Sagging skin? With a sigh of relief, she chose the cream with red vine leaves, in tone with the season. In the quoted paragraph, Ginevra, at the age of thirty-two, feels that she should engage with a plethora of skincare products in order to avoid wrinkles and premature skin ageing. On the other hand, the narrative structure builds a tension that is eventually released in a comic anticlimax where Ginevra, upon realising that her skin is still quite flawless, chooses a cream that complements the autumn season. Gli Harmony? The Harmony? In the case of Aspirapolvere di stelle , by contrast, Bertola uses the complicit relationship that her characters entertain with mass-market romance to address and re-contextualise chick lit tropes:.
Sono fantastica, pensava. Nessuna di queste slavate schiave del dovere potrebbe immaginare che nel mio cuore di perfetta e amorevole madre brucia un vulcano di passione in effetti, Arianna aveva ricominciato a leggere gli Harmony. None of these washed-out wage-slaves could ever imagine that in my heart of perfect and loving mother burns a volcano of passion in fact, Arianna had started reading Harmony novels again.
I am a truly modern woman, mother, feminine, partner, and entrepreneur all at once. Once again, Bertola introduces Harmony novels to play on the stereotype of the unsophisticated woman duped by these readings, but this time around her narrative strategy invokes a more active involvement of the audience.
One of the main characters is an aristocratic lawyer who secretly reads love stories and dreams of a love-life modelled on their characters, as the following excerpts shows:. Naturalmente erano letture segrete, portate avanti con somma discrezione. Quindi lui sapeva.
Law and Opera
Mario Mongilardi read romance novels. This secret activity had begun when he was nine years old and was on holiday with his cousin Ada, three years older, serial reader of the Romanzi della Rosa Salani.
Of course these were clandestine readings, carried out with utmost discretion. Therefore he knew. He had always known, one might say, what his fate was. The educated, professional male passionate about romance but ashamed to admit his guilty pleasure is not an original creation, but Bertola positions this narrative device in an intertextual framework that refers to a very specific literary tradition.
The dangers of such gendered and clandestine activities are then reinforced by the language and phrasing, which on the one hand cleverly imitate the lexicon of drug addiction, and on the other hand hyperbolically frame the novels as womanly readings.
Inevitabile, inaspettata, un giorno avrebbe incontrato LEI [. E adesso, da vari indizi, aveva identificato questa nemesi dei sentimenti in Emma. Doveva esserci, da qualche parte, un ostacolo. Unavoidable, unexpected, one day he would meet HER [. And now, from various clues, he had identified this nemesis of the feelings in Emma.
Just like in a Delly story, she was a girl from his hometown, handsome, intelligent, gentle, refined, the daughter of simple but honest people. There must have been, somewhere, an obstacle. There was always one, in the novels. At this point, to conform to the romance narrative structure and match the courtship plot that Mario has in mind, their relationship must encounter an obstacle that would make their final union all the more meaningful. It could be external, such as a physical separation or rules imposed by society, but also internal, and in this case it will refer to the motivations, feelings and personality of the hero and heroine.
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Mario is on his first date with Emma but does not know how to behave, so once again he resorts to his fictional role-models:. Presented with a sentence like that, Darcy, John the aviator or Count Hubert would pin the Woman Of Destiny to the closest beech tree, whispering incoherent words of love to her.
Mario was feeling a little lazy, that evening, but he kissed Emma anyway. Here Mario finds himself in a very tricky place: he acknowledges that the situation would require him to act boldly and audaciously, because this is what romantic heroes like Darcy or Rochester would do, but at the same time he is feeling a bit lazy, and eventually the dramatic and romantic gesture turns out to be an ordinary kiss.
Likewise, the trope of the barrier is played throughout the narrative as Camelia and Mario, clearly in love with each other and sharing the same romance-mediated fantasies, withhold their passion in the name of the barrier—that is, Emma—until the end of the novel, when the obstacle is removed and the pairing successfully settled. I want to marry you.
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I mean, because you love that other guy, and then I. Rather than approaching Anglo-American chick lit and the Italian tradition of romanzo rosa as formally distinct genres, Bertola opts for a smooth interplay between the two. The comic space outlined by Deleyto is one that allows the interaction of several generic, cultural and social signifiers, which in turn loosens and simultaneously enriches the fixed set of features that the genre deploys.
The result is a new romantic narrative that is not derivative, but thought-provoking and creative in its own right. Arslan, Antonia, and Maria Pia Pozzato. Storia e geografia , III. Alberto Asor Rosa. Turin: Einaudi, Banti, Anna. Milan: il Saggiatore, Brodesco, Alberto. Luigi Del Grosso Destrieri, et al. Milan: Franco Angeli, Chen, Eva Yin-I. Chick Lit. Working Papers on the Web. Sarah Gromley and Sarah Mills. Craddock, Louise. I best seller del ventennio: Il regime e il libro di massa.
Rome: Editori Riuniti, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Deleyto, Celestino. The Secret Life of Romantic Comedy.
Manchester: Manchester University Press, De Luca, Maria Novella. Del Grosso Destrieri, Luigi, et al. Una galassia rosa: Ricerche sulla letteratura femminile di consumo. De Rosa, Daniela. Vittorio Spinazzola. Djundjung, Jenny Mochtar. Ferriss, Suzanne, and Mallory Young, eds. New York: Routledge, Ghiazza, Silvana. La letteratura rosa negli anni venti-quaranta. Giovanetti, Silvia.
Harlequin Mondadori. Harzewski, Stephanie. Chick Lit and Postfeminism.
Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Hollows, Joanne. Kaplan, Cora.
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London: Methuen, Knowles, Joanne. Lee, A. Robert, ed. Amsterdam: Rodopi, Lepri, Laura. Lepschy, Anna Laura. Letizia Panizza and Sharon Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Manera, Livia. Marra, Wanda. Mazza, Cris. Suzanne Ferriss and Mallory Young. Chick Lit: Postfeminist Fiction , 1st ed. Normal, Illinois: Fiction Collective 2, Mizzau, Marina. Ed Centro di documentazione ricerca e iniziativa delle donne. Verona: Essedue, Modleski, Tania. Ommundsen, Wenche. Robert Lee.claselosennel.tk
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Panizza, Letizia, and Sharon Wood, eds. Pickering-Iazzi, Robin. Rinaldina Russell. Westport: Greenwood Press, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Povoledo, Elisabetta. Rak, Michele. Rosa: La letteratura del divertimento amoroso. Rome: Donizelli, Regis, Pamela.