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Loss and the Other in the Visionary Work of Anna Maria Ortese$
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Vilma De Gasperin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673810.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 September 2021

Animal Allegories

Animal Allegories

(p.212) 5 Animal Allegories
Loss and the Other in the Visionary Work of Anna Maria Ortese

Vilma De Gasperin

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores texts where an emblematic beast figura suffers violence, oppression, abandonment, exploitation on the part of the stronger, where the narratives stage an allegory of man’s relationship with the defenceless and harmless Other, through a rich web of literary (Milton, Keats, Blake, Shakespeare, Conrad, Melville, Stevenson), biblical (Genesis, Apocalypse, Gospels), and iconographic references. It begins by examining a passage from ‘Piccolo drago (conversazione)’ (1984), which can be viewed as providing an archetype for Ortese’s ethical stance concerning the supremacy and cruelty of man, which is more broadly explored in the sections on Ortese’s major animal novels. The sections on L’Iguana (1965) and Alonso e i visionari (1996) each begin by investigating the intricate issues of genres, then explore the complexities inherent in the fantastical and yet powerfully engagé representation of man’s encounter and dealing with the Other, the Other’s suffering, and man’s journey through awareness and ultimately expiation.

Keywords:   L’Iguana, Alonso e i visionari, allegory, Shakespeare, Conrad, Melville, Bible, Milton, Keats, expiation

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