Voices of space: the literary landscape as a reaction to the hegemony of history

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Emma Pavan


Landscape, an interdisciplinary phenomenon by its very nature, lies at the boundary of different disciplines and constitutes a privileged starting point for studying the link between literature, the arts, society, and culture. Starting from the modern definition of landscape as a historical, subjective, and artificial object, this work aims to investigate how it can represent a tool to give voice to the victims of history. Specifically, the paper will examine poems from Antonella Anedda, Fabio Pusterla and Andrea Zanzotto’s works, with the aim of showing how poets use landscape elements to describe historical tragedies without interpreting them. In Italian poetry of the second half of the 20th century, many authors reflected on the need to reduce the role of the poetic subject, which was traditionally considered the origin of expression and the main point of view. These three poets attempt to transform poetry into a welcoming space, playing with multiple points of view and dwelling on marginal details, people or places that are generally excluded from the official history. Moreover, they share the idea that nature preserves the traces of history and can therefore represent a key witness to be interrogated and listened to for the reconstruction of forgotten historical events. In the work of these authors, the landscape thus constitutes the starting point for the structuring of an alternative discourse that opposes the hegemonic perspective of official history. Finally, the formal analysis of the poetic texts in a comparative perspective aims to show how landscape studies represent a fertile field for the development of a more general reflection on the links that literature has with historical, social, and cultural changes.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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