Modern Languages & Literatures
California Italian Studies
This paper explores television-modeled narratives in Silvia Ballestra’s La guerra degli Antò, of 1992, and Aldo Nove’s Woobinda, of 1996. In so doing, it considers both the role of a text's author and the majority/minority reception practices that lead to its social imprint. For a definition of reception practices it turns to the work of media and reception scholars such as Henry Jenkins and Ien Ang. Employing a soap-operatic narrative and respecting the viewing practices of a minority viewer group, Ballestra navigates contemporary TV language to shape receptive communities within, and outside, of her text. Nove, in turn, models his work on majority group viewing habits to exploit and parody the homogenizing, and conversely isolating, effects of this language. In Woobinda authority lies with television, the medium of debased culture, while in La guerra degli Antò the narrator asserts her authority by adopting and mutating the codes of this same medium. Each text serves an important function, Nove’s text details the ultimate impasse of efforts to assert subjectivity, while Ballestra’s suggests a means of bypassing the impediments.
Seger, Monica, Passing the Remote: Community and Television Viewing in Woobinda and La guerra degli Antò (2011). California Italian Studies, 2(2).