La materia dei sogni

I recently published in the issue 305 of the journal L’immaginazione a review of the book by Alberto Casadei Biologia della letteratura. Corpo, stile, storia. Here’s the text of the review. 

“Siamo fatti della stessa materia di cui sono fatti i sogni”, sappiamo dalla sentenza che Shakespeare fa pronunciare a Prospero in The Tempest. Viviamo di proiezioni fantastiche, di immaginazioni consce e inconsce. Ma da dove viene, come nasce l’immaginazione? Perché è così importante per l’esistenza umana?
Alberto Casadei ha provato a capire com’è fatta e come funziona la materia dei sogni nel suo ultimo libro, Biologia della letteratura. Corpo, stile, storia (Il Saggiatore, 2018), ricorrendo alle ipotesi sulla mente umana formulate dagli studi neuroscientifici; selezionando, facendo interagire e mettendo a sistema diverse interpretazioni neurocognitive dell’arte e della letteratura.

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Caricatures as Pathosformeln

Last November 15 I participated in the postgraduate symposium of the Warburg Institute Mnemonic Waves, with a paper on caricatures and the post-Warburgian studies titled Caricatures as Pathosformeln. Gombrich, Warburg, and the Emotionsof which I publish here the text.

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Anger as misshapen fear

I’m pleased to announce the release of the new issue of the journal Emotions: History, Culture, Society, which includes my article Anger as Misshapen Fear: Fascism, Literature, and the Emotional Body

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Criticism of emotions

Next November 22 and 23 at the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies of the University of Bologna, it will be held what – to my knowledge – is the first Italian conference fully dedicated to the study of emotions from a literary perspective.

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Mnemonic Waves

I’m really excited to be one of the speakers of the forthcoming symposium Mnemonic Waves, to be held in London at the Warburg Institute next November 15.

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La guerra quotidiana. Kraus, Bontempelli, Delfini

One hundred years ago, on November 11, was signed the armistice that ended the First World War. I propose here a reflection on the relationship between the war and the media system, as elaborated in literary texts.  

Nessuna poesia può essere l’immagine fedele del nostro mondo. La fedele, la tremenda immagine del nostro mondo è il giornale. È un pozzo di sapere. Non sa niente. Continua a voler sapere.

Elias Canetti, Il cuore segreto dell’orologio

 

Dormi ma senti frinire
remote
le rotative
rotanti nell’oscurità
per dare forma
all’aldiquà.

Valerio Magrelli, Didascalie per la lettura di un giornale

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Caricature as emotional knowledge

I publish here the talk I’ve given at the Mis-Shapings conference last September 13 at Queen Mary University.

Do we believe in physiognomy? Do we believe, as the Italian anthropologist Cesare Lombroso did, that psychological, emotional, moral attitudes of the individuals can be divined by observing the shape and features of the face?

Types of criminals, from Cesare Lombroso, «Criminal Man», 1889.

No, of course we don’t. Physiognomy is pseudo-science, dismissed knowledge, superstition. We can’t make assumptions merely relying on appearances. Can we?

Actually, we do. We do it in our daily life, often unintentionally. But even when we look at artworks we allow us to believe in physiognomy. Continue reading