Liminal Topographies from Montale to Sereni1
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.
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