Michela Meschini

Panel 3A: Literary Transcodifications/3
Session 3 – July 2, 11:00 – 13:00

Interrogating Images: Some Notes on the Affective Turn of Tabucchi’s ‘Iconic Temptation’

The proposed inquiry focuses on the short-story collection I volatili del Beato Angelico(1987), in order to point out the self-reflexive vocation as well as the philosophical underpinnings of the visual intertextuality of Antonio Tabucchi’s writing. It also seeks to explain Tabucchi’s poetics of vision in the light of the most influential contributions to affect theory and the visual studies (Mieke Bal, W. J. Mitchell, Kathleen Stewart). Special attention is devoted to three “short-shorts” reaching out to the visual in original and enigmatic ways – i.e. the opening tale from which the collection is named, alongside La battaglia di San Romano and La traduzione. The key role played in these narratives by the world of painting shows at work forms of transcodification and re-mediation based upon ‘refraction’ and fragmentation, and addressing both aesthetic and affective issues. In Tabucchi’s writing, theverbal re-articulation of the visual domain is not aimed at providing responsesand solutions but helps expand and intensify the philosophical questions there in raised


Michela Meschini is senior lecturer in Critical theory and Comparative literature at the University of Macerata.Her research focuses on inter-art studies, postmodernist fiction and transnational and post-colonial writing. She has published extensively on contemporary Italian fiction and is the author of Antonio Tabucchi and the Visual Arts: Images, Visions, and Insights(Peter Lang 2018) and Visioni postmoderne. Percorsi teorici e testuali ne Le città invisibili di Italo Calvino(eum 2018).