Il guanto, la lacuna e l’anacronismo, o del segreto in Max Klinger, André Breton, Francesca Woodman e Deborah Levy

Beatrice Seligardi






The glove is a recurrent object in Western art history that acquires a special resonance in Simbolist and Surrealist movements. Here the glove often appears as an uncanny object: it suggests without declaring, it tells without narrating. Therefore, the glove could be understood as the symbol of a fundamental literary category as the “unsaid”, a sort of “function” that reveals the secret nature of language and art: absence, allusion and enigma play a crucial role in both literary and visual expression. But the glove could also lead to a reflection on time and non-linear temporal sequences. Picking from these premises, the glove as a dispositive of secrecy will be investigated in the intertextual and intermedial relationships among various texts, including Max Klinger’s series of etchings entitled Paraphrase über den Fund eines Handschuhs (1881), André Breton’s novel Nadja (1928; 1963), Francesca Woodman’s photographic series known also as Story of a Glove or Glove Series (1977-1978) and Deborah Levy’s novel Swimming Home (2013).