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The Return of the Real in Postmillennial Italy: Italian Lacanianism and New Realist Trends

Di Gregorio, Luca (2017) The Return of the Real in Postmillennial Italy: Italian Lacanianism and New Realist Trends. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:63703)

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In this thesis, I identify a coherent and consistent Italian cultural phenomenon which I call the 'return of the Real'. I claim that this is characterised primarily, but not exclusively, by two aspects: a resurgence of interest by scholars and clinicians in Lacan's teachings (Italian Lacanianism), especially his notion of the 'Real'; and a return of realist trends in the arts, broadly understood, and in the media. I contend that contemporary Italian Lacanianism distinguishes itself from its international counterparts for two reasons: it focuses particularly on Lacan's notion of the Real qua jouissance, and it interweaves clinical work, socio-political criticism, and aesthetic theories. Hence, the notion of the Real, as received by contemporary Italian Lacanians, enables us to understand early twenty-first-century Italian realist trends not only in aesthetic terms, but also as an ethical undertaking, a form of postmodern (Antonello and Mussgnug, 2009) or, better still, postmillennial impegno. I contend that, according to contemporary Italian Lacanianism, the issue at stake in postmillennial realist art is not so much the depiction of reality or its manipulation, but rather the Real of the untamed and pervasive jouissance that no longer encounter limits. The Real qua jouissance as the leitmotiv of postmillennial Italian artistic production, and a realist aesthetic understood as an ethical undertaking are epitomised in the three case studies closely analysed in my thesis: the documentary Videocracy - Basta apparire (Gandini, 2009); the film Reality (Garrone, 2012); and the television series In Treatment (Costanzo, 2013-2016). In this thesis, I thus address the 'return of the Real' as a broad cultural phenomenon, through the analysis of its theoretical background (i.e. contemporary Italian Lacanianism and the Lacanian notion of the Real), and its emergence in the new realist trends of postmillennial Italy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Uncontrolled keywords: ItalianStudies Philosophy Aesthetics Psychoanalysis JacquesLacan MassimoRecalcati Real Realism FilmTheory VisualStudies
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 09:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Di Gregorio, Luca.

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