Relatar la catástrofe en el Siglo de Oro. Entre noticia y narración is the title of the volume by Gennaro Schiano presented on 7th June 2022 at the Department of Humanities of the University of Naples Federico II. The meeting proved to be an opportunity to reflect on some of the fundamental issues for the research of the DisComPoSE project.
Four scholars were invited to represent the different disciplinary areas of the project: Chiara de Caprio (Discompose-Unina) for linguistics, Armando Alberola Romá (Universidad de Alicante) for the history of disasters, Marcial Rubio Árquez (University of Chieti-Pescara) for philology and literature, and Massimo Rospocher (FBK ISIG Trento) for the history of information.
These guests re-read Schiano’s work from their own perspectives and different working methods, giving rise to a fruitful debate. The interaction brought out the two heuristic focuses of the book: on the one hand, the emergence of the world of news and the market for printed information genres; on the other hand, the precious testimony that these genres offer on an unprecedented way of perceiving, understanding and recounting natural disasters in the early modern age. If the narrative prose of that time is testing its ability to represent the world and the conditions of factuality and fictionality of the different media, the prodigious and horrific character of the catastrophe offers a fruitful experimentation ground for codifying genres and sedimenting narrative traditions.
The speakers highlighted how the three case studies analyzed by Schiano allowed him not only to define and study a vast corpus such as that of the relaciones de sucesos (the genre to which the book is dedicated), but also to weave a homogeneous discourse although made up of multiple levels of analysis. The author has, in fact, examined the historical, social and cultural contexts peculiar to each case and the distinct conditions of the processing, production and dissemination of the news; he has observed the composite material characteristics of the corpora and the different editorial structures linked to the very different interpretations of the relacionero genre; and he has investigated the topoi, rhetoric, styles of informative writing and its various influences on the poetry of the cultured and popular literature of the seventeenth century.
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