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Partitur eines Spätwerks

Eugenio Montales Ästhetik des ‚mezzo parlare‘

Stephanie Bung

Pages 185 - 202

The discourse of ‘lateness’ must be considered, as Gordon McMullan puts it, a remnant of nineteenth century biographism. In the case of Montale however, the designation ‘late verse’ frequently applied to ‘Satura’ (1971) and subsequent collections does actually seem appropriate to describe a second phase of his poetry. The esthetic of what the author calls his ‘mezzo parlare’ is based on discontinuity and dissonance within his own writing and is therefore highly compatible with Adorno’s notion of ‘Spätwerk’. This article explores the construction of ‘lateness’ from within the poems and argues that, since there is no such thing as an overarching category of ‘late style’, the reader must find a way to deal with this construction without being misled by the narrative and the figure of ‘the old poet.’


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