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Wharton, Jewett, Matthiessen

Numero 17

Estate / Autunno 1999 - Anno VI


enlightened Antiamericani, filoamericani, americanisti

enlightened Wharton, Jewett, Matthiessen

enlightened Il caso Clinton

enlightened Canzoni contro le guerre

enlightened Carver / Altman

 

Editoriale

Antiamericani, filoamericani, americanisti – p. 4

Redazione di Acoma
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Testo a fronte

Uccidi per la pace: tre canzoni contro la guerra – p. 8

Redazione di Acoma
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Bob Dylan: With God on Your Side – p. 9

Bob Dylan
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Saggi

Edith Wharton e il declino dell'aristocrazia – p. 11

Eric Homberger

Eric Homberger’s essay is focused on Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and The House of Mirth. It analyzes the role of the novelist as historian and recorder of both the public and private life of the East Coast social élite at the turn of the century. From this first stage the essay moves on to demonstrate the ambivalent attitude of the author towards the old social aristocracy to which she belonged. Homberger shows how, despite Wharton’s appreciation for the declining values of the American high society, the main characters of her novels are portrayed as individuals crushed by conventions and pressures exerted by a ruthless social environment that entangles them and frustrates their yearning for life and personal freedom.

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L'altra Wharton – p. 23

Gianfranca Balestra

In this article the author focuses on some of Wharton’s works which have often been neglected in favor of the successful novels set among the American upper class society. Recent critical perspectives have opened up the possibility of studying “other” aspects in Wharton’s production. In focusing on Ethan Frome and Summer, and in analyzing the technical and stylistic devices used by Edith Wharton, this article stresses her interest in depicting social classes different from hers, and shows how both these works heighten the idea that the individual is molded by his or her social context, and is finally entrapped in it.

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F.O. Matthiessen e Sarah Orne Jewett: l'esordio di un critico – p. 32

Mario Corona

The article is part of a book in progress on F.O. Matthiessen, to be entitled “An Impossible Renaissance: Literature, Politics, and Sexuality”. It analyzes Matthiessen’s first independent critical work, the only one he devoted to a woman writer. A woman who did not quite fit into the standard patterns of Victorian femininity, just as Matthiessen, a homosexual, did not fit into contemporary patterns of masculinity. The article explores the intricate interweaving of private sympathies and public critical stances which provide the canvas for Matthiessen’s portrait of Jewett.

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Intervista

Il tavolo di cucina: cambiare il canone, integrare il baseball, pubblicare le donne di colore. Intervista digressiva con Barbara Smith – p. 40

Alessandro Portelli
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Il caso Clinton

Morale e politica, privato e pubblico: il caso Clinton-Lewinsky – p. 54

Maurizio Vaudagna

The Clinton-Lewinsky case is the occasion for the author to consider the processes whereby moral judgments are formed in American culture and come to interfere with politics. Vaudagna contends that the home is the cradle where the most important values and criteria are nurtured, regarding both the private sphere and the public arena. He then analyses how the private dimension came to prevail over the public one in those processes, and offers both explanations as to why this peculiarity came into being within American culture, and interpretations of the inevitable contradictions inherent in them. Yet, the exposure of the public lies and of the adoption of a moral “double standard” by the President did not result in his impeachment. The Clinton-Lewinsky story reveals that probably something has changed in the way American citizens deal with those contradictions.

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Campo giornalistico e campo politico nell'impeachment di Bill Clinton – p. 56

Fabrizio Tonello

Tonello recurs to Pierre Bourdieu’s category of the “field” to analyze the evolution of the power relationship existing between the parallel worlds of media and politics. Thus, the Clinton-Lewinsky story and the impeachment trial which occurred in the U.S. Senate are the occasion to assess the state of the relationship. The analysis is focused on the effort by the media to enforce their judgment and view of what should be done, and on their inability to prevail, that is to convince the public, as well as the elected officials who were judging the president, that Clinton deserved to be thrown out of office for his lies. The author offers an interpretation of the reasons why what he defines a putsch by the media did not succeed.

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Testo a fronte

Phil Ochs: Cops of the World – p. 68

Phil Ochs
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Saggi

"Prigionieri della vita": le scorciatoie di Robert Altman e di Raymond Carver – p. 70

Cinzia Biagiotti

The movie Short Cuts (1993), directed by Robert Altman, is based on nine stories and one poem by short story writer and poet Raymond Carver (1938-1988), and this essay explores the connections and the differences between the original texts and the screenplay. Altman’s approach took in the entire range of Carver’s work, and in fact he called the result of his re-elaboration, “Carver’s soup”, referring to the setting (Los Angeles instead of the Northwestern towns), to the links he created among characters from different stories, to the creation of new characters/story, to the use of narrative elements and characters from stories and poems other than those acknowledged and published as sources for the film. However, the screenplay and the movie respect the spirit of Carver’s semantic purposes updating the writer’s vision of contemporary America, and his stylistic methodology of cutting/omitting narrative to which the title, Short Cuts, refers.

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Donne sinistre: conflitto familiare, stile hollywoodiano – p. 87

Kenneth Kusmer

In recent years a new genre has become increasingly popular in American cinema and television: the tale of the sinister woman who intrudes herself into a “normal” middle-class family, often with murderous intent. These dramas project a dangerously false image of women (the vast majority of violent crimes in the U.S. are committed by men). Their popularity, however, reflects genuine fears about the changing nature of the family in post-industrial society, where both parents work, divorce is common, and child care has become problematical. Instead of dealing with these issues realistically, these films deflect these problems onto a convenient scapegoat in the form of a seductive, deranged outsider.

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Testo a fronte

Pete Seeger: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy – p. 94

Pete Seeger
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