Alimentary Discourses in Italian Modernist Literature
The analysis of various literary representations of alimentary discourses – from their explicit manifestation in Le Roi Bombance and The Futurist Cookbook to their more nuanced appearances in the other considered works by Marinetti, Palazzeschi, Bontempelli, Masino and Pirandello – reveals their pervasiveness and relevance within Italian modernism and, by exten- sion, modern Italian literature’s participation and contribution to a broader discourse centered on the body, its dynamics, its potential and its failures in rapidly changing cultural circumstances. As a consequence, discussing the aesthetic and metaphorical function of food in these texts has also meant to ref lect on some of the salient features of modernism and modernity, and their often contradictory impulses and concerns. Among these, one may recall the potential and limits of the body (biological and social, private and public) and of aesthetic expression in a progressively more commodified and technology-oriented world; the controversial relationship with the past and (futurism’s) attempt at metabo- lizing and processing it; the changing perception of the role of the intel- lectual/artist in the political and cultural climate generated by totalitarian and colonial regimes; and the ambivalent perception of the feminine body as both producer and consumer within the emergence of mass culture and capitalist economies. In several of the texts under discussion we see, on the one hand, an artistic tendency to bulimically gorge on, and then creatively “regurgitate” a shifting social and material reality in the utopian hope of getting a better grip on it and on one’s own self and, on...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.