Foto del docente

Guido Mattia Gallerani

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies

Academic discipline: L-FIL-LET/14 Literary Criticism and Comparative Literature


Keywords: Literary Theory Comparative Literature Sociology of Literature Essay Interview Authorship Roland Barthes 20th Century poetry Aviation Mass Media

My research considers literature in relation with society, media and mass culture. It splits into two main areas, which can include different research projects.

1. Literary Genres and Media

The research investigates the interaction between literary and non-literary genres in the context of media and their evolution over time. In the present state of the investigation, the relationship between the system of literature and the one of mass media provides for two possibilities: simulation, in which one type of discourse deliberately assumes the characteristics of another to face it on equal terms and, sometimes, replace it (the imagined interview); camouflage, in which one genre hides another to exploit its discursive potential in secret (the pseudo-essay).

  • The Imagined Interview: while the interview appears in the newspapers, the authors begin to imagine interviews that never took place and in which they entertain themselves or talk to other characters. The imagined interview thus becomes a new literary genre, which makes use of public communication and its mechanisms and spreads from publishing to radio, from television to digital devices. The media context, with its laws and conflicts, becomes the stage of writers’ counterattack—a battle fought by the double-edged sword of journalistic imitation and fictional invention (see my Open Access book).
  • Pseudo-Essays: the term “pseudo-essay” denotes a literary form of the critical essay. Here, literary criticism escapes from its institutional function and context and appears as a camouflage of another genre. Through different strategies of camouflage, the pseudo-essays spread throughout Europe and the United States, and they experience various metamorphosis in combination with different media supports, such as journalism, theatre, literary books (fiction and autobiography). Finally, the pseudo-essay represents a hybrid form with visual media, as in the case of the video essay. See Pseudo-saggi. (Ri)Scritture tra critica e letteratura (2019). The research on essay’s genre and its relationship with the novel is also the core of my first volume, dedicated to a specific case study: Roland Barthes e la tentazione del romanzo (Morellini, 2013).

2. Literature and Technology

The research investigates the impact of technological, material and ideological changes on literature and mass culture. The relationships between literature and society are studied through the historical-material analysis of the influences that mechanical and technological innovations imprint on cultural and artistic products such as texts, paintings, art installations, movies, etc. Taking up the model developed by Remo Ceserani (1933-2016), in particular the appearance of the train and the railroad into literature, the project aims to trace the presence of the airplane and the aviator's character in 20th century culture (see “«Il sopra delle nubi è un altro mondo». L’immaginario aviatorio tra le due guerre”).

Further information on my research projects is available on my personal website.