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Gadda in theory: With a Summation Coda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNuove Propsettive su Gadda
EditorsFederica Pedriali, Marco Carmello
Place of PublicationMadrid
PublisherEdiciones Complutense
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


Using insights from cognitive narratology, philosophy of literature, and literary theory more generally, in this essay I argue that the semi-superannuated terms author, book and readers are still the best available tools to isolate the mutual inscription binding cognitively invested partners caught in and by the book, the middle term. Capitalising on my narrow vocabulary, and focussing on the reader as the agent facing a highly ambiguous gift, I therefore call on my own track record and that of fellow scholars in Gadda Studies to show that as specialist readers we are even more tightly double-bound to the command placed on us by the author. Such a position, this is the beauty of the claim I am putting forth, is quite problematic in my field, as Gadda is particularly notorious for having compromised the integrity of practically all his texts, thus also appearing to have sacrificed, or lost, or never really had what could and should have amounted to authorial intention on his part. And yet, I insist, the more we dig into this sprawling text mass for the rich aporetic opportunities it lends us as interpreters, the more we hit upon an author not at all vanishing in, or vanquished by his texts. What we witness is, rather, an authorship with authority, and exploiting the gravity of thought to precipitate, literally, the ultimate continuity of the discontinuous book: the one maximising gaps, to stop all gaps.

    Research areas

  • Cognitive Narratology, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Jean-Luc Nancy, philosophy of literature, gravity of thought

ID: 21651999