Gadda and Beckett
Storytelling, Subjectivity and Fracture

Katrin Wehling-Giorgi

Italian Perspectives 29

Legenda

1 November 2014  •  176pp

ISBN: 978-1-907975-99-8 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351191-47-0 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ModernItalianEnglishFictionDrama


While the writing of Carlo Emilio Gadda (1893-1973) is renowned for its linguistic and narrative proliferation, the best-known works of Samuel Beckett (1906-89) are minimalist, with a clear fondness for subtraction and abstraction. Despite these face-value differences, a close reading of the two authors’ early prose writings reveals some surprisingly affinitive concerns, rooted in their profoundly troubled relationship with the literary medium and an unceasing struggle for expression of an incoherent reality and a similarly unfathomable self.

Situating Gadda and Beckett at the heart of the debate of late European modernism, this study not only contests the position of ‘insularity’ frequently ascribed to both authors by critical consensus, but it also rethinks some of Gadda’s plurilingual and macaronic features by situating them in the context of the turn-of-the-century Sprachkrise, or crisis of language. In a close analysis of the primary texts which engages with the latest findings in empirical research, Wehling-Giorgi casts fresh light on the central notions of textual and linguistic fragmentation and provides a new post-Lacanian analysis of the fractured self in Gadda’s and Beckett’s narrative.

Katrin Wehling-Giorgi is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Italian Department at the University of Warwick.

Reviews:

  • ‘Katrin Wehling-Giorgi’s comparative reading of the works of two giants of European literature is both enlightening and fascinating... The book is written in an elegant style and has the great merit of spelling out with admirable clarity the philosophical implications of Gadda’s and Beckett’s narrative projects.’ — Olivia Santovetti, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 225-27 (full text online)

Bibliography entry:

Wehling-Giorgi, Katrin, Gadda and Beckett: Storytelling, Subjectivity and Fracture, Italian Perspectives, 29 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2014)

First footnote reference: 35 Katrin Wehling-Giorgi, Gadda and Beckett: Storytelling, Subjectivity and Fracture, Italian Perspectives, 29 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2014), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Wehling-Giorgi, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Wehling-Giorgi, Katrin. 2014. Gadda and Beckett: Storytelling, Subjectivity and Fracture, Italian Perspectives, 29 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Wehling-Giorgi 2014: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Wehling-Giorgi 2014: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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