Amelia Rosselli and Écriture Féminine: Voice-Body-Music

  • Author / Creator
    Benvenuti, Valentina
  • French feminist scholars, poets, and philosophers Hélène Cixous and Julia Kristeva proclaimed the absolute necessity of a revolution in poetic language, both in the realm of the signifier and the signified. Even though they used different terms, they both described a peculiarly feminine writing that would challenge and annihilate the limits of phallogocentric language. Interestingly, they both emphasized musicality as one of the main elements of écriture féminine.
    In my thesis I apply French feminist theories about poetic language to the Italian poet, musicologist, pianist, and composer Amelia Rosselli’s experimental and deeply musical poetry. Indeed, musicality is an essential trait of her poetry as she herself proclaims in her poetic manifesto, Spazi Metrici: “Any problematic of poetic form has always been connected for me to that which is more strictly musical, and I have never in reality divided the two disciplines” (Rosselli and Scappettone 37). Even though Amelia Rosselli is undoubtedly considered one of the most revolutionary poetic voices of Italian and international 20th century literature, she has not yet been studied, translated, or given the importance and value she deserves. In particular, even though the musical nature of her poems has been recently celebrated by critics, the relationship between music and écriture féminine in her poems has not yet been analysed.
    In my analysis I will first focus on three main components of écriture féminine: voice, body, and music in Rosselli’s collections of poems in English, Sleep (1953-1966) and her collection in Italian, Variazioni Belliche (1964). It is argued here that her musical metric along with elements of voice and body make Rosselli’s writing an incredibly successful exemplification of a purely feminine revolutionary form of writing, one that challenges the axioms of phallocratic language through the absolute predominance of the semiotic over the symbolic. More broadly, I want to demonstrate how musico-poetic analysis can enrich both feminist literary analysis and feminist theory.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.