Letteratura anglo–americana 2013-14






... DI CHI




"Romanzo che, agli albori del romanzo, si pone come ‘parodia del romanzo’, ne smonta i meccanismi pezzo a pezzo in una messa a nudo del procedimento narrativo/semantico." Viktor Sklovskij, "Il romanzo parodistico. Tristram Shandy di Sterne", in Teoria della prosa (1925): “E’ tutto regolato, come in un quadro di Picasso”.



La peripezia cessa di essere l’ingrediente principale; l’autore approfitta d’ogni scusa per introdurre riflessioni, aneddoti grassocci, capricci d’ogni genere, perfino scherzi come pagine bianche, pagine marmorizzate, un capitolo formato dalla sola parola alas! stampata a lettere sempre più grandi.”

Non c’è più gerarchia di soggetti, non c’è più regola di narrazione; ed è pacifico che Sterne fu il primo ad aprire la via che doveva condurre a Joyce” M. Praz, Storia della letteratura inglese, 1979







da VOL I chap 14

Could a histo-
riographer drive on his history, as a
muleteer drives on his mule, -- straight
forward ; ---- for instance, from Rome all
the way to Loretto, without ever once
turning his head aside either to the right
hand or to the left, -- he might venture
to foretell you to an hour when he should
get to his journey's end
; ---- but the
thing is, morally speaking, impossible :
For, if he is a man of the least spirit, he
will have fifty deviations from a straight
line to make with this or that party as he
goes along, which he can no ways avoid.
He will have views and prospects to
himself perpetually solliciting his eye,
which he can no more help standing still
to look at than he can fly ; he will more-
over have various

Accounts to reconcile:
Anecdotes to pick up :
Inscriptions to make out :
Stories to weave in :
Traditions to sift :
Personages to call upon :
Panygericks to paste up at this door :
Pasquinades at that :
---- All which
both the man and his mule are quite ex-
empt from. To sum up all ; there are
archives at every stage to be look'd in-
to, and rolls, records, documents, and
endless genealogies, which justice ever
and anon calls him back to stay the
reading of : ---- In short, there is no end
of it ; ---- for my own part, I declare I
have been at it these six weeks, making
all the speed I possibly could, -- and am
not yet born : -- I have just been able, and
that's all, to tell you when it happen'd,
but not how ; -- so that you see the thing
is yet far from being accomplished.









Roland Bathes, S/Z:

[...] the goal of literary work (of literature as work) [which] is to make the
no longer a consumer, but a producer of the text. Our literature is characterized by the pitiless divorce which the literary institution maintains
between the producer of the text and its user, between its owner and its consumer, between its author and its reader. This reader is thereby plunged into a kind of idleness -- he is intransitive; he is, in short, serious: instead of functioning himself, instead of gaining access to the magic of the signifier, to the pleasure of writing, he is left with no more than the poor freedom either to accept or reject the text: reading is nothing more than a referendum. Opposite the writerly text, then, is its counter value, its negative, reactive value: what can be read, but not written: the readerly. We call any readerly text a classic text.



esempi: tristramShandyWeb: www.tristramshandyweb.it > sezione HyperTS > Tristram Shandy tra digressione e ipertestualità by Giulia Losi

Vol1. ch.21



da sx vs dx secondo il punto di vista di Walter -- banda trasversale

da dx vs sx secondo il punto di vista di Toby -- barra






la digressione – è stata interpretata dalla critica come un passaggio da un argomento all’altro, da una realtà interiore a una esteriore, come un procedere sequenziale per associazioni di idee.



L’origine etimologica del sostantivo “digressione”, dal verbo latino digredi composto di dis- “qua e là” e gradi “camminare” o “uscire di strada”



Rispetto a cosa o a chi il racconto è “digressivo” o “discontinuo”:

alla vita di Tristram in senso lineare e cronologico,

allo stile narrativo, alle premesse metacritiche, o

al senso di verità comunicato dalle informazioni


Esiste un argomento “principale” da opporre a tanti argomenti “secondari”?



According to William Bowman Piper:

opinionative digression

explanatory digression


Inger Sigrun Brodley:

linearità >> unità e stabilità

digressione >> sequenzialità e autenticità



Erasmo da Rotterdam nella sua Copia Rerum afferma che per abbellire la sententia si può fare uso dei dettagli, creare neologismi, utilizzare la sinonimia, operare delle digressioni: “The sixth method of amplifying, which the Greek call a parekbasis, some of the Latins call egressio, others digressio, and some excursus.




said he, shall be made to conjugate every
word in the dictionary, backwards and
forwards the same way
;——every word,
Yorick, by this means, you see, is converted
into a thesis or an hypothesis;—

every thesis and hypothesis have an offspring
of propositions;—and each proposition
has its own consequences and
; every one of which leads
the mind on again, into fresh tracks of
enquiries and doubtings.——The force
of this engine, added my father, is incredible,
in opening a child's head.——

vol.6 ch.2


I told him, Sir -- for in good truth,
when a man is telling a story in the
strange way I do mine, he is obliged
continually to be going backwards and
forwards to keep all tight together in the
reader's fancy
-- which, for my own
part, if I did not take heed to do more
than at first, there is so much unfixed
and equivocal matter starting up, with
so many breaks and gaps in it
, -- and so
little service do the stars afford, which,
nevertheless, I hang up in some of the
darkest passages, knowing that the
world is apt to lose its way
, with all the
lights the sun itself at noon day can
give it -- and now, you see, I am lost
myself ! --

vol6 chap.33






Understanding pattern perception provides abstract design rules that can tell us much about how we should organize data so that important structures will be perceived. If we can map information structures to readily perceived patterns, then those structures will be more easily interpreted. [Colin Ware, Information Visualization: Perception for Design, Morgan Kaufmann, Elsevier, San Francisco 2004, p. 188.]





Le tre leggi di Newton affermano che:

• un corpo in quiete rimane in quiete e un corpo in movimento lungo una linea retta rimane in movimento uniforme, a meno che non venga disturbato da una forza esterna;

• l’accelerazione di un corpo è direttamente proporzionale alla forza applicata e ha la direzione della linea retta nella quale agisce la forza;

• a ogni forza si contrappone una forza di reazione uguale e opposta



Il Marchese Pierre Simon de Laplace:

An intelligence which, at a given instant, would know all the forces by which Nature is animated, and the respective situation of all the elements of which it is composed, if furthermore it were vast enough to submit all these data to analysis, would in the same formula encompass the motions of the largest bodies of the universe, and those of the most minute atom: nothing for it would be uncertain, and the future as well as the past would be present to its eyes. The human mind, in the perfection that it has been able to give to astronomy, provides a feeble semblance of this intelligence.

Henri Poincaré: "A very small cause, which escapes us, determines a considerable effect which we cannot ignore, and we then say that this effect is due to chance."


Edward Lorenz:

[it] implies that two states differing by imperceptible amounts may eventually evolve into two considerably different states. If then, there is any error whatever in observing the present state – and in any real system such errors seem inevitable - an acceptable prediction of an instantaneous state in that distant future may well be impossible.


Ilya Prigogine, Premio Nobel nel 1977




Robert Kaufman (biochimico e studioso di Teoria della complessità)

[...] ci sono individui che interagiscono (molecole, batteri, uccelli, macchine); ci sono regole che gli individui seguono; ci sono obiettivi e vincoli contrastanti; ci sono interazioni tra un sistema e l’altro; ci sono percorsi di adattamento ai cambiamenti esterni. In pratica, non si può comprendere il volo di uno stormo di uccelli studiando il comportamento individuale di un uccello: ogni uccello segue regole, interagisce con gli altri uccelli, produce un sistema che si muove in modo ordinato e in questo modo si adatta ai mutamenti esterni. Visto dall’esterno un sistema può avere un comportamento apparentemente casuale, ma comprendendone le regole di fondo e definendole in termini matematici quel comportamento diventa relativamente prevedibile. E quindi migliorabile.


Locke 1

Locke 2


Essay vol I e II

Essay vol III e IV




Robert Hooke, Micrographia,

these kind of Objects there is much more difficulty to discover the true shape, then [sic] of those visible to the naked eye, the same Object seeming quite differing [sic], in one position to the Light, from what it really is, and may be discover'd in another. And therefore I never began to make any draught before by many examinations in several lights, and in several positions to those lights, I had discover'd the true form. (xxiv)

Henry Power, Experimental Philosophy

John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

if by the help of such Microscopical Eyes (if I may so call them,) a Man could penetrate farther than ordinary into the secret Composition, and radical Texture of bodies, he would not make any great advantage by the change, if such an acute Sight would not serve to conduct him to the Market and Exchange.


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