Narrare (è) un lungo fiume tranquillo: Gianni Celati lungo il Po

Beatrice Manetti


The article focuses on the narrative production of Gianni Celati explicitly linked to the Po, namely Narratori delle pianure (1985) and Verso la foce (1989). In both books the river and its waters fulfill many functions and take on different meanings, which fade into each other and reinforce each other. The Po is above all an element of the surrounding environment, a living organism that orients the relationship between the observer-traveler and the places he crosses. It is also the generating principle of the stories and the symbolic image of a precise idea of the art of narration, which leads on the one hand to the rediscovery of the Italian novelistic tradition, on the other hand to the practice of ‘writing of observation’ entrusted to the diaristic form. Finally, the Po’s mouth represents the physical and existential goal of the journey, to which it confers its deepest meaning.

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