Carlo Emilio Gadda as Catholic and Man of Science: the case of Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana
Ferguson, Christopher John
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The present study looks at the influence that two of the major cultural forces of the twentieth century had on the output of Carlo Emilio Gadda. It grew out of a search for ways of discussing Gadda and in particular his 1957 novel Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana that would be accessible to the widest possible audience. Ten chapters in length, the study treats first the influence that Christianity and in particular Italian Catholicism had on the avowedly atheist writer over five chapters, paying attention to the saints and holy places used in Gadda’s output, then moves on to consider the importance of his scientific training as an engineer and his interest in physics in the second half. Aside from examining the text of Quer pasticciaccio and other works such as Cognizione del dolore and La Madonna dei filosofi, I have used biographical information and in particular data gleaned from research in Gadda’s own personal library. The aims of the study are to introduce the reader unfamiliar with Gadda to his work, to offer a new framework by which the Gadda scholar may consider the Gran Lombardo, and to suggest new solutions to the unending puzzle that is Quer pasticciaccio.