Like Doves Summoned by Desire
Dante’s New Life in the 20th Century Literature and Cinema.
Essays in memory of Amilcare Iannucci.
Edited by Massimo Ciavolella and Gianluca Rizzo
Pub date 9/4/2012
Paperback 271 pp.
Pub date 2/23/2017
Kindle eBook 5027 KB
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“But how does one explain Dante’s enduring popularity, and that of his harsh eschatological masterpiece in particular? The answer, I believe, lies in the poem’s distinctive textual characteristics. The Comedy is neither an open nor a closed text (Eco, The Role of the Reader); it is neither writerly nor readerly (Barthes, S/Z). Rather it is more like what Fiske in Television Culture calls a ‘producerly’ text. A producerly text is polysemous and combines the easy accessibility of the readerly with the complex discursive strategies of the writerly. These peculiar textual qualities allow the poem to produce meaning and pleasure in audiences which run the gamut from the uneducated to the most sophisticated and discerning.The Comedy’s uncanny ability to generate meaning derives not so much from its formal, hierarchical allegory as from the allusive density of its literal narrative. […] In saying this, I do not mean to imply that the Commedia’s polysemy is boundless and structureless: the poem defines the terrain within which meaning may be made.”