Narrare il corpo: Fenomenologia, autobiografia e strategie narrative in Nel condominio di carne di Valerio Magrelli
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This thesis provides an in-depth investigation of Valerio Magrelli’s first book of fiction. In Nel condominio di carne Magrelli carries out a gnoseological operation centred on the interplay between body and mind. As a starting point, therefore, I have attempted an overview of a range of works revolving around the exploration of the human body. Following this premise, I have identified four main research questions. First, drawing upon the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty and the thought of Lacan, Perniola, and Agamben, I have concluded that the make-up of consciousness should be integrated with the meta-individual component of the ‘pre-human’. In this fashion it is possible to postulate an overcoming of the opposition between volition and freedom, on the one hand, and the anonymous forces of the ‘pre-personal’, on the other. Second, to the question whether we live a life or whether it is life that lives us, we can respond that the body is to be seen, in Magrelli, as an instrument that ‘executes’ an alien force stemming from a mysterious region of the flesh/world. Third, Magrelli’s individual use of the autobiographical and autofictional genres makes possible a narration which adapts itself to the metamorphoses of the body and of the self. It is this kind of narration of the self that ensures the very construction of the self, its identity (as proposed by Ricœur, Cavarero, and Eakin), while accounting for its conflicting relationship with the flesh. Fourth, irony has been analysed in its philosophical implications rather than as a mere rhetorical trope. Through irony the writer deploys a distancing gaze between the self and the ‘machinations’ of the organs. Following Muecke, Booth and, above all, de Man, Jankélévitch, and Almansi, I have thus tried to offer a more convincing justification of the systematic presence of irony, including self-irony, in Magrelli.