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'Schizomorphic visions': visuality and dissenting subjectivities in the poetry of the Italian neoavanguardia

Pycinska-Taylor, Barbara; (2021) 'Schizomorphic visions': visuality and dissenting subjectivities in the poetry of the Italian neoavanguardia. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the role of literary visuality in the construction of cultural categories of madness, delirium, schizophrenia, and trauma in the poetry of the Italian neoavanguardia. In addition to exploring configurations of madness and delirium in theoretical and critical writings produced by members of various interrelated literary movements in the 1960s, this dissertation centres on close readings of a selection of lesser known ekphrastic, visual, concrete, and collage poetic works, produced between 1961-1977, by Giulia Niccolai, Edoardo Sanguineti, Adriano Spatola, and Patrizia Vicinelli. I look also to more recent thought outside of the immediate historical Italian-language context in order to illuminate and inform my readings of the strategies of these literary figures. As part of my analysis of the renegotiation of these fraught themes in the experimental poetry of the neoavanguardia, I investigate how the theoretical category of schizomorfismo as described by Alfredo Giuliani, a key figure in the literary group known as the Novissimi, provides an illuminating paradigm for reading the discontinuous, discordant and febrile literary forms found within this poetry. I draw attention to the underexamined visual dynamics at play in both theoretical and poetic writings of this period, expanding on the fluid relations between visuality and madness, and their invocation as dissenting, countercultural literary entities. As examples of a scrittura altra, invocations of ‘other’ subjectivities are, I argue, embedded in these mostly non-representational texts, which draw on the rich capacities of visual, typographic and concrete experimental forms to raise questions of normativity, marginalisation, and subjugation, as well as interrogate epistemologies of logic and logocentrism. Accordingly, this dissertation interrogates what it means to invoke cultural-clinical categories in the context of poetic experimentation and as literary tools of social critique at a historical moment, in Italy and beyond, when the relationship between clinical and cultural understandings of non-normative mental states were being fundamentally renegotiated.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: 'Schizomorphic visions': visuality and dissenting subjectivities in the poetry of the Italian neoavanguardia
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131024
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