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Roberto Calasso - deconstructing mythology: a reading of Le nozze di Cadmo e Armonia

Fiorani, L.; (2009) Roberto Calasso - deconstructing mythology: a reading of Le nozze di Cadmo e Armonia. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis reviews Roberto Calasso’s Le nozze di Cadmo e Armonia (1988) and demonstrates that thematic and formal elements of this text allow us to to cast a postmodern and poststructuralist light on his theorization of ‘absolute literature’ – a declaration of faith in the power of literature which may appear to clash with the late twentieth century postmodern and poststructuralist climate responsible for concepts such as la mort de l’auteur. The importance of these findings lies in their going against Calasso’s claim that he never needed to use the word ‘postmodern’ and his complete silence on contemporary literary criticism, as well as on most contemporary authors. Calasso’s self-representation (interviews, criticism and the themes of the part-fictional work-in-progress) acknowledges as influences ancient Greek authors, both canonical and marginal; French décadence; the finis Austriae; Marxism; Nietzsche; Hindu mythology and Aby Warburg. These influences are certainly at work in Le nozze, however they may be employed to subvert Calasso’s self-presentation. I have explored in detail the representations of literature emerging from Le nozze, and shown that they allow the identification in Calasso’s texts of elements confirming his fascination with poststructuralism, in particular with the thought of Jacques Derrida, despite the complete silence on this philosopher throughout Calasso’s work.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Roberto Calasso - deconstructing mythology: a reading of Le nozze di Cadmo e Armonia
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of EU Langs, Culture and Society > Italian

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