Gadda and the Nineteenth-Century Novel

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This article focuses on Gadda’s crucial (if largely unexplored) dialogue with the tradition of European realism, especially in the period spanning from Racconto italiano to La cognizione del dolore. Building on a series of previously undetected intertextual echoes from Dickens, Balzac, Stendhal, Dostoevsky, and Flaubert, the present article aims to underline the importance of such models in Gadda’s formation as a novelist, with particular regard to a fundamental polarity underlying his fiction – the satirical representation of bourgeois society on the one hand, and the Quixotic portrayal of isolated misfits on the other. At the same time, the nineteenth-century paradigm is altered by Gadda in a modernist perspective, as its most distinctive feature (i.e., the ultimately serious representation of everyday life) is radically put into question.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGadda
Subtitle of host publicationInterpreti a confronto
EditorsFederica Pedriali
Place of PublicationFirenze
PublisherFranco Cesati Editore
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-88-7667-868-4
Publication statusPublished - 28-Jan-2021


  • Carlo Emilio Gadda
  • Modernism
  • Realism
  • Romanticism
  • Balzac
  • Dostoevsky
  • Flaubert
  • Dickens

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