Diego Terzano (University of Pisa)


A fellow in Italian Literature at the University of Pisa, Diego Terzano holds a PhD in Italian Studies and in Langue, littérature et civilisation italiennes from the University of Pisa and UCA (Nice). He is mainly interested in the relationship between literature and thought, focusing on the interactions between ancient and modern speculation and on the treatment of the limits of language in modern literature. In this regard, the work of the poet and philosopher Carlo Michelstaedter has been at the core of his research. In his PhD dissertation (Michelstaedter e il Novecento, 2022), he elaborated a hermeneutic model to evaluate the intersections between Michelstaedter’s philosophy (of language) and selected authors such as Eugenio Montale. Dealing with the topics above, he also worked on Gozzano, Pavese, Trakl, and Zanzotto, among others.


«Speech Is not dirty silence / clarified». On The (Inter)discursive Nature Of Silence Across Modernist Poetry

On the threshold of modernism, Ernst Cassirer examined the characters of Funktionsbegriffe and hypothesised that functions participate in the very genesis (and structure) of knowledge. Specifically, such concepts—i.e. mathematical principles per se—are conceived as generative relations that organise—and signify—multiple elements rather being mere inductive abstractions. The present paper aims to project these ideas on a theoretical and hermeneutic level and to suggest a re-reading of modernism from a standpoint based on relational logic; at the same time, the intent is to explore the dialectic between the unsaid and signification underlying modernist poetry as a specific case in point of a crucial re-consideration of language. The function of silence will be thus considered (1) as a broad-spectrum representation of the ‘linguistic turn’ that may define modernism as a literary phenomenon and (2) a principle that logically precedes and unifies the manifold manifestations of such a semantic-philosophical shift. Arguably, silence will appear as the interdiscursive function that inherently connects many discursive, namely, literary phenomena and problematises, as Wallace Stevens poetically theorised, a speech «dirtier than silence», that is, a linguistic articulation to be overcome through a new «sound» rising «from the floor» (W.S., The Creations of Sound).