• Stefano Tani
  • Matteo Rima
  • Francesca Agamennoni
Keywords: Screens, Narcissus, mirror, portrait, photography, cinema, computer, cell phone, Alzheimer, zombie, Lazarus


This introduction intends to introduce screens as a subject and theme present throughout the history of mankind. The essay discusses  Narcissus’ fount as the first (mythological) screen, the mirror as the first man-made object reflecting  his  image, and subsequently all the other artifacts capturing one’s image: portraits, photography, and cinematic screens, up to computer and cell phone displays. Screens in general reflect man’s uneasiness once confronted with his own image. With the advent of a digital society screens have become the reflections of users who delegated their mental faculties to them. So Alzheimer is now  the perfect metaphoric illness of the XXI century.  Man emptied by Alzheimer is perfectly represented by the zombie, a popular figure in horror movies that has as its forerunner the aphasic Lazarus of John’s Gospel.


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Author Biographies

Stefano Tani

Stefano Tani is full professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Verona. He studied at the University of Florence (laurea, 1976) and at the State University of New York (Ph.D., 1981). His main publications are: The Doomed Detective: The Contribution of the Detective Novel to Postmodern American and Italian Fiction  (Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press, 1984), Il romanzo di ritorno (Milano, Mursia, 1990), and Lo schermo, l’Alzheimer, lo zombie. Tre metafore del XXI secolo  (Verona, ombre corte, 2014). He also edited Una stella sul parco di Monte Morris (Milano, Garzanti, 1994) by Henry Roth and the two Meridiani Mondadori volumes (2005 e 2006) containing the works by Raymond Chandler (Raymond Chandler. Romanzi e racconti).   

Matteo Rima

Matteo Rima is an adjunct professor of Comparative Literature for the Literature degree of the Cultures and Civilisations Department of the University of Verona. His research interests are in the area of global literature, narrative genres (especially mystery and science fiction), testamentary novel, sociology of comics and graphic novels, with a particular focus on transmediality. In 2009 he published his first book, Parole e nuvole. Holmes, Marlowe e Maigret dal romanzo al fumetto. His second book, Il romanzo-testamento, was published in 2015. He also wrote about graphic novels and national identity (“Nazioni e nuvole: come i fumetti raccontano Stati Uniti d’America e Giappone”, 2016; “Il fumetto e l’identità nazionale italiana”, 2016), illness and death as fuel for creativity (“Writing on the Border: The Testament Novel”, 2013), films based on graphic novels (“A History of Violence. Dal fumetto al film”, 2012). 
Francesca Agamennoni

Francesca Agamennoni received her Ph. D. in Generi Letterari in L’Aquila in 2015. Her work has been mainly focused on the cultural legacy of the Wagnerian ideal of Geasmtkunstwerk and its influence on contemporary art practice. Since 2013 she has been working as section editor for Between. Rivista dell’Associazione di Teoria e Storia Comparata della letteratura.


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How to Cite
Tani, S., Rima, M., & Agamennoni, F. (2018). Screens. Between, 8(16).