Opus servile

Franco Fortini
1990 Quaderni d'Italianistica  
Franco Fortini Opus servile1 . These days the aesthetics of the reception of the literary text and neo-Marxist aesthetics join in the affirmation that correlations, correspondences, metrical figures, significant forms and figures of literary discoursein short, every level of the so-called text, from the phonemic to the ideologicalculturalare comprehensible and appreciable not only thanks to their realization within a system and structure, but also for the relation and interaction that each of
more » ... tion that each of these elements establishes with something that is not text, or rather with what we call "reality," provided that we believe that the world is not a discourse and that a thing is not a word. "In this class do we believe in poems and things, or is it just us?" asked a by now proverbial girl from Johns Hopkins, according to Stanley Fish's account (Is There a Text in This Class? [Cambridge, MA and Lxjndon: Harvard UP, 1980] 305). I want to reassure that clever girl right away, before we proceed any further: it is not only us. On the contrary, we believe (at least I believe) in poetry and in things. Having said this, I know that I have placed myself apart from those who, by identifying word and thought, deny substantial differences between the modes and the types of discourse as well as between verbal discourse and non-verbal communication. Let us admit, then, an extra-text or, let's say, a context, a "naïve" outside of poetry and discourse. Its identity is no more demonstrable than were the metaphysics of Aristotle or of St. Thomas, or the Kantian relation between phenomenon and essence. What do I mean, then, if I say "context"? The ensemble of the circumstances in which literary discourse offers itself Or as Van Dijk wrote many years ago, the ensemble ofpsychological, sociological, historical, and anthropological conditions, actions and functions of literary texts. If at this point, along with much cultural and literary sociology, we affirm that what manifests itself in the literary work is an ensemble of social relations, there will be two ways of understanding this affirmation: either those relations coincide with the zone of existence and anthropological reality, which is by definition social, in which case to say "social relation"
doi:10.33137/q.i..v11i1.10543 fatcat:wa5chb6yizflxenol355dj7npi