Giuseppe Marrone (La Sapienza University of Rome)


Giuseppe Marrone was born in Sorrento (NA) on May 9, 1996. He obtained a master’s degree in Modern Philology at the University of Naples“Federico II”in 2021 with final grade 110/110 cum laude, discussing a thesis in Italian literature on Paesi tuoi by Cesare Pavese. In the 2021-2022 academic year, he attended the Postgraduate Course in“Literary Forms between Ancient and Modern”, discussing a thesis in Romance Philology. He is currently a PhD student in Italian Studies (XXXVIII Cycle) at the Department of Modern Letters and Cultures of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”

“The Narrative Vertigo of Paesi tuoi by Cesare Pavese”

The position of Cesare Pavese in the context of the critically complex season of Italian modernism has been neglected for a long time and the sporadic investigations in this direction have been limited to the poetic production of Lavorare stanca. The present proposal intends to focus on the debut novel, Paesi tuoi (1941), highlighting its points of contact with modernist narrative production in the light of the author’s interest in the works of American novelists, Faulkener and Steinbeck in the lead, and of the translation of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce. In particular, although initially misunderstood as an emulation of Verga in the Malavoglia and the Novelle rusticane, the most innovative aspect of the Pavesian novel lies in the peculiar choice of the narrator, homodiegetic with a focus on the same character (the perspective of the narrator-character is therefore limited at the moment in which events take place, without the possibility of expressing a posteriori judgments).However, the protagonist is not a narrator of the same level as the peasants of Monticello among whom his story takes place: despite being of a low social level, Berto is a mechanic from Turin who perceives leaving the city as a descent between «goffi» peasants, in a still uncivilized world, devoid of urban amusements and pleasures. This world, which he initially believes he can easily control and manipulate, instead ends up overwhelming him, through a long series of deceptions and unsaids that cast continuous shadows on the reality presented to and by the narrator, and therefore to the reader himself.Secondly, the structure of the story is constructed in such a way as to subvert the structure of a traditional novel and disregard the reader’s expectations: even with progressive unveiling, from the very beginning the story is fragmented into a series of minimal events,arriving only in the last two chapters to a rapid, tragic turn.