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From existentialist anxiety to existential joy: gendered journeys towards (re)commitment in Les Mandarins and Il rimorso as evidence of Simone de Beauvoir's influence on Alba de Céspedes' writing

Tonini, Sandrine (2010) From existentialist anxiety to existential joy: gendered journeys towards (re)commitment in Les Mandarins and Il rimorso as evidence of Simone de Beauvoir's influence on Alba de Céspedes' writing. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Whilst Simone de Beauvoir has become an icon of feminism, and The Second Sex in particular been recognized as a point of reference for writers and philosophers worldwide, her reputation in Italy was not established immediately, and there she remains a controversial figure. This study focuses on one aspect of her influence in Italy: the relationship between her writing and that of the Italian best-selling author, Alba de Céspedes. It is the first in-depth analysis of the complex pattern of influence evident in the relationship between what the two authors have described as their most important novels, Les Mandarins and Il rimorso. Part I deals with the historical and theoretical backgrounds to this research. It provides a study of the socio-political events that are relevant to the narrative contents, and an overview of different theories of intertextuality. Part II is a detailed comparative analysis of the novels and establishes for the first time the precise nature of the relationship between Les Mandarins and Il rimorso ideologically and philosophically, as well as intertextually. In particular, this work explores a number of superficial resemblances between the novels’ structures, characterization and thematic content, and it also reveals a more sophisticated relation that is not manifest in the similarities, but rather in the way the texts differ from each other. This thesis brings two significant contributions to literary research: firstly, it will become evident that studies of de Céspedes’ life and works should include close attention to de Beauvoir; and secondly, it is an addition to a popular area of de Beauvoirian studies, that of the charting of the extent of the French author’s philosophical and ideological influence and of its legacy worldwide.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Simone de Beauvoir, Alba de Céspedes, influence, women's studies, existentialism, intellectual commitment
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Italian
Supervisor's Name: Morris, Dr. Penelope and Fotiade, Dr. Ramona
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Ms Sandrine Tonini
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-2215
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2010
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2014 09:44
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2215

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