Giovanni Genna

Giovanni Genna
Giovanni Genna in december 2015 obtained a Master’s Degree in Modern Philology at the University of Siena with honors (Supervisors: Prof. Pierluigi Pellini – Prof. Riccardo Castellana) with a thesis on the poetics of Carlo Emilio Gadda.
In april 2016 he received a Master’s Degree in “History and forms of Italian literature” at the Guglielmo Marconi University in Rome.
Over the last few years, also in parallel with his studies, he has had several work experiences: teacher of Literature at the ISIT Bassi-Burgatti di Cento – FE (september 2017), librarian in the National Civil Service at the University of Siena’s Economic Area Library (october 2016 – september 2017), trainee with web editing tasks at the Centro Studi Pluriversum in Siena (october 2015 – april 2016) and student tutor at the University of Siena (october 2014 – june 2015).
Giovanni Genna won the scholarship for the PhD in Literary, Linguistic and Historical Studies (Curriculum of Literary Studies) at the University of Salerno and now he is studying under supervision of prof. Epifanio Ajello.
He is currently a member of the scientific committee of the Graduate Conference Unisa 2018 «I Hope that Someone Gets my Message in a Bottle». A Survey on the Addressee.
His main interests concern poetry and the novel of the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the re-writing of the myths.
Research project 
A gash on the painting of objectivity: studies on the myth in Carlo Emilio Gadda

Epifanio Ajello, Università degli Studi di Salerno

The idea of this project was born of a strong interest in the re-writing of myth in a modern key and, in particular, of the study of the literary experience of Carlo Emilio Gadda, who, despite its rationalist nature, finds in the myth an unsuspected and inexhaustible container of forms and contents.
Delimiting the terms of Gadda’s relationship to myth is an extremely complex operation, due to the intrinsic difficulty to navigate the Engineer’s “blotters”, and because few studies have been devoted to the question. Gadda scholars, indeed, have so far overlooked the role of myth in his writings, or have otherwise highlighted the ways in which Gadda seems to downplay mythic elements, reducing them to mere rhetorical ornaments.
Considering Gadda’s positivism, it would seem easy to conclude that his thought cannot be defined as anything but anti-mythic. This, however, is far from true. Observing the evolution of his philosophic reflections from the 1928 Meditazione milanese, where myth is seen as a limit to human understanding (“I will dissolve the heroes and their weapons and everything that’s in our soul and in our love”), through the 1944 satiric pamphlet I miti del somaro, where Gadda poses the existence of a positive and psychodynamic form of myth (“A procedural certainty, a conscious collection: that’s myth”), it is possible to see myth not only as a more or less constant term of interaction (for instance through the numerous intertextual references in his fiction), but also as the cornerstone of a broader theory of knowledge that finds its definitive raison d’être in Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana (1957).
The present investigation springs from the necessity to open a new line of research around a topic that has too long remained unexplored. The opportunity to reread the Engineer’s literary production in the light of his relationship to myth implies the inevitable subversion of a part of the critical narrative: the part which repeatedly denied the existence of such a strong bond as it is attested in the author’s own reflections, when, at the time of his debut, he considered the best stylistic choices to achieve literary glory.