‘L’incerto lembo’

Francesca Southerden

in Landscapes of Desire in the Poetry of Vittorio Sereni

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199698455
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738258 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs

‘L’incerto lembo’

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This chapter considers Sereni’s treatment of the trope of liminality and its relationship to the subject’s status in the field of perception. The case study here is Stella variabile [Variable Star] and its nucleus, Un posto di vacanza [A Holiday Place]. Visual tropes are interpreted, in affinity with Lacan’s theory of the scopic drive, as evidence of where the subject falls, out of the realm of perceptual certainty, into a much more ambivalent space understood as a field or threshold of desire. Intertextuality emerges as a key component for the creation of this uncertain textual space, and Sereni is seen to model his desiring subject on Montale’s subject in limine of Ossi di seppia [Cuttlefish Bones] and Le occasioni [The Occasions]. A line of continuity is drawn between them while demonstrating Sereni’s increased negativity in this area, with the greater emphasis on absence and the impossibility of transcendence.

Keywords: Sereni; Montale; Lacan; liminality; desire; gaze; scopic drive; landscape; Stella variabile

Chapter.  16589 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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