On 6 June, Kristiina Rebane from the Tallinn University School of Humanities defended her thesis on the novels of the modernist Italian writer and Nobel laureate Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936). Her work is the first Italian studies thesis in Estonia that is written and defended in Italian
“I looked at the represented speech in 251 novellas by Luigi Pirandello. I was specifically interested in the spread of this controversial and amorphous narrative technique, its linguistic and textual characteristics and semantic functions in Pirandello’s poetics,” Rebane said. She found out that Pirandello uses representative speech to express the inner and outer monologues of the characters, dialogues, as well as the collective voice of the society.
“Pirandello’s represented speech is characterised by large variability in form, with many important stylistic developments seen throughout the years,” said the author and added that in his last novellas, Pirandello used the full potential of this narrative technique, and developed a special form of represented speech, the limits of which are almost impossible to determine.
In the context of modern narratology, represented speech is seen as the type of interaction between the texts of the narrator and the character, wherein the latter is subject to the former. “While analysing Pirandello’s novellas from a represented speech point of view, I discovered that represented speech allows the interaction of these two main components of narrative text without the need to subject the character to the narrator,” Rebane added. The linguistic and semantic categories of represented speech developed and used in this thesis will also help study narrative techniques in Pirandello’s novels, as well. In general, these tools allow the research of represented speech in any narrative text.
The PhD thesis “Narrare con i personaggi – il discorso indiretto libero nelle novella di Luigi Pirandello” (“Narrating through characters – represented speech in the novels of Luigi Pirandello”) was defended on 6 June at 11:00 at Tallinn University. The supervisor of the thesis was Associate Professor Ülar Ploom from Tallinn University. The opponents were Professor Emeritus John Barnes from University College Dublin, and Associate Professor Laura Di Nicola from Sapienza Universita di Roma.
The thesis can be read via the Tallinn University Academic Library e-Vault ETERA.