Journal of Romance Studies

Resistance written and imaged: The distancing visual narrative of Ornela Vorpsi

Journal of Romance Studies (2014), 14, (1), 1–18.

Abstract

This article explores the visual narrative of the Albanian Italophone writer Ornela Vorpsi. By drawing evidence from her short novels, Il paese dove non si muore mai and La mano che non mordi, and from her collection of short stories entitled Vetri rosa, this article intends to cast light on how the interaction between writing and a photographic aesthetic empowers Vorpsi’s narration of estrangement and repression through the creation of a strategic narrating and visualizing distance. In particular, her writing, strongly influenced by the visual, will be seen as a means of resistance and deriving from an urge to free repressed feelings, stories and corporeality. It also examines the type of reality that emerges from Vorpsi’s visual narration and how word and image allow her to construct and reiterate alternative self-views.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Barthes, Roland (1982) Camera Lucida, trans. Richard Howard (London: Jonathan Cape). Camera Lucida Google Scholar

Baudrillard, Jean (1999) Within the Horizon of the Object: Objects in This Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, Photographs 1985-1998, ed. P. Weibel (Graz: Hatje Cantz). Within the Horizon of the Object: Objects in This Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, Photographs 1985-1998 Google Scholar

Bazin, André (1968) ‘The ontology of the photographic image’, in What is Cinema, ed. and trans. Hugh Gray (Berkeley: University of California Press), 9–16. The ontology of the photographic image What is Cinema 9 16 Google Scholar

Biasin, Gian Paolo (1997) Le periferie della letteratura (Ravenna: Longo). Le periferie della letteratura Google Scholar

Bond, Emma (2010) ‘“Verde di migrazione”: L’estetica perturbante dell’enstrangement ne La mano che non mordi di Ornela Vorpsi’, Italies 14, 411–426. “Verde di migrazione”: L’estetica perturbante dell’enstrangement ne La mano che non mordi di Ornela Vorpsi La mano che non mordi 14 411 426 Google Scholar

Burns, Jennifer (2010) ‘Language and its alternatives in Italophone migrant writing’, in National Belonging: Hybridity in Italian Colonial and Postcolonial Culture, eds Jacqueline Andall and Derek Duncan (Oxford/New York: Peter Lang), 127–148. Language and its alternatives in Italophone migrant writing National Belonging: Hybridity in Italian Colonial and Postcolonial Culture 127 148 Google Scholar

Cattani, Francesco (2007) ‘Confini non ovvi: Ornela Vorpsi e Julia Kristeva’, in Guardare Oltre: Letteratura, fotografia e altri territori, eds Silvia Albertazzi and Ferdinando Amigoni (Rome: Meltemi), 177–194. Confini non ovvi: Ornela Vorpsi e Julia Kristeva Guardare Oltre: Letteratura, fotografia e altri territori 177 194 Google Scholar

Chiellino, Carmine (ed.) (2000) Interkul Literatur: Ein Handbuch (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler). Comberiati, Daniele (2010) Scrivere nella lingua dell’altro: La letteratura degli immigrati in Italia (1989–2007) (Brussels: Peter Lang). Interkul Literatur: Ein Handbuch Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques (1978) Writing and Difference (London: Routledge). Writing and Difference Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques (1982) Margins of Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago). Margins of Philosophy Google Scholar

Elsie, Robert (2005) Albanian Literature. A Short History (London: Tauris). Albanian Literature. A Short History Google Scholar

Entin, Joseph B. (2007) Sensational Modernism: Experimental Fiction and Photography in Thirties America  (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press). Sensational Modernism: Experimental Fiction and Photography in Thirties America Google Scholar

Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta (1997) Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press). Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy Google Scholar

Federman, Raymond (1990) To Whom it May Concern: A Novel (Normal, IL: Fiction Collective Two). To Whom it May Concern: A Novel Google Scholar

Fischer, Bernd J. (2007) ‘Enver Hoxha and the Stalinist dictatorship in Albania’, in Balkan Strongmen: Dictators and Authoritarian Rulers of South Eastern Europe, ed. Bernd J. Fischer (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press), 239–268. Enver Hoxha and the Stalinist dictatorship in Albania Balkan Strongmen: Dictators and Authoritarian Rulers of South Eastern Europe 239 268 Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel (1987) ‘The ethic of care for the self as a practice of freedom: An interview with Michel Foucault on January 20, 1984’, conducted by Raul Fornet-Betancourt et al., translated by J.D. Gauthier, Philosophy and Social Criticism 12.2–3, 112–131. The ethic of care for the self as a practice of freedom: An interview with Michel Foucault on January 20, 1984 Philosophy and Social Criticism 3 112 131 Google Scholar

Gnisci, Armando (1998) Letteratura italiana della migrazione (Rome: Lilith). Letteratura italiana della migrazione Google Scholar

Haverty Rugg, Linda (1997) Picturing Ourselves: Photography & Autobiography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Picturing Ourselves: Photography & Autobiography Google Scholar

hooks, bell (2003) ‘The oppositional gaze’, in The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, ed. Amelia Jones (London: Routledge), 94–105. The oppositional gaze The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader 94 105 Google Scholar

Hoxha, Enver (1977) Speeches, Conversations and Articles, 1965–1966 (Tirana: 8 Nentori). Speeches, Conversations and Articles, 1965–1966 Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia (1983) Histoire d’amour (Paris: Denoël). Histoire d’amour Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia (1984) Revolution in Poetic Language, trans. Margaret Waller (New York: Columbia). Revolution in Poetic Language Google Scholar

Lefort, Claude, ‘The image of the body and totalitarianism’ (1981), in Claude Lefort (1986), The Political Forms of Modern Society: Bureaucracy, Democracy, and Totalitarianism, ed. John B. Thompson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 293–306. The image of the body and totalitarianism The Political Forms of Modern Society: Bureaucracy, Democracy, and Totalitarianism 293 306 Google Scholar

Mauceri, Maria Cristina (2006) ‘L’Europa venuta dall’Europa’, in Nuovo planetario italiano: Geografia e antologia della letteratura della migrazione in Italia e in Europa, ed. Armando Gnisci (Troina: Città Aperta Edizioni), 113–154. L’Europa venuta dall’Europa Nuovo planetario italiano: Geografia e antologia della letteratura della migrazione in Italia e in Europa 113 154 Google Scholar

Mitchell, W.J. Thomas (1994) Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press). Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation Google Scholar

Neubauer, John (2010) ‘Introduction’, in History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe. Vol IV: Types and Stereotypes, eds Marcel Cornis-Pope and John Neubauer (Amsterdam: Benjamins), 11–18. Introduction History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe. Vol IV: Types and Stereotypes 11 18 Google Scholar

Parati, Graziella (1997) ‘Strangers in paradise: Foreigners and shadows in Italian literature’, in Re-visioning Italy: National Identity and Global Culture, eds Beverly Allen and Mary J. Russo (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), 169–190. Strangers in paradise: Foreigners and shadows in Italian literature Re-visioning Italy: National Identity and Global Culture 169 190 Google Scholar

Parati, Graziella (2005) Migration Italy. The Art of Talking Back in a Destination Culture (Toronto: University of Toronto Press). Migration Italy. The Art of Talking Back in a Destination Culture Google Scholar

Pinzi, Anita (2013) ‘Corpi-cerniera: corpi di donna in Il paese dove non si muore mai di Ornela Vorpsi’, in Il confine liquido. Rapporti letterari e interculturali fra Italia e Albania, eds Emma Bond and Daniele Comberiati (Lecce: Salento Books), 167–184. Corpi-cerniera: corpi di donna in Il paese dove non si muore mai di Ornela Vorpsi Il paese dove non si muore mai 167 184 Google Scholar

Sayad, Abdelmalek (2004) The Suffering of the Immigrant (Cambridge: Polity). The Suffering of the Immigrant Google Scholar

Smith, Anne-Marie (1998) Julia Kristeva. Speaking the Unspeakable (London: Pluto). Julia Kristeva. Speaking the Unspeakable Google Scholar

Van Gelder, Hilde and Helen Westgeest (2011) Photography Theory in Historical Perspective (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons). Photography Theory in Historical Perspective Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2001) Nothing Obvious (London: Thames and Hudson). Nothing Obvious Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2005) Il paese dove non si muore mai (Turin: Einaudi). Il paese dove non si muore mai Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2006a) ‘L’Albania è una ferita che brucia ancora’, interview with Maria Cristina Mauceri, Kúmá 11. http://www.disp.let.uniroma1.it/kuma/poetica/kuma11vorps.html (accessed 15 January 2012). Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2006b) ‘Fahrenheit.’ Radio interview. RAI, Radio 3. National Public Radio. 7 September 2006. http://www.radio.rai.it/radio3/fahrenheit/mostra_libro.cfm?Q_EV_ID=162906 (accessed 15 January 2012). Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2006c) Vetri rosa (Rome: Nottetempo). Vetri rosa Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2007) La mano che non mordi (Turin: Einaudi). La mano che non mordi Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2009) The Country Where No One Ever Dies, trans. Robert Elsie and Janice Mathie-Heck (Urbana Champaign: Dalkey Archive). The Country Where No One Ever Dies Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2010a) Bevete Cacao Van Houten! (Turin: Einaudi). Bevete Cacao Van Houten! Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2010b) ‘Scrivere senza radici. Ornela Vorpsi’, http://linguamatrigna.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/scrivere-senza-radici.html (accessed 17 November 2013). Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2012a) Ci-gît l’amour fou (Paris: Actes Sud). Ci-gît l’amour fou Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2012b) Fuorimondo. Storia di una ragazza di oggi (Turin: Mondadori). Fuorimondo. Storia di una ragazza di oggi Google Scholar

Vorpsi, Ornela (2013) ‘Intervista inedita a Ornela Vorpsi’, interview with Emma Bond, Jennifer Burns and Maria Cristina Mauceri, in Il confine liquido. Rapporti letterari e interculturali fra Italia e Albania, eds Emma Bond and Daniele Comberiati (Lecce: Salento Books), 203–220. Intervista inedita a Ornela Vorpsi Il confine liquido. Rapporti letterari e interculturali fra Italia e Albania 203 220 Google Scholar

Weston, Edward (1980) ‘Seeing p hotographically’ (1943), in Classic Essays on Photography, ed. Alan Trachtenberg (New Haven, CT: Leete’s Island), 169–178. Seeing p hotographically’ (1943), in Classic Essays on Photography, ed. Alan Trachtenberg (New Haven, CT: Leete Classic Essays on Photography 169 178 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Alù, Giorgia