Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Foregrounding and the hubs of narration : Dante's “Inferno V” and Benigni's “Il Quinto dell'Inferno”
Authors: Pisani, Charlo
Keywords: Style, Literary
Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321. Inferno -- Criticism and interpretation
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: This thesis explores a dramatic and metaphysical pattern in human cognition, emotion, aesthetic representations and culture, through close readings of Dante's Comedìa (specifically Inferno V) and Benigni's televised lectura Dantis (Il Quinto dell'Inferno). It is argued that Dante's afterlife depicts a continuing specularity between the finite (history) and the infinite (afterlife) in which the human soul can be described as being 'undone'. Within this 'undoneness', lies a leitmotif pattern of foregrounding and appropriated singularities. Foregrounding refers to the souls' continuing attempt to bring to the fore their historic self over the damned self to justify themselves and/or seek fulfilment. Foregrounding is also used as an extra-diegetic poetic techniques to engage the reader's perception. Such foregrounded instances become appropriated singularities or hubs of understanding and narration, which reaffirm the souls' myopic relationship with others and God, questioning divine mercy rather than personal responsibility and reaffirming contrapasso which draws strength from finite sentience. It will be shown how Inferno V manifests a dramatic and metaphysical foregrounding between: order/chaos, contrapasso/will and self-absolution/justice, resulting in the recognition of the parodic authority of the Inferno; foregrounding between diegetic and extradiegetic aural-oral/visualization which results in a 'synesthetic empathy' towards the couple; Francesca's foregrounding of her sad plight and love by suppressing historicity, resulting in the learning protagonist's attempt to reconcile love with damnation; Francesca's foregrounding of historic identity through the use and suppression of first names which results in the recognition about the inaccessibility to human motives; and finally, foregrounding of what is called an "intertextual self-portraiture" through the use of intertextuality. In the Inferno such process remains unfulfilled because it can only be resolved or fulfilled harmoniously in the Paradiso through divine unity − itself being the ultimate hub of history and narration. In each case it will be shown how Benigni's lectura, acknowledges these foregrounding dynamics. Furthermore, Benigni aestheticizes commentary through defamiliarization (by foregrounding comicity and aural/aural qualities) and adaptation tropes, which always take contemporary audiences back to the thematic concerns of the poem. In this way Benigni creates his own aesthetically independent hub of narration. Benigni's performance also contains inaccuracies of content, interpretation and recitation. The analysis of this pattern of foregrounding and appropriated singularities is then applied to audience reception. Through a discussion of six ever-shifting popular/high culture definitions, a more comprehensive view of culture is proposed − as a lived, foregrounding dynamic between human vision, texts/practices and place/time. In this way, specific causes behind different receptions to Dante and Benigni's texts are identified in which each cultural 'singularity' becomes a hub of creation and narration. Within this dynamic, three achievements of both texts are highlighted: formality/informality; learn/learn about; and their capacity to capitalize on a foregrounding cultural dynamic. The pattern explored in this thesis, can be one way how to map and widen our understanding of the relationship between literary tradition and popular culture.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2015

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
1.67 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.