I published an article titled Pulsazioni della coscienza. Forma breve ed emozioni primarie nella scrittura di Michele Mari, within the volume Brevitas. Percorsi estetici tra forma breve e frammento nelle letteratureoccidentali, edited by Stefano Pradel and Carlo Tirinanzi De Medici (Trento: Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia dell’Università degli Studi di Trento, 2018).
The article is based on the assumption that literary works are mostly originated by the attempt of representing meaningful events determined by the interactions between the individual mind and the natural and social environment, resulting in the arousing of deeply felt and often violent basic emotions. As a consequence, in the style and the very structure of literary works is marked the need of giving shape to these emotional nuclei.
With this talk, I hope I can suggest a standpoint on the literary work of the Italian contemporary writer Michele Mari by showing how his writing is consistently focused on the relation between memories and objects. In his last book, Leggenda privata, an autobiography disguised as a horror story (but also the other way round: a horror story disguised as an autobiography), published a few months ago, he writes: «All my books are about the soul entrusted to things».
Before going into Mari’s emotional fetishism, though, I want to introduce another outstanding fetishist, Marcel Proust.
I assume few people in the world, even among literary scholars, have read the thousands of pages of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Pastentirely. But I’m pretty sure a fairly larger number of people know the most famous scene of the novel, whose main character is a traditional shell-shaped French cake, the madeleine.