Carlo Emilio Gadda’s fiction originates in his notion of an objectively chaotic and deformed world. Confronted by a reality that resists organization and rational systemization, the writer, according to Gadda’s aesthetics, becomes involved in a never-ending process of unraveling and probing into the interminable succession of links uniting facts, circumstances, and experiences. In this perspective, the subject of authorial self loses its once privileged place as an observer, positioned outside the labyrinth of phenomena and thus capable of exercising judgment, of arranging things to form an organic whole and, therefore, of narrating.
Also, in contrast to the modernist aesthetic, the writer, in Gadda’s view, cannot reflect the fragmentation of the present by refusing to communicate his personality, by remaining aloof and ironic. Instead, he too is a part of the chaos, a single element or moment in an objective chain that can claim no more than its neutral status as a biological and material presence. In other words, the author for Gadda does not disappear completely in his or her attempt to produce a thing-centered universe (as is the case with, say Alain Robbe-Grillet), but rather, becomes part of the “game” called “literature.”
What is literature for Gadda? Simply, the alter image of reality that produces fictional entities called characters and plots and disposes them for the purpose of creating particular effects. The subject,...
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