Diapositiva 1 - marilenabeltramini.it

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Diapositiva 1 - marilenabeltramini.it
From objectivity to subjectivity
Reason for choosing the path
• Interest in the sharp
cultural break that
developed from the last
decades of XIX century
• Practice with the
construction of a
personal learning path
Objectives of the path
• Analyze the causes that led to the cultural
shift from XIX century to XX one
• Better comprehend the innovations in the art
and literature of XX century
Selected texts for the path
• Literary texts:
- Giovanni Verga, Lettera a Salvatore Farina(1880)
- Alessandro Manzoni, chapter 2 from
I Promessi Sposi( 1842)
- James Joyce, Penelope from Ulysses( 1922)
- Virginia Woolf, chapter 1 of Mrs Dalloway(1925)
• Pictorial texts:
- Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans( 1849-1850)
- Edvard Munch, The Scream(1893)
Literature in XIX century
• … Io te lo ripeterò così come l’ho raccolto pei viottoli dei campi, press’a
poco colle medesime parole semplici e pittoresche della narrazione
popolare, e tu veramente preferirai di trovarti faccia a faccia col fatto nudo
e schietto, senza stare a cercarlo fra le linee del libro, attraverso la lente
dello scrittore … la sincerità della sua realtà così evidente, il suo modo e la
sua ragione di essere così necessari, che la mano dell’artista rimarrà
assolutamente invisibile, allora avrà l’impronta dell’avvenimento reale,
l’opera sembrerà essersi fatta da sé, aver maturato ed esser sorta
spontanea come un fatto naturale …
G. Verga, an extract from Lettera a Salvatore Farina
What’s interesting in the extract
Verga’s writing style is explained
The scrupulous attention to
objective reality, in particular to the
humble one( Io te lo ripeterò così
come l’ho raccolto pei viottoli dei
fatto nudo e schietto
The will to portray reality “as it is”
(la mano dell’artista rimarrà
assolutamente invisibile, allora avrà
l’impronta dell’avvenimento reale,
l’opera sembrerà essersi fatta da
sé) technique of impersonality
Giovanni Verga(1840-1922)
• Lorenzo o, come dicevan tutti, Renzo non si fece molto aspettare... Era, fin
dall'adolescenza, rimasto privo de' parenti, ed esercitava la professione di
filatore di seta, ereditaria, per dir così, nella sua famiglia; professione,
negli anni indietro, assai lucrosa; allora già in decadenza, ma non però a
segno che un abile operaio non potesse cavarne di che vivere onestamente
… Oltre di questo, possedeva Renzo un poderetto che faceva lavorare e
lavorava egli stesso, quando il filatoio stava fermo; di modo che, per la sua
condizione, poteva dirsi agiato.
A. Manzoni, an extract from chapter II of I Promessi Sposi
What’s interesting in the extract
The male protagonist of the novel,
Renzo Tramaglino, is introduced to
Attention to the external reality of
the character, reported without any
writer’s modification: esercitava la
professione di filatore di seta;
possedeva Renzo un poderetto che
faceva lavorare e lavorava egli
Characters introduced according to
his family and economic situation,
his job, his ownerships writing
based on cause-effect relationships
Alessandro Manzoni(1785-1873)
Art in XIX century
Gustave Courbet( 1819-1877), the most representative painter of Realism and his
A Burial at Ornans(1849-1850)
Description of the painting
• Objective representation of a funeral in the town of Ornans,
but the identity of the dead is unknown
• Anonymous people taking part in the scene do not seem to
feel any sad or participation feeling for the event
• Reality is represented in the way it shows itself: the painter
does not “adds” inner feelings, but he simply “takes a photo”
of the religious event
• Use of heavy and pasty brushstrokes portray people as
similar as possible to what they really look like
Revolutionary discoveries
• Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution(1859, On the Origin of
Species)man is only a rationally – evolved animal
• Sigmund Freud’s discovery of the unconscious(1900,
Interpretation of dreams) people’s behaviour and actions
cannot be catalogued because of their inner hidden part
• Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity( 1906) time and space
do not exist as absolute phaenomena but change according to
the individual
• Causes to the shift from XIX century objectivism to XX century
The new way of making literature in XX century
• … what an unearthly hour I suppose they’re just getting up in China now
combing out their pigtails for the day well soon have the nuns ringing the
angelus they’ve nobody coming in to spoil their sleep except an odd priest
or two for his night office … the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the
watchman going about serene with his lamp and 0 that awful deep down
torrent 0 and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious
sunsets and the fig trees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little
streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the
jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar …
J. Joyce, an extract from Penelope of Ulysses
What is new in XX century literature
• Molly Bloom’s inner monologue
 no punctuation and stream of
consciousness technique to
report how human mind really
• Attention to subjectivity 
Molly’s inner thoughts and
feelings come to the surface
• New concept of time past,
present and future are unified in
Bergson’s “subjective time”
• New concept of space no more
physical voyage, but psychological
James Joyce(1882-1941)
• … "That is all," she said, looking at the fishmonger's. "That is all," she
repeated, pausing for a moment at the window of a glove shop where,
before the War, you could buy almost perfect gloves. And her old Uncle
William used to say a lady is known by her shoes and her gloves … Gloves
and shoes; she had a passion for gloves; but her own daughter, her
Elizabeth, cared not a straw for either of them … It rasped her, though, to
have stirring about in her this brutal monster! … never to be content quite,
or quite secure, for at any moment the brute would be stirring, this hatred,
which, especially since her illness, had power to make her feel scraped …
• V. Woolf, an extract from Mrs Dalloway
What is new in XX century literature
• Interest in character’s inner
reality  Mrs Dalloway’s
consciousness comes to the
• Character’s working of the
mind free associations of ideas
that seem not to be logically
• Use of moments of being to
discover the very reality standing
beyond apparent reality
• Modernist interest in
anthropology Mrs Dalloway’s
hidden anxiety: It rasped her …
this brutal monster!
Virginia Woolf(1882-1941)
How art changed in XX century
Edvard Munch(1863-1944), one of the most representative precursor of
Expressionism, and his The Scream(1893)
Description of the painting
• Evocation of the artist’s agonizing attitude towards life the
artist himself is the protagonist of the painting
• The scream is a dull cry not perceived by others the scream
as a way to show the artist’s subjectivity full of anxiety
Munch’s evidence: painting helped me to look inside myself,
to convey feelings and emotions
• New pictorial techniques: deformation of the human figure,
contrasts between colours and strong and harsh curved
lines accentuate the anguish of the scene
Work By Nicola Buccolo
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