Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Homosexual productions: Gay Italian prose fiction from the 1970s to the beginning of the twenty-first century
by Fortney, James Michael, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2012, 250; 3526298
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation maps out a literary history of gay Italian prose fiction from the late 1970s to the beginning of the twenty-first century. In Chapter One—which also serves as the dissertation's introduction I locate four thematics in Mondadori's Men on men anthologies (2002-2006) to treat in the subsequent chapters and for the subsequent decades: first, an ideation of homosexuality as something that is fundamentally heterogeneous in nature and how homosexuality appears at the literature's inchoate emergence; second, a transformation in gay Italian literature's portrayal of everyday institutions; third, the critical place of genre in gay Italian narrative with respect to the larger literary tradition; and finally this literature's newly possessed sense of historicity as a literature in its own right.

In Chapter Two, I explore how writers such as Dario Trento, Corrado Levi, and Vittorio Camillo Pescatori at gay Italian prose fiction's inchoate emergence in the late 1970s direct their energies at creating new literary spaces as they reconcile their own internalized conceptions of self as sinner, pedophile, pervert, criminal and psychopath with the recently discovered alternative realities that their society was just beginning to place before them. In Chapter Three I argue that in particular, the Reggio Emilian native Pier Vittorio Tondelli, more than any other writer in the 1980s, is engaged in a continuous and prolonged investigation of the problematic relationship that institutions such as the military, the family, and even on some level marriage and gay people in Italy share. In Chapter Four and in the 1990s, writers such as Gianni Farinetti, Matteo B. Bianchi and Tommaso Giartosio begin to converse with more mainstream, popular literary traditions, forms and genres like mysteries, historical fiction and coming-out stories as a stimulus for the literature to understand itself better as its writers further engage in creative reappropriation and thereby go on to reach new and varied audiences. Finally, in Chapter Five I maintain that in large part due to the sustained literary conversation and prolonged period of creativity that gay writers have both created and benefited from in recent decades, for the first time writers such as Luca Bianchini, Alessandro Golinelli, and female writer Giusi Dottini have been presented with a unique opportunity to acknowledge the very historicity that characterizes their experience as human beings and the imaginative fiction that they consciously construct.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Maggi, Armando
Commitee: Nelson, Deborah, West, Rebecca
School: The University of Chicago
Department: Romance Languages and Literatures
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Modern literature, Romance literature, European history, GLBT Studies
Keywords: Gay, Homosexual, Italian, Italy, Literature, Pasolini, Pier Paolo, Tondelli, Pier Vittorio
Publication Number: 3526298
ISBN: 9781267601629
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