2020: XXII

Processi di spersonalizzazione nella poesia di Luciano Erba

Samuele Fioravanti
Università di Granada

Pubblicato 2021-04-16

Parole chiave

  • Luciano Erba,
  • L’Ippopotamo,
  • depersonalization,
  • absence,
  • blank


The preparatory drafts for the first edition of L’ippopotamo (Einaudi 1989) are kept at the Centro Manoscritti of Pavia and record a crucial strategy within Luciano Erba’s poetic system: the removal of toponyms and names. Vividly described objects, specific place names and family members are openly named in sketches and outlines, to be finally erased in the printed edition. Basically, L’ippopotamo aims at depersonalization in order to visualize as an onomastic blank the loss of solid and tangible objects, the unbridgeable distance from actual places met with in the past, and the absence of loved ones. After a philological screening of different case-studies, the paper focuses on the reason for such a process. Erba’s strategy conveys in his verse the image of a weakened subjectivity, metaphorically placed on the defensive, in order to withstand the distress provoked by a certain sense of emptiness and fear of absence itself. Hence the persona opts not to engage with the idea of loss and chooses to leave a blank space.