ANADIPLOSIS/CLIMAX. ASCENSIONS AND DOWNFALLS IN ITALIAN POETRY
This work defines (and rethinks) anadiplosis, a figure of repetition that, I argue, has long been entwined with the desire to represent a mystical or iconoclastic experience. After tracing the etymology of this rhetorical tool, I observe and analyze its presence in the biblical Song of the Ascents, Dante’s Commedia, and the poetry of Amelia Rosselli. Anadiplosis reveals itself as Jacob's ladder, one with which words ascend towards the idea of God or, conversely, divinities are dragged into the mundane. This double movement becomes the matrix that structures my further inquiry: while approaching the paradox of ineffability in relation to repetition via Giorgio Agamben, the gospel of John, Dante, Caterina da Siena, Mariangela Gualtieri, and Gershom Scholem, I highlight that the use of anadiplosis unveils the limits of language when confronted with the divine. Lastly, together with Pier Paolo Pasolini and Walter Benjamin’s theorization of the allegory, I reflect upon the desacralizing power of anadiplosis: a weapon to kill gods, fathers, and empty religious institutions – and to invest them with radical new meanings.
Comparative Literature; Cinema; Critical Theory; Rhetoric; Italian literature; Italian poetry; Jewish mysticism; Philosophy of language
Pinkus, Karen Elyse
Campbell, Timothy C.; Attell, Kevin D.
Ph.D., Romance Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis