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In: Imaginary Films in Literature
In: Imaginary Films in Literature

Abstract

This essay focuses on a little-understood phase of Franco Moretti’s work that spans 1976 to 1986. My aim is to shed light on Moretti’s cultural background as it was formed in that period and to account for the transition from the Trotskyist, politically-militant stance of his first book, Literature and Ideologies in England in the 1930s, to the idiosyncratic, seemingly disengaged character of Signs Taken for Wonders and The Way of the World. Adorno’s concept of ‘unrestrained individuation’ plays a crucial role in the argument. Following a personal political crisis, Moretti opted to enact a form of critical individuation, encoding the explicit social antagonism of the earlier years within a highly personal style and a new theoretical eclecticism. In this way, by disguising it as an alluring form of individualism, Moretti managed to smuggle an antagonistic critical discourse into an increasingly neoliberal world that would soon prove hostile toward it.

In: Historical Materialism
Since cinema is a composite language, describing a movie is a complex challenge for critics and writers, and greatly differs from the ancient and successful genre of the ekphrasis, the literary description of a visual work of art. Imaginary Films in Literature deals with a specific and significant case within this broad category: the description of imaginary, non-existent movies – a practice that is more widespread than one might expect, especially in North American postmodern fiction. Along with theoretical contributions, the book includes the analyses of some case studies focusing on the borders between the visual and the literary, intermedial practices of hybridization, the limits of representation, and other related notions such as “memory”, “fragmentation”, “desire”, “genre”, “authorship”, and “censorship”.
In: Imaginary Films in Literature
In: Imaginary Films in Literature
In: Imaginary Films in Literature
In: Imaginary Films in Literature
In: Imaginary Films in Literature
In: Imaginary Films in Literature