Lucia Battistel (LUMSA)


After my Master’s Degree in Modern Philology at the Catholic University in Milan and an Erasmus exchange at KU Leuven (2020), I took a Postgraduate course in Teaching Italian as a Foreign Language (2021) and worked in an international high school in Milan as an Italian, History and Latin teacher (2021-2022). Currently I am doing a PhD (November 2022-) at LUMSA (Rome) in Education, languages and cultures (curriculum: Languages and Literature), with a project on Contemporary Italian Literature about biblical echoes in Ermetismo, under the guidance of prof. Caterina Verbaro. Also, a joint-PhD procedure is being finalised with KU Leuven (tutor: prof. Van Den Bossche).

The Eloquence of Silence: Spoken and Unspoken Word in Mario Luzi’s Poetry

It is noticeable, in Mario Luzi’s poetry, a frequent recourse to reticence and ellipsis, which gradually intensifies throughout the years. Firstly, this paper will examine its symbolic value. As a matter of fact, the verses, frequently scattered through the page, suggest two impressions. On one hand, their dispersion portrays the ‘deflagration’ of the Christian message and the Word’s occupation of space. On the other, the blank spaces between verses leave silence its own space of expression. Even the emptiness of words is, in fact, pregnant with meaning: silence and words «present themselves as alternate languages. The voice detaches from silence, but aspires to return to it». Silence, in other words, by taking up its own space on the page, testifies the poet’s full acceptance of a ineffable yet tangible otherness. Eventually, the paper will dwell on the reasons beneath reticence and ellipsis’ intensification in maturity years. A correlation between the use of this figure and Luzi’s late attention to the Bible will be unearthed. Rather than the tradition of French symbolism, Luzi’s late poetry and its use of the figure draws back its main inspiration from the Text: reticence no longer plays as esthetical protagonist, but as medium to express an ethical signification.