A 'Window' on the Italian Female Modernist Subjectivity: from Neera to Laura Curino

Rossella Maria Riccobono (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


A ‘window’ on the Italian Female Modernist ‘I’: from Neera to Natalia Ginzburg
This is one of the two volumes emerging from the recent Conference Borders and Boudaries which was held in St Andrews on 21-22 March 2011.
The image of the ‘window’ was recurrently identified as representative of the development of the female modernist ‘I’, a liminal zone caught between the enclosed space of domesticity and female genre writing, and an metaphorical external space where the female ‘I’ can expand her view towards modernity, represented by either a tension towards the modernising society, or the escape into the realm of the imagination.
The confine, from a line or boundary that paradoxically encloses and divides binary gendered areas traditionally pertaining respectively the male and the female roles in society, is transformed into an interstice out of which a new metaphorical space expands: that of literature seen as a way of extrapolation and definition of the modern female subjectivity.
Neera’s writing style had been defined by Capuana as blooming out of both rêve and ‘reality’, and had been praised further by Croce as containing ‘l’ideale nel reale’. Her style shows an interesting and original assimilation of the aspects of spleen, idéal, and réal of those literary currents leading to Modernism (French symbolism and naturalism). This is a prime example of the confine, seen as an interstice in this volume, where a line of territorial division turns into an expanding zone of mergings and meetings: where confinment turns into liminal experience. Neera, who is undoubtedly one of the most important Italian writers and protagonists of an ‘Italian female literary Modernism’, marks the beginning of the journey that this volume intends to cover, spanning through the writing of other central female authors of Italian Modernism, among which Anna Banti, Gianna Manzini, Fausta Cialente, Elsa Morante, Natalia Ginzburg.
The present volume aims to emphaise the original contribution to Modernity by these important writers (some of which have not yet received the attention they deserve) and to try and define a female Italian Modernism which can be seen as complementary and not necessarily in opposition to its respective male counterpart.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewcastle
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN (Print)9781443849838
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


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