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,,L'Umorismo è la letteratura dello scetticismo" (Dossi) – Humor, Parodie und Absurdes in der Literatur der Scapigliatura

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In Italian literary history the Scapigliatura (1860-1880) has generally been named the first Italian avant-garde. Carlo Dossi understands umorismo as an aesthetical scheme to express scepticism against any system of order and meaning. Parodies and absurd stories are as well meant to attack the dominating literary forms. To illustrate the possibilities of transgression, the parodies Ancora un canto alla luna (1864) by Emilio Praga and the stories In cerca di morte (1869) and La lettera U (1869) by I. U. Tarchetti will be discussed. The discussion reveals that by using parodies of Manzoni or Leopardi as a means of breaking up the tradition ends in a dilemma for the Scapigliatura. The parody's recourse to canonized texts remains authoritative even though the texts of the Scapigliatura prepare the historical avant-gardes. In this manner umorismo, parody and absurdity itself become the measure in assessing the Scapigliatura as an avant-garde.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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