Astronomical designs. Fols Chabaille, Carmody, Brayer, Vielliard, Beltrami. Magnificent Arras-like miniatures, c. Colophon dates Copied from B3. Grotesques mocking letter to Charles of Anjou, opening illumination, p.
Unknown to Carmody. See Capasso BhII. I gave this, , the sigla, IA. London, British Library, Additional End 13 C. Exemplar for OE. See Chabaille, p. Miniature of Phyllis astride Aristotle. Carmody, Brayer, Vielliard, Bolton Holloway.. Carmody, Brayer, Vielliard, Bolton Holloway. Charles Samaran et Robert Marichal, Paris, , p. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Douce Lucy Sandler dates Mappamundi in Arabic position, astronomical figures. Italian School , Oxford , p. Chabaille, Carmody. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmolean Mid 14 C. Lucy Sandler notes is not a copy of D2, as it is made for a member of the Norfolk Gurney Gourney, Gournay family, since there is an angel with their coat of arms on the first page.
Is like Ellesmere Chaucer. Could it have been the now-lost Warwick Castle MS? Then destroyed by fire, Napoli, Biblioteca Nazionale I. Fine early, 1st redaction, manuscript. Was unknown to Chabaille, Carmody. Listed, Brayer, Vielliard, Bolton Holloway. Etude des manuscrits latins et en langue vernaculaire. Written by Michel, North French Arras? Illuminations, cc. Berne, Burgerbibliothek Erhard Lomatzsh. Minckwitz BhII. Bolton Holloway. Unknown to Carmody, Brayer, Vielliard.
Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum Selection of text. Notarial, chancery script. Roux Ib. Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbiblothek Delightful miniatures. Beilage II. St Petersburg, National Library. Numerous miniatures. Like Q2, K. She is beautiful and she's laughing" ; Cf. Rime 3: Parte Prima, Sonnets 1 and 2. Tasso, by defining his poetic inspiration as an effect of his beloved's voice, significantly revises the traditional love lyric which had found its pretext in the visual, in the inaugural gaze exchanged between lovers.
In this way, it becomes other than Petrarchan even if homage is still paid to his literary father. In Tasso's lyric, thus, the focus of sensuality has been shifted from the addresses of his love poems, Peperara and Bcndidio, and onto the words themselves. The inseminating power of words replaces that of the gaze as Tasso privileges and eroticizes the Logos. As Norman O. Brown notes, speech was "resexualized" 26 Juliana Schiesari as a means of "overcoming the consequences of the fall.
The tongue was the first unruly member. Displacement is first from above downwards; the penis is a symbolic tongue, and disturbances of ejaculation a kind of genital stuttering" Allen Mandelbaum. Bai, Micke, ed. Special Issue of Poetics Basile, Bruno. Boccaccio, Giovanni. Vita di Dante e difesa della poesia. Carlo Muscetta. Roma: Ateneo, Brown, Norman O. Love's Body. New York: Vintage Books, Buonarroti, Michelangelo. Ferroni, ed. Poesia Italiana del Cinquecento. Milano: Garzanti, Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen. Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivron.
Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, Alice Doesn't: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana U P, Felman, Shoshana, ed. Literature and Psychoanalysis. The Question of Reading: Otherwise. Baltimore: John Hopkins U P, Ferguson, Margaret. Trials of Desire: Renaissance Defenses of Poetry. New Haven: Yale University Press, Ficino, Marsilio. Commentarium in Phedrum. Michael J. Freud, Sigmund. London: Hogarth, Gallop, Jane. Harvard University, Sept. Patricia Parker and David Quint. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U P, Getto, Giovanni.
La Malinconia di Torquato Tasso. Napoli: Liguori, Hertz, Neil. New York: Columbia U P, Apostolus N. Saturn and Melancholy. New York: Basic Books, The Trial s of Psychoanalysis. Special Issue of Critical Inquiry Migiel, Marilyn. Montaigne, Michel de. Paris: PUF, Petrarca, Francesco. Robert M. Cambridge, Mass. Petrocchi, Giorgio. Caltanissetta- Roma: Salvatore Sciascia, Solerti, Angelo. Vita di Torquato Tasso. Torino-Roma: Ermanno Loescher, Tasso and the Dawn of Psychoanalysis 27 Spackman, Barbara. Marilyn MigicI and Juliana Schicsari. Tasso, Torquato. Gerusalemme Conquistata.
Luigi Bonfigli. Bari: Laterza, iy Gerusalemme Liberata. Predi Chiapcili. Milano: Rusconi, In Prose. Ettore Mazzali. Milano and Napoli: Riccardo Ricciardi, Angelo Solerti. Bologna: Romagnoli-Dall' Acqua, Wittkowcr, Rudolf and Margot. New York: Random House, Massimo Verdicchio Svevo and the Ironie Conseienee of the Novel "si vedono meno bene le cose quando si spalancano troppo gli occhi" Beryl De Zoete's English translation of Svevo's third novel La Coscienza di Zeno as The Confessions of Zeno, is symptomatic of a major misunder- standing in what this novel is supposedly about.
Whereas the original title places the stress of "coscienza" conscience, awareness the English transla- tion privileges the confessional and diary-like form of the novel. In one sense De Zoete is correct because the two meanings can be said to converge in that Zeno's "coscienza" is confessed in the diary which is the novel. This conver- gence, however, is only apparent because the privileging of the confessional aspect of the novel not only underplays the awareness but also displaces it. De Zoete' emphasis on confession presupposes already a psychoanalytical read- ing of the novel or, simply, that the psychoanalytical is the dominant theme of the novel.
Zeno's remark, "Ricordo tutto, ma non intendo niente" "I remember everything, but I don't understand anything," , is apropos. It can easily be read as a statement that cries out for an analyst to interpret and understand. Doctor S. As every reader of the novel knows, the text often functions independently and despite Zeno Cosini 's received ideas of the world around him.
When Zeno's actions are prompted by his desire to be and do what is naturally beyond the range of his possibilities, things always turn out to be the opposite of what he thinks to be the case. In this ironic framework, Zeno is always the first victim of his pronouncements. His "coscienza" is always the result of an ironic predicament. The knowledge, in other words, that what we call "reality" is always different from what it initially appeared us to be. Within this context, the statement "Ricordo tutto, ma non intendo niente" instead of signifying the condition of a divided self, could be taken as a statement on the precariousness of self-understanding that puts even psychoanalytical understanding into question.
The philosopher, as some critics have suggested, is Zeno of Elea who set out, paradoxically, to demonstrate the impossibility of motion. In one of his most famous proofs, he claimed that Achilles, the fastest runner of the Greek world, could not win a race against a tortoise.
He argued that by the time Achilles caught up with the tortoise at a point A, the tortoise will have reached a point B. When Achilles covers the distance AB, the tortoise will have reached a point C, and so on to infinity. If we put aside for a moment the philosophical reasons behind Zeno of Elea's example, namely that it was meant to prove Parmenides' concept of plurality, the importance of the paradox for us is in the way it undermines our common expectations which dictate that anyone, and not just Achilles, is faster than a tortoise.
Zeno of Elea chooses on purpose the fastest man and the slowest animal to demonstrate, instead, that our sense of perception is not to be trusted. Svevo, I would like to suggest, names his protagonist "Zeno" for similar reasons and in order to draw the reader's attention to a mode of representation which is patterned on the philosopher's method of proof.
An indirect allusion to this method is made in an episode which explicitly parodies the Eleatic paradox. Tullio s'era rimesso a parlare della sua malattia ch'era anche la sua principale di- strazione. Aveva studiato l'anatomia della gamba e del piede. Trasecolai e subito corsi col pensiero alle mie gambe a cercarvi la macchina mostruosa. Io credo di averla trovata. Il camminare era per me divenuto un lavoro pesante, e anche lievemente doloroso. A quel groviglio di congegni pareva mancasse ormai l'olio e che, muovendosi, si ledessero a vicenda.
He had studied the anatomy of the leg and foot. He told me with amusement that when one is walking rapidly each step takes no more than half a second, and in that half second no fewer than fifty-four muscles are set in motion. I listened in bewilderment. I at once directed my attention to my legs and tried to discover the infernal machine.
I thought 1 had succeeded in finding it. I could not of course distinguish all its fifty-four parts, but I discovered something terribly complicated which seemed to lose its order as soon as I began paying attention to it. I limped as I left the cafe and for several days afterwards. Walking had become a burden to me and even caused me a certain amount of pain. I felt as if that ma.
A few days later I was struck by a greater calamity, which I will relate later, and which diminished the first one. But even today, if anyone watches me walking, the fifty-four movements get tied up in a knot, and I feel like falling. Zeno in becoming aware of what lies behind the appearances of things disrupts their apparent order and reveals the hidden "macchina mostruosa," namely a knowledge, that differs from our common, complacent way of looking at the world and that is no longer reassuring. Just as Zeno limps, or is about to fall, as the result of his "attenzione," this knowledge of what actually lies behind the apparent order and logic of things makes it increasingly difficult forever after to live comfortably in the world.
We shall return to the more pessimistic implications of Svevo's "coscienza" that shape the ending of the novel, for the moment we would like to identify this paradoxical approach with the ironic conscience of the novel which subverts in its wake man's mystified relation to the world. In the chapter "II Fumo" "Smoking" , Zeno's futile efforts to quit smok- ing are a parody of man's desire for change and self-improvement that are destined to come to nought.
With his resolve to stop smoking, Zeno hopes to become the strong and ideal man he has always wanted to be. Of course, the point of the chapter is to ex- pose the deluded notion that such a change can occur and that the weak-willed Zeno can emerge a new man. Svevo parodies the traditional autobiographical novel, whose central theme is the self and its transformations, by reversing the relationship between the unique, meaningful event in the life of the self and the date that records it. In the novel it is the date that suggest the possibility of change. Svevu ami ihc Ironic Conscience of the Novel 31 [I remember a date from the last century which seemed to mark forever the end of my vice: "Ninth day of the ninth month of The new century provided mc with other dates equally musical.
In so doing Svevo draws attention to the date as a literary device as well as to the fiction of "una nuova vita" "a new life" , an indirect allusion to that model of all fictional autobiographies, Dante's Vita Nuova. La coscienza di Zeno, how- ever, is a parody of the genre, an anti-autobiographical novel, not because the others are fictional and Svevo's novel is not. What is put into question by the parody is the fiction of a self caught in the illusion of temporality that makes the self believe in the possibility of change, that it can be other than it is.
When this deluded view is overcome in the old Zeno who writes the diary for the confessions, the acceptance of his smoking habit corresponds to the acceptance that time does not change but always repeats itself. Da me, solo da me, ritoma" "And anyway time for me is not that unimaginable thing that never stops. It always comes back to me, only to me," In Eleatic fashion, for the "cured" Zeno time is motionless. Just as Achilles will never triumph over the tortoise, Zeno will never be the man he aspires to be.
He is condemned to always be the weakling he knows himself to be. Ironi- cally, however, it is this knowledge that for Svevo defines true health which he understands, paradoxically, as the awareness of being sick. Health, in other words, is achieved through an awareness of the mystifications to which the self is subject in time. Health is the result of an attention, an ironic conscience, that undermines the self's mystifications by arresting once and for all, in eleatic fashion, the temporal- ity that made it possible.
We shall return later to what he believes to be the remedy for man for all time. In the chapters that follow, "La storia del mio matrimonio" "The story of my marriage" , "La Moglie e l'Amante" "Wife and Mistress" and "Storia di un'associazione commerciale" "A Business Partnership" , Zeno's 'attention' is directed at subverting examples of "health" and "strength" that he identifies with those around him: his own father, the father-in-law Malfenti, Ada and Guido. In typical ironic fashion Zeno's first impression of these characters couldn't be further from the truth. The old Malfenti, whom Zeno believes to be a paragon of health, dies soon after.
Augusta, the ugly sister that Zeno discards as a possible mate, turns out to be the one he marries and the best catch. The beautiful Ada that Zeno pursues hopelessly later becomes sickly 32 Massimo Verdicchio and ugly when she contracts the "morbo di Basedow" "Basedow's disease". Guido, the paragon of strength and health in the novel, the strong and ideal man that Ada prefers to Zeno, turns out to be an unfaithful husband, inept in business and a despicable weakling who has to resort to feigning suicide to force his wife to help him financially.
He dies foolishly when his pretended suicide is not discovered in time. Zeno' s "fortune" undergoes similar changes. From being thought crazy and irresponsible he becomes respected and appreciated. From being com- pletely inept at conducting business affairs he pulls off a crucial business deal on the stock market making a large profit. Ada who at first dislikes him and rejects him later loves him. Appearances, in other words, always prove to be deceptive and the fortune of the characters change radically to disprove Zeno' s first impressions.
As Zeno says of himself, he is "un buon osservatore ma un buon osservatore alquanto cieco" "a good observer but somewhat blind," The wheel of fortune, however, is never stable and if Zeno is now appreciated by his family for reasons not his own he is just as quickly put down for no reason. Ada eventually rejects Zeno accusing him unjustly of having hated Guido and of having made his death seem futile with his winnings on the stock market.
Ada's false accusations have also a deeper meaning. They represent a moment in the novel which is irreversible and fixed. Soon after Ada leaves to join Guido's family in Buenos Aires never to return again, her departure from the novel deprives Zeno of the opportunity to justify his conduct and to prove her his innocence.
As far as the relationship with Ada is concerned, time has once again stopped, freezing in time a false image of Zeno that he will never be able to erase. In Ada's eyes Zeno has lost his innocence forever. The episode reiterates another, the death of Zeno's father, when Zeno is faced with a similar, irreversible experience. Zeno, following the doctor's advice makes sure that his sick, but restless father remains in bed but the father dies believing or so Zeno thinks that the son wants to keep him prisoner in bed.
As in Ada's case similar examples are Ada's father's death and Guido's death , Zeno's father's death marks a fixed moment in time when change comes to a halt and Zeno is left in a predicament that he can no longer alter. The death or departure of these characters prevent Zeno from proving to them that he is not what they think he is thus making it impossible for him to prove his innocence. Their "disappearance" condemns Zeno to "illness," that is, to endure a false image of himself forever. This situation provides us with another version of the Eleatic paradox which, if it may seem absurd in the case of Achilles and the tortoise, in the case of Zeno Cosini, or of any man for that matter, is a simple fact of life.
The brunt of Svevo's critique, and of Zeno's irony, however, is directed at psychoanalysis and at the promise of health that Freud's theories seem to guarantee. The insistence of some critics to read the novel from the point of view of psychoanalysis and to ignore the critique that Svevo gives of this discipline as only the quirk of a deluded neurotic goes only to emphasize how strong the desire of health is in everyone of us.
Nor can the apparent critique of psychoanalysis be attributed to Zeno's "antipatia" "dislike" for his ana- lyst. In Svevo's critique it is psychoanalysis's inability to discriminate between truth and lie which is in question. Svevo characterizes Doctor S. This is not to say that for Svevo man is a liar, but that very often, when words fail him, he says the first thing that comes to mind.
Man speaks of one thing rather than another not because it may be important but because he easily forgets and says only the things for which he can find the words. Dio mio! Con ogni nostra parola toscana noi mentiamo! Se egli sapesse come raccontiamo con predilezione tutte le cose per le quali abbiamo pronta la frase e come evitiamo quelle che ci obbligherebbero di ricorrere al vocabolario!
Si capisce come la nostra vita avrebbe tutt'altro aspetto se fosse detta nel nostro dialetto. My God! He has only studied medicine, and so he has no idea what it means for us who talk and write in dialect to write in Italian. We lie with every word we speak in the Tuscan tongue! If he only knew how we like to talk about things for which we have ready the words, and how we avoid subjects which would oblige us to look up words in the dictionary!
That is how we choose from our lives episodes of note. Naturally our life would take on quite a different aspect if it were told in our dialect. The opposi- tion emphasizes a difference between a universal language of communication common to everyone and a personal, original language, that alone is capable of expressing clearly and distinctly all of one's thoughts and feelings. The 34 Massimo Verdicchio latter, however, is a language not available to man. If Doctor S. For the psychoana- lyst, instead, Zeno's lies are facts that he believes reveal the truth of Zeno's past.
Diceva 'Abbiamo avuto questo, abbiamo avuto quello' " "The doctor noted everything. He would say 'We have had this, we have had that,' " In Svevo's version of psychoanalysis, the Oedipus complex is the problem that once recognized will provide the cure. He is unaware, however, that Zeno is lying and making up stories just to please him. The infant Oedipus was just like that: he sucked his mother's left foot leaving the right one to the father," , or, "per far piacere al dottor S.
I invented new details of my childhood in conformity with Sophocles' diagnosis," When Zeno lacks good dreams that can satisfy Doctor S. Of course to Doctor S. To them everything counts. Zeno may think he has invented that he sucked his mother's left foot but as Doctor S. Psychoanalysis and Doctor S. Non era altra che quella diagnosticata a suo tempo dal defunto Sofocle sul povero Edipo : avevo amata mia madre e avrei voluto ammazzare mio padre. The Svcvo limi lin- Ironie Conscience of the Novel 35 diagnosis was exactly the same that dead Sophocles made on poor Oedipus : I had loved my mother and wanted to kill by father.
In one of the novels key allegories, the episode of the fly, Svevo points to two basic errors in man's quest for health. The fly in question was bothering Zeno who in blowing it away damages one of its legs. Con le due zampine posteriori si lisciava assidua- mente le ali. It was industriously cleaning its wings with its two hind legs. It tried to move, but fell over on its back. Then it picked itself up again and returned obstinately to its task.
Erano errori che si possono facilmente scusare in un insetto che non vive che la vita di una sola stagione, e non ha tempo di far dell'esperienza. First of all, in cleaning its wings so persistently the insect showed that it did not know which was the wounded limb. Secondly, its persistent efforts showed that it assumed health to be the right of every- one, and that though we have lost it we shall certainly find it again.
These errors are quite excusable in an insect which only lives for one season and has no time to learn from experience. The insect's two errors are that although it feels pain he ignores the origin of that pain and, second, that it regards health as something it is his by right. These are man's two major delusions. Man deludes himself when he thinks that he knows the origin of his illness and he can cure it and when he presumes that he has a right to health. Psychoanalysis is one way that these errors are perpetuated.
In the case of the animal health is regained through the animal's innate ability to adapt to the demands of nature. Health can only belong to the animal, whose sole idea of progress is that of his own body. When the swallow realized that emigration was the only possible life for her, she enlarged the muscles which worked her wings, and which became by degrees the most important part of her body. The mole went underground, and its whole body adapted itself to the task.
Editorial - Alessia Risi
The horse grew bigger and changed the shape of his foot. We know nothing about the development of certain animals, but it must have existed, and can never have injured their health. It tries to survive any way it can. The same cannot be said for man. Unlike the animal, man has not learned to adjust, on the contrary, he has tried to substitute himself to Nature forcing it to adjust to his ways.
At first the "ordigni," as with the animal, were extensions of man himself, necessary to his survival. Later, however, they become instruments for the dissemination of destruction and of illness. Nowadays, however, the tool bears no longer any relation to the arm.
It is the tool that creates the disease by abandoning the law by which everything was created on earth. Survival for man is in terms of the greatest number of "ordigni" — instruments of destruction — he possesses Svi'vo ami ihf Inmtv Conscience of he Navel 37 whereby he survives by destroying others. Altro che psico-analisi ci vorrebbe: sotto la legge dei possessore del maggior numero di ordigni prospereranno malattie e ammalati" "The law of the strongest disappeared, and the healthy natural selection was lost.
We need something more than psychoanalysis to help us. Under the law of the greatest accumulation of tools, disease will prosper and the diseased will grow ever more numerous," , italics mine. Man's illness cannot be cured by psychoanalysis or by any other cure. The only cure, the only possible return to health, in Svevo's pessimistic and apocalyptic vision, is a world-wide catastrophe that would put an end to the human race.
Only with the destruction of the planet earth as we know it, illness will finally disappear because for Svevo that illness is man. The final explosion that will wipe man from the face of the earth is the final irony. The tool that man developed initially in order to survive, and later becomes an instrument of domination and destruction, finally turns against him and destroys him altogether. The "health" that man seeks will be achieved only with the end of man.
At that moment, time too will finally come to a halt and cease to exist. In the explosive finale of the novel, Svevo's supreme, absolute irony puts an end to time and to all of man's illusions at one stroke. Zeno's "coscienza," in Eleatic fashion, disrupts our ordinary perception of the world and reveals it in all it nakedness.
His language is not the language of communication but of disfiguration. It reveals the "sickness" of the figure which hides the real sick- ness. This is not a conscious action on Zeno's part. As we have said earlier, Zeno's "coscienza" is ironic and functions despite his ordinary, commonplace mentality.
This ironic knowledge is described as a knowledge without knowing: "Zeno. Through Zeno's ironic "coscienza" speaks a wisdom which is not his and 38 Massimo Verdicchio is not ordinary knowledge. Those who know professors or psychoanalysts possess only a knowledge of facts which in the last instance is useless and misleading, whereas Zeno's ironic "coscienza" is a knowledge that goes to the heart of the problem and does so by questioning and "disfiguring" ex- amples of health. Zeno reminds us of that philosopher who went looking for a wise man but always found that those reputed wise were more ignorant than he.
Zeno is for Svevo an ironic tool, "ordigno," with which to criti- cize a society obsessed with health which to Svevo appeared hopelessly and incurably sick. The reading of La coscienza di Zeno and the search for its meaning s are preoccupations rather similar to an obsession with health; the reader or the critic is not different from the analyst.
As I have already indicated, in some instances the reader-critic indeed has become the analyst and has placed both Zeno and Svevo's novel on the couch. Other times the reader-critic has downplayed Svevo's pessimism by attributing it to the erratic and extremist behavior of his protagonist or simply to the shortcomings of the social class that he represents. Just as the "coscienza" of not having been cured is the best proof of health, the best proof that one is reading this novel with a certain degree of accuracy is in the awareness that its meaning is not what one thought it to be at first but always other and different in spite of our efforts.
This is a reading based not on the professional knowledge of what we expect or know the novel to be but on the ironic Eleatic knowledge that things are never what they seem logically to be. Extensive modifications to de Zoete's translation have been made throughout. The translation of other texts is mine. For example, Fonda's premise and justification for his Freudian reading of Zeno and of the novel is the following, "la premessa fondamentale, l'ultima convinzione che sta alla base di tutto il nostro studio Fonda discounts the possibility that Svevo might be humoring the practice of psychoanalysis.
How can one be and know that he is being? The paradox is a form of the ancient paradox of Zeno of Eleia sic , transposed from the mysteries of space and motion to those of Augustinian duration and time" Petersen identifies ironie themes and ironie elements in the novel but does not provide an overall reading of the novel. Here everything was truth" His enthusiasm made him even attempt a translation of Freud's On dreams. This interest in psychoanalytical theory, however, does not extend to the practice.
Svevo was disenchanted with it when his brother- in-law Bruno, who had gone to Vienna to be analyzed by Freud, returned even more neurotic than before. For accounts in English see for instance Furbank halo Svevo especially 7, Camerino, This quotation also implies that even more than Freud, the greatest influence on Svevo was Charlie Chaplin and his character Chariot. Svevo's literary use of Freud, Nietzsche or Darwin, did not imply that he shared their philosophy. Svevo's similar preoccupation with the unconscious explains why, in sending a copy of La coscienza di Zeno to Freud, he expected to be commended by him.
As Lebowitz suggests, perhaps Svevo wanted from Freud the same accolade that he had sent to Arthur Schnitzler praising him for the depth of his artistic intuitions But just as Weiss, who at the time was a personal friend 40 Massimo Verdicchio of Freud, reneged on his promise to review La coscienza di Zeno because "the novel had nothing whatever to do with psychoanalysis'" Furbank, , so Freud, if he read the novel, not only must have felt the same but must have felt slighted by a novel that however full of insights into human nature also made fun of his psychoanalysis.
Quel tono ricorda da vicino quello che riconoscevamo in Svevo, giudice e confessore del suo protagonista" "He has taken on that apologetic tone in reverse, typical of Jewish antisemitism, whereby the deepest love and hatred can be found together in a monstrous embrace. That tone reminds us closely of what we recognized in Svevo, judge and confessor of his protagonist," Or when Zeno is seen to be emblematic of the ambiguity and impotence fo the middle classes by Lunetta.
Torino: UTET, Debenedetti, Giacomo. Saggi critici. Milano: Mondadori, Fonda, Carlo. Svevo e Freud: Proposta di interpretazione della Coscienza di Zeno. Ravenna: Longo, Furbank, P. Gioanola, Elio. Un Iciller dolcissimo: Indagine psicanalitica sull'opera di Italo Svevo. Genova: Il Melangolo, Lebowitz, Naomi. New Brunswick, N. Lunetta, Mario. Milano: Mursia, Petersen, Lene Waage.
Revue Romane. Saccone, Eduardo. Commento a Zeno: Saggio sul testo di Svevo. Bologna: Il Mulino, Svevo, Italo. La Coscienza di Zeno. Opera Omnia. Bruno Maier. Milano: DairOglio, The Confessions of Zeno Trans. Beryl de Zoete.
Volume 3 "Italian issue" () | University College Cork
London and New York: Putnam, Fiora A. Starting with the earliest reviews, some critics have focused on its factual matrix and interiority, while others have highlighted its feminist message. Aleramo was extremely concerned with the veracity of her fiction, as though any dis- tortion of the facts would negate the validity of her message for, although her heroine's tale was exemplary, it was also her story whose telling was an act of self-revelation. The emphasis on truthfulness contained in this revisionist re-telling underlines the fusion of the real and fictional selves in Aleramo's writing: Dissi in quel tempo che soltanto ad un intcriore comando avevo ubbidito lasciando la casa dov'ero moglie e madre.
Come si va ad un martirio. Ed era vero. Non era per amore d'un altro uomo ch'io mi liberavo: ma io amavo un altr'uomo. Bussane se Throughout her long literary career, Sibilla would come to consistently and faithfully write herself, obliterating the demarcation between reality and imagination in a series of poetry collections, novels, and public diaries which link her production to that of other modern women "writers like Dorothy Richardson and Anais Nin, whose lives, journals, letters, and fiction become nearly coterminous" Gardiner , to such an extent that Aleramo would come to create works like Amo dunque sono , an autobiographical epistolary novel that reads like a diary for the beloved.
Aleramo's female protagonists are projections of herself and this narcissistic identification of author and character is further heightened by the employment of a first person narration. However, the tone, style, and purpose of Una donna differ from the lyric and fragmentary nature of later Sibillian prose, from which this first novel was also separated by more than a decade of artistic silence.
Notwithstanding its autobiographical fidelity, Una donna was intended as a manifesto, or a "thesis" novel, in which the obvious feminist ideology both includes and transcends the personal chronicle. Like history, Una donna records the past. While the book's first person narrative demands a participational reading reminiscent of the journals and autobiographies women often chose to compose "not only because they were more 'acceptable,' but because they often suited what was an underlying motive of women writings — the need to validate one's own experiences" Goulianos 81 , its structure is essentially realist.
Critics have frequently indicated Una donna'? Una donna; Autobiography as Exemplary Text 43 The heroine's experiences offer a maturation process in progress whereas the narrating "I" attests to the achievement of the desired maturity and self- affirmation. In feminist terms, the witness has achieved the psychological liberation for which the protagonist is striving. In many ways, Una donna is a "libro della mia memoria" which, like the Dantesque prototype, declares incipit vita nova, a new life whose meaning is understood in both personal and universal terms after the narrator has reappraised the past.
In recreating the significant moments in her own life, Aleramo seeks to associate a woman with Everywoman; the autobiographical tale becomes the story of woman-kind. In doing so, the author explores a variety of standard female literary motifs, which have been identified and described in recent scholarship on women writers,'" and utilizes several significant archetypal patterns, which will be detailed in the course of this analysis.
Among the recurrent themes, common to women's fiction, we find: the focus on family life, including the issues of bonding with the parents, particularly the mother; the portrayal of adolescence as an androgynous period in which the growing girl falls prey to romantic illusions fostered by fanciful readings or social indoctrination; male seduction leading to the eventual betrayal of the young women's dreams and fantasies; the presentation of marriage as the impris- onment of the individual, who seeks escape through either sublimation in maternity or art , madness, or death.
In addition, many of Aleramo's struc- tural and stylistic choices serve to depersonalize and, thereby, universalize, her narration. The division of the text and its ordering indicate Sibilla's adherence to a somewhat traditional format. The story line is presented se- quentially from earliest childhood memories to the narrating present with no use of flashbacks and a relatively consistent use of the past tenses. The heroine has gone beyond the reality described and survived; the past is now memory, albeit painful.
By implication, other women in similar circumstances can do the same. It is important to note that Aleramo's first draft was written in the present tense,'" which naturally intensified the emotional level and the im- mediacy of communication, making the book more diaristic, but this verbal choice narrowed the focus on change and rebirth. By opting for the finality of the past tenses rather than the ongoing quality of the present, the author requires her public to assume the perspective of the narrating "I. In turn, the internal structures of each part are complementary, although they do not correspond in chronological time.
Parti Prima and Seconda are of similar length nine and ten chap- ters, respectively but of unequal duration: the first follows the heroine from childhood to a suicide attempt through a series of obligatory female rites of passage including puberty, marriage, and motherhood; the second section 44 Fiora A.
Bassanese Stresses inner growth and its time is psychologically defined; the chapters indicate interior change rather than the passage of years and the protagonist's education is predominantly spiritual. Not incidentally, the nine chapters of Parte Prima contrast thematically with the ten of Seconda: the former docu- ment the heroine's integration into the roles society creates for her and their destructive aftermath whereas the latter stress personal, rather than social, development.
Parte Terza covers a short temporal span and a mere three chapters in narrative space; its truncated length is a sign of its content, for the protagonist opts for authenticity and abandons her family and, by doing so, the past. This focus on growth and process leading to closure suggest an inherent affinity between the design of Una donna and the patterns of the Bildungsroman.
Generically, a Bildung story details the psychological development of the main character; as it is traditionally defined, such a novel is an optimistic ren- dering of male development and integration into the social fabric. The genre's acknowledged prototype, Goethe's Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre , fol- lows the adventures and misadventures of the protagonist, a merchant's son, as he sets forth to learn about life and decipher its meaning in a series of sex- ual encounters, work experiences, reversals, and achievements.
The sequel, Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, oder die Entsagenden , depicts the mature Meister relating to his society as a contributing member. Briefly put, the classic German Bildungsroman and its imitators are about leaving childhood, exploring the world, and learning lessons with the specific in- tent of creating rational, responsible paradigms of human behavior; the hero gradually matures by leaving the security of family and home and venturing into the unknown and often hostile world. In the end, the Bildung hero has achieved a private identity which allows him to integrate into a social group generally, the bourgeoisie by adopting its values.
Clearly, many of the topoi utilized in a male Bildung process cannot apply to female protagonists be- cause of the diverse natures of their socio-sexual development. Recent studies on novels of female maturation, notably Annis Pratt's Archetypal Patterns in Women's Fiction and the anthological The Voyage in Fictions of Female De- velopment, have dealt with variations on the Bildungsroman as it is adjusted to portray women's reality. The nineteenth century proposed two models of female development novels.
Early, socially conservative stories written for young girls emphasized patriarchal values to their readers, such as chastity, domesticity, submissiveness, and altruism. These novels offered models for "growing down" rather than "growing up," ' to distinguish the different existential sphere inhabited by women. Since the traditional woman's domain is private rather than pub- Una donna. Autobiography as Exemplary Text 45 lie, her life-style is defined by confinement and passivity offering no valid openings to the outside world in which the male conducts his quest for iden- tity, autonomy, and position.
Female life is directed to closure not adventure, obeisance not action, chastity not sexuality. Her apprenticeship is pre-ordained. A sub-genre of this con- ventional and conservative female BiUlung novel traces the spiritual nature of the heroine's quest beyond its seemingly inevitable conclusion in mar- riage and maternity. In this variation on the novel of de- velopment, the protagonist comes to understand the disparity between social expectations and personal aspirations; because of a fundamental discontent with her lot and through personal meditation, the "awakened" heroine strives for self-fulfillment and authenticity only to be blocked by the obstacles cre- ated by the patriarchal order.
Seeking real growth, the heroine meets with rejection and dead-ends forcing her to retreat, abdicate, or choose non-conformity and exile. Una donna's narrative patterns borrow from both the classic female novel of development and its evolutionary offspring, the novel of awakening. The initial pattern described in the book's first chapters appears to herald a stan- dard male Bildungsroman, for the protagonist as child rejects passivity and domesticity in favor of action and energy.
She reads voraciously, possesses a questioning mind, finds pleasure in her athletic prowess, emulates her father's work ethic, refuses feminine tasks, and rejects the home in favor of office work at the factory.
Related I Poeti Contemporanei 137 - 7 autori (I Poeti Contemporanei - 7 autori) (Italian Edition)
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