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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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‘L’incerto lembo’

‘L’incerto lembo’

Liminal Topographies from Montale to Sereni1

Chapter:
(p.90) 3 ‘L’incerto lembo’
Source:
Landscapes of Desire in the Poetry of Vittorio Sereni
Author(s):

Francesca Southerden

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698455.003.0004

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

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