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Landscapes of Desire in the Poetry of Vittorio Sereni$
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Francesca Southerden

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199698455

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698455.001.0001

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Replotting the Textual Landscape

Replotting the Textual Landscape

The Role of Deixis in Frontiera and Gli strumenti umani

(p.51) 2 Replotting the Textual Landscape
Landscapes of Desire in the Poetry of Vittorio Sereni

Francesca Southerden

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins with a definition of deixis and its poetic uses, which are then developed with regard to Sereni through a comparative reading of poems from his first and third collections, Frontiera [Frontier] and Gli strumenti umani [The Human Implements]. As Sereni’s dialogue with Giacomo Leopardi reveals, he recognizes the value of deixis as a poetic trope that ideally enables the poet to conjure presence out of absence and anchor the subject at the centre of its universe. However increasingly unable to achieve those ends himself, Sereni’s recurrent use of deictic reference—in the form of spatio-temporal coordinates, demonstratives, and personal pronouns—attests instead to his diminishing hold over the textual landscape, his growing struggle to appropriate it, and the dispossession of self and space that ensues.

Keywords:   Sereni, Leopardi, deixis, landscape, Frontiera—Gli strumenti umani, absence, loss

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