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"Which Gadda should I buy?" Taking stock of Gadda's editions.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble
(Shakespeare, Macbeth, IV 1)


Despite his engineering education and career, Carlo Emilio Gadda was always a man of letters, prone to the lure of writing, even though his works did not begin to be published until later in his life. As is well-known, his first literary work to appear in a book store--a review of Ugo Betti's lyric volume Il Re pensieroso--was actually composed in 1923, in Argentina, where he was employed by the Compania General de Fosforos (it was signed by "ingegnere Carlo Emilio Gadda"). His return to Italy coincided then with his first more ambitious attempt at literary expression, Racconto italiano di ignoto del novecento, that, as we will see, was never completed by the author. Those years were pivotal for Gadda who, already in his thirties, was more and more willing to devote himself exclusively to literature. In 1926 he began collaborating with the journal Solaria, which in the years ahead would publish his first narrative works (La Madonna dei filosofi, 1931; Il castello di Udine, 1934). Despite the fact that Gadda was unable to definitively abandon his engineering commitments before 1950, when he was offered a job in Rome at RAI, the decades 1920-1940 were his most intense and prolific writing period, both in terms of theoretical reflection and literary practice. Between Milan and Florence, Gadda composed most of the texts that would be published--often at his own expense and in limited circulation--afterwards: in 1944 L'Adalgisa. Disegni milanesi appeared, followed by Il primo libro delle favole in 1952; Novelle dal ducato in fiamme in 1953 (also winner the Viareggio prize); and finally in 1957 Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana (which had already appeared in 1946-47 in the journal Letteratura). With this work Gadda, now in his sixties, became a famous and recognized author, and the editorial success of Quer Pasticciaccio allowed him--and his editors--to publish or re-publish new and old texts. The volume of essays I viaggi la morte appeared in 1958, followed by Le meraviglie d'Italia in 1964 (with several and relevant changes compared to the first edition published in 1939). The year 1963 was also crucial with the edition of Gadda's short stories, Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, and his masterpiece, La cognizione del dolore (which had already appeared in Letteratura between 1938 and 1941). This year marks Gadda's literary consecration, and also the end of the productive moment of his writing history. Nevertheless other works would be published in the following years, riding the wave of the fame obtained by Quer pasticciaccio and La cognizione: Luigi di Francia in 1964, Eros e Priapo and Il guerriero, l'amazzone in 1967; later two of Gadda's first literary experiments appeared, La meccanica, in 1970, and Novella seconda, in 1971. Other unpublished material of his early years also appeared after the author's death in 1973: Meditazione milanese (1974), and finally, Racconto italiano di ignoto del novecento (1983). (2)

This quick and limited overview on Gadda's literary production testifies to the large amount of published texts available on the book market, followed, as we will soon see, by an incredible number of documents and writings found more recently by scholars and editors. While trying to produce reliable texts of Gadda's literary corpus, scholars therefore faced intricate editorial difficulties. The writings of the Milanese author thus became the site of some of the most fruitful experiments in the field of Italian philology of the 20th century, as conducted by the literary critic and philologist Dante Isella. Thanks to Isella's and his team's relentless effort, starting from the '80 s this complex textual situation was reorganized on a solid philological basis, without sacrificing accessibility for readers (many of Gadda's works were no longer easy to find), in the five volumes of the Garzanti series I Libri della Spiga devoted to the Opere di CE. Gadda (published between 1988 and 1993). Besides the publication of most of Gadda's work under Isella's direction, it is now also possible to read his works in elegant Adelphi editions, published starting in 2010. We are at a crossroads: on one hand, there are the reassuring five Garzanti tomes; on the other, there are the recent Adelphi books. In this latter case, a complementary editorial project has opened up, aiming to publish Gadda's literary oeuvre in a way that preserves the specificity of the individual texts by publishing them separately in independent volumes. In the long term, the goal is a complete republication and overhaul of his works; Adelphi's catalogue includes so far Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, 1924-1958, L'Adalgisa, disegni milanesi, Verso la Certosa and Eros e Priapo, edited respectively by Paola Italia and Giorgio Pinotti (2011), Claudio Vela (2012), Liliana Orlando (2012) and Italia and Pinotti (2016). (3) These renowned gaddisti also participated in Isella's project, and they share with him a similar critical, exegetical and philological approach. Thanks to their efforts, the difficult task of editing Gadda (Italia, 2007a; 2013) continues to provide us with numerous editions, fundamental critical apparati and studies on the genesis and history of the texts. At the same time, even the Adelphi operation does not address the persistent lack of commentary on Gadda's works, (4) so we should perhaps expect new critical editions to follow in the years ahead. We thus see that plurality and "unfinishedness", intrinsic features of Gadda as author, (5) seem to be reflected in the editorial achievements on his works as well, in the tangle of a philological activity complicated by authorial second thoughts and cyclical returns, posthumous and quasi-posthumous editions, "edizioni coatte d'autore" (Italia and Pinotti, 2008) and unexpected discoveries.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it is worth pointing out clearly the indisputable importance of this pivotal writer of Italian literature, author of masterpieces that deserve to be read and studied from every perspective. The significance of Gadda's theoretical and literary discourse is such that it will immediately repay the initial effort necessary to approach and fully appreciate his work. Therefore, if for Gadda "ogni storia si adempie e si determina in una filologia," (6) it might be useful to consider the philological and editorial history of his own writings. This paper wishes to offer some guidelines to the reader who wants to approach the fascinating theme of the Gaddian philology with an overview of the internal and external problems related to Gadda's writings, focusing on Dante Isella's philological approach and editorial achievements, and also the criticism it has received. (7) After considering the discovery of new material in the Liberati Archives, the last part of the paper will analyze the three Gaddian volumes published recently by Adelphi, and will compare them with the Garzanti editions in order to get closer to the history of Gadda's works, with a shift from the microcosm of varianti (variants), postille (annotations) and apparati (apparati) to the macrocosm of publishing choices around his texts.

The arduous duty of editing Gadda

It may be useful to briefly recall some of the reasons for which handling Gadda's writings is particularly difficult. First, the editorial history of his texts, whether published or merely works-in- progress, is one of the most intricate in Italian literature, involving almost all the protagonists of the Italian publishing world of that period (Einaudi, Garzanti, Bompiani, Sansoni, Neri Pozza, just to mention the most famous). (8) It is well known how much Gadda felt pulled to one side and the other by his publishers, whom he described as "jealous lovers" (Lettere a una gentile signora: 208). At the same time, his tendency to take on too many commitments with the various publishing houses often corresponded to his inability to fulfill his promises, causing conflicting expectations among his publishers. (9) The following table on Gadda's volumes published while he was alive might give a better idea of this succession of editors, especially at the beginning of his career; only after 1957 would his production be the point of contention between the two major publishing houses, Garzanti and Einaudi:
La Madonna dei filosofi            Florence, Solaria 1931
II castello di Udine               Florence, Solaria, 1934
Le meraviglie d'Italia             Florence, Parenti, 1939
Gli anni                           Florence, Parenti, 1943
L'Adalgisa                         Florence, Le Monnier, 1944
Il primo libro delle Favole        Venice, Neri Pozza, 1952
Novelle dal Ducato in fiamme       Florence, Vallecchi, 1953
Giornale di guerra e di prigionia  Florence, Sansoni, 1955
I sogni e la folgore               Turin, Einaudi, 1955
Quer pasticciaccio brutto
de via Merulana                    Milan, Garzanti, 1957
I viaggi la morte                  Milan, Garzanti, 1958
Verso la Certosa                   Milan-Naples, Ricciardi, 1961
Accoppiamenti giudiziosi           Milan, Garzanti, 1963
La cognizione del dolore           Turin, Einaudi, 1963
I Luigi di Francia                 Milan, Garzanti, 1964
Le meraviglie d'Italia. Gli anni   Turin, Einaudi, 1964
I racconti                         Milan, Garzanti, 1965
Il guerriero, l'amazzone, lo
spirito della poesia nel           Milan, Garzanti, 1967
verso immortale del Foscolo.
Conversazione a tre voci
Eros e Priapo                      Milan, Garzanti, 1967
La meccanica                       Milan, Garzanti, 1970
Novella seconda                    Milan, Garzanti, 1971

Second, these complicating factors--the tangle of editors and publishers, the proliferation of unpublished material together with material published with and without his approval, (10) the numerous posthumous or "almost posthumous" editions--are in turn intertwined with his way of writing. Studies on the genesis of many of his works showed that Gadda used to insert growing portions of texts, lines, and pages as he was writing, preferring to add material instead of substituting early versions of a text (Isella, 2009: 237; Manzotti, 1987). This means that we have, on and beyond the page, a proliferation of documents, writings and editions almost unequaled in Italian literature. (11) The material printed when Gadda was still alive is indeed only a small part of his entire literary production; a great deal has been unearthed over the years thanks primarily to Isella's team, but even today what we have is far from complete. In fact, scholars face the extraordinary situation of having perhaps too much surviving material. Gadda did not throw anything away--not even his grocery lists (Italia, 2004)--and the result is such a heap of material that one could very easily get lost in the task of separating what needs to be studied and shared with the scholarly community from what has value only as evidence of the author's "storage" mania. This preservation of material represents something essential in Gadda's way of writing, in which everything that has been written once tends to return, and end up in some (or several) places within his literary corpus (particularly appropriate is the image of a seething cauldron proposed by Pedriali, 2012: 307). For this situation Isella coined the image of a writing based on a system of "communicating vases" (RR I xxii). This idea was presented in the preface of the Garzanti edition as a way to express the multiple problems faced in organizing the overall structure of Gadda's oeuvre: beyond questions related to the editing of the individual texts, it was also necessary to find a coherent frame in which to insert writings that are quite varied, both textually and editorially (Italia, 2013: 85-86).

Dante Isella's philology

Racconto italiano's editorial model

Isella's solution to this complex situation was definitively realized in the five Gaddian volumes of I Libri della Spiga, but important results were already achieved earlier. His philological approach and method has indeed been a seminal achievement of the entire Italian filologia d'autore (textual philology). At the beginning of the '80 s, Isella published his first two Gaddian volumes (in 1981 Le bizze del capitano in congedo e altri racconti; and in 1982 Il tempo e le opere, saggi, note e divagazioni, both for Adelphi). These were followed the year after by an edition that is considered the cornerstone of Gaddian ecdotics: (12) the Einaudi Racconto italiano di ignoto del novecento, Gadda's first attempted novel. As is well known, this cahier d'AaAaAeA@tudes dat back to 1924, but its tangle of overflowing and fragmented material (critical and theoretical notes mixed in with narrative sections) remained unknown for 59 years. The editor's task was indeed very challenging: it was necessary to represent the complexity of the authorial project as much as possible by preserving all of its different components, from Gadda's intertextual discussions of theory, together with his drafts of literary material, to the countless annotations on the edges and in the line spacing. The Racconto italiano--a tentative work characterized by a multifaceted structure--was the site of Gadda's first literary experimentation and a key step towards his subsequent critical reflection. Isella's editorial efforts have restored the Racconto italiano, providing a philologically sound text based on a tripartite set of editorial filters, that succeeds in representing the genetic phase of the work (apparatus), the many comments inserted all over the page (annotations), and the different possibilities (alternative variants) tried out by Gadda, who eventually decided to abandon the project. The apparatus is, in technical terms, genetic (it provides all textual corrections and variants from the first phase of composition to the last), horizontal (it is located below the text) and 'spoken' (it explains the changes through a system of abbreviations rather than symbols). Together with the apparatus, but in a different area at the bottom of the page, Isella collects the alternative variants marked with an alphabetical exponent (the numeric exponent is used for the authorial notes). Since these variants represent, as well as the corresponding alternatives in the text, an actual possibility considered by Gadda at some point, Isella wants to stress their continuity with the final choice in the upper part of the page (the same font is used; Italia, 2007b). Finally, all the annotations are gathered in a section following the text; for typographical reasons it was impossible to insert Gadda's comments exactly where they occurred in the manuscript, but Isella uses a reference signal (>) on the sides of the pages to show where they are located (Isella, 1983: XXXIV-XXXVI; Italia, 2013: 164-169). Isella's decision to distinguish between typological and textual levels is also implicitly an interpretative tool that can bring out "l'alto tasso di riflessivitAaAaAeA di questa pros (Italia, 2014: 25). (13) This tripartite structure has been maintained over the years, with some improvements, while editing some of Gadda's most fascinating works. A significant shift came with the transition to an increasingly systematic and diachronic apparatus that aims to describe the genetic history of the text in its temporality, and to consider not only each single variant individually but to gather groups of connected variants in order to build what Italia called "un apparato di fasi". (14)

The Garzanti series

Racconto italiano provides a clear example of one of the biggest problems faced in organizing Gadda's corpus for the Garzanti edition: the gap between the moment of composition and that of publication of a text (Italia and Pinotti, 2008: 22). Moreover, in the case of Gadda there are nearly as many unpublished as published texts, and even for the latter it was not always possible to identify how the authorial intentions interacted with the decisions of publishers and editors. What were the options for the overall structure, then? Even if there was no certain authorial project and Gadda did not eventually reorganize all his writings, at the end of his career he had felt the need to attempt a coherent publication of his works. Taking into account the general division between what has and what has not been published (the latter collected in the fifth volume of the Garzanti series), Isella made the innovative decision to propose an edition based on his conjectured historical reconstruction of the authorial project. This hypothesis was founded on a letter from Gadda to Einaudi dated December 11th, 1954. In this letter, he suggested that the publisher collect, in chronological order of appearance, all the works published up to that time in two volumes, with the first volume containing the novels (La Madonna dei filosofi, Il castello di Udine, L'Adalgisa, La cognizione del dolore), and the second the essays (Le meraviglie d'Italia, Gli anni, and others to be added). Isella founded the Garzanti edition around this idea, based on Gadda's unfulfilled wish, with the first two volumes dedicated to his novels and short stories, and the other two devoted to saggi (essays), giornali (diaries) and favole (fables).

Isella presented it neither as a complete "Tutto Gadda," (15) nor as a scholarly edition in the strict sense of the word nor as a simplistic aggregate of texts, but as a meditated philological proposal respectful of the printed and manuscript tradition (RR I xix). Therefore, the edition aimed at a more comprehensive representation of Gadda's writings, without providing a critical apparatus, except in the case of La meccanica (RR II 1210-1226). (16) Garzanti had already released La meccanica in 1970, in an "almost posthumous" edition (see Italia and Pinotti 2008: 28), a hybrid text that integrated some manuscript material (dated 1928-1929) with sections extrapolated from Accoppiamenti giudiziosi. Isella offered a new edition based on manuscripts in Gadda's handwriting found in the Garzanti archives, reproducing the text drawn up in fair copy in 1929 and, separately, the final three sketched chapters. The philological model organizing this tangle of documents was again the one proposed for Racconto italiano in 1983.

Beyond problems related to individual works, carefully examined in the editorial notes by the different editors, another significant issue for the general structure derives from the fact that Gadda sometimes inserted, with varying degrees of changes, a segment of text--whether whole chapters or just fragments--into more than one work. To recall merely the most famous example, two sections of La cognizione del dolore (Strane dicerie contristano i Bertoloni; Navi approdano al ParapagAaAaAeA t already published in the journal Letteratura, (17) are inserted in L'Adalgisa and later on republished in the volume edition of La cognizione. This is a recurrent situation in Gadda's case, (18) which results in the necessary repetition of the same text in multiple places of publication, in order to respect and preserve the complex system of his corpus, instead of just collecting textual variants in an apparatus. In addition, in Gadda's case there is no univocal, universally applicable authorial final intention, and the Garzanti operation follows different editorial paths for various historical contingencies. For example, the texts of La madonna dei filosofi, Il castello di Udine and L'Adalgisa are based not on the first editions but on the 1955 Einaudi collection I sogni e la folgore, a volume proposed and arranged by Gadda who intervened with minor or major textual and structural changes. On the other hand, the Garzanti series uses the first editions of the three volumes Le meraviglie di Italia, Gli anni and Verso la Certosa. The 1964 Einaudi volume Le meraviglie d'Italia--Gli anni was in fact considered an initiative of editors, and one not entirely authorized by the author, as we will consider further later when dealing with the new Adelphi series. One case where Isella intervened significantly with respect to earlier editions is Gadda's Giornale di guerra e prigionia. Sansoni published the first three notebooks in 1955, without a complete authorial endorsement. Later in 1965, Einaudi released an augmented edition with a new section, Giornale di campagna, and with other changes requested by Gadda (in particular, real names were replaced with fictional names). In the Garzanti edition published in 1992 in the fourth volume of the series, Isella was finally able to restore the original text, publishing as well the previously unknown Taccuino di Caporetto. (19)

The final volume of the Garzanti series was dedicated to Gadda's translations and posthumous writings, followed by a tome with bibliography and indexes. In a short span of time Isella and his team had succeeded in the near-impossible task of giving textual stability to almost all of Gadda's writings; at the same time, they provided a philological and structural model for work yet to come. It is impossible to take into account, as we will do later for the Adelphi volumes, the specificities of the texts published in the Garzanti series. But in order to give an idea of the task accomplished and the abundance of Gaddian works finally rendered accessible to readers, it may be useful to reproduce the overall outline of the edition:
I                                    II

Romanzi e racconti I                 Romanzi e racconti II
I SOGNI E LA FOLGORE                 Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via
                                     Merulana (1957)
La Madonna dei Filosofi              Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via
                                     Merulana (redazione
Il castello di Udine                 di "Letteratura", 1946-47)
L'Adalgisa (disegni milanesi)        La meccanica
La cognizione del dolore             Accoppiamenti giudiziosi
                                     Racconti dispersi
                                     Racconti incompiuti

III                                  IV

Saggi giornali favole I              Saggi giornali favole II
Le meraviglie d'Italia               Il primo libro delle Favole
Gli anni                             I Luigi di Francia
Verso la Certosa                     Eros e Priapo (Da Furore a Cenere)
I viaggi e la morte                  Il guerriero, l'amazzone, lo
                                     spirito della poesia nel
Scritti dispersi                     verso immortale del Foscolo
                                     Giornale di guerra e di prigionia
                                     Schede autobiografiche

v*                                   v**

Scritti vari e postumi               Bibliografia e indici
SCRITTI VARI                         Bibliografia
Pagine di divulgazione tecnica       Indice dei titoli
TRADUZIONI                           Indice dei nomi
Il viaggio di saggezza (Barbadillo)  Indice generale
Il mondo com'AaAaAeA? (Queved
La veritAaAaAeA  sospetta (AlarcAaAa
Racconto italiano di ignoto del
Meditazione milanese
I miti del somaro
Il palazzo degli ori
Gonnella buffone
HAaAaAeA ry JAaAaAe
Il Tevere
Ultimi inediti
Altri scritti

Always a work in progress

Upon concluding his work, Isella clearly stated that the Garzanti edition must be considered an incredible achievement but also a starting point since the "Gaddian construction site" was far from complete (Isella, 1994:163). Over the years more and more documents have indeed been rediscovered. Immediately after the conclusion of the Garzanti project, two notebooks relating to Gadda's unfinished novel Un fulmine sul 220 (he worked on this project from 1932 to 1936) were found in the publishing house archival fund. The importance of this work for the history of L'Adalgisa was already generally accepted, but for many years, in the absence of a text, it had remained only hypothetical. In 1995 Isella published Un fulmine with a rich critical apparatus relating the two rediscovered sections (the second and the fourth), structured according to the 1983 model, together with two others disegni milanesi: San Giorgio in casa Brocchi (edited by Pinotti) (20) and L'incendio di via Keplero (edited by Italia). This edition was already a pivotal achievement towards an improved understanding of L'Adalgisa, and yet another turning point occurred with the discovery of other manuscripts in possession of Pietro Gelli. Isella's updated and improved text, published in 2000 by Garzanti, offers all the sections of the novel, an appendix and a critical apparatus with a Dossier of rehashes and annotations, together with a group of documents related to the history of the text. The case of Fulmine precisely accentuated the necessity of a space more open to new findings. Although the Garzanti series was an incredible achievement, its completeness had been almost immediately undermined. Isella was obviously well aware of this complicated situation (21) and he decided in 2001 to launch the journal I quaderni dell'ingegnere, an always-extendible appendix to the previous operation. (22) Besides the already mentioned correspondences with editors, I quaderni dell'ingegnere published several documents, including Gadda's surviving notes for his philosophical thesis on Leibniz (Stracuzzi, 2007), his first attempted novel Retica (Italia, 1995, 2003), and many of his other writings and literary sketches. (23) The journal was divided into three parts, texts, documents and studies, where the additional surviving documents have been listed, described and edited. The last section of the journal also featured commentary articles and linguistic studies, so as to link the more philological soul of the journal to a broader comprehension of the author and his oeuvre. (24)

Criticism and different perspectives

Isella's editorship--and the work of the group of scholars he guided--has been deservedly praised for unraveling an extremely tangled situation and for providing a reliable starting point for future hermeneutical inquiries. Nevertheless, the project has received some criticism. Despite the fact that more texts have continued to be discovered and edited to this day, some scholars started to advocate for studies that move outside the narrow purview of strict philological concerns. As plainly stated by Carla Benedetti and Lucio Lugnani: "AaAaAeAe nostra convinzio che, dopo i copiosi progressi della filologia gaddiana e l'abbondanza delle analisi genetiche, linguistiche e biografiche, sia maturo il tempo per un incremento della lettura-interpretazione adeguato alla statura dello scrittore" (Savettieri et al., 2004:9). (25) There has also been some discontent due to the difficulty of accessing Gaddian archives and documents, which were sometimes unavailable because of the restrictions relating to the copyright for the forthcoming Garzanti edition. (26) In general, it seemed to some that little or no relationship existed between the world of philology and other schools of thought. Beyond this criticism of the alleged closed attitude of Gaddian philologists, a few scholars have also expressed doubts about the methods applied to Gadda's texts. In particular, not long after the conclusion of the Garzanti operation, Maria Antonietta Terzoli and Gian Carlo Roscioni, while respecting and praising what has been done so far, pointed out some methodological problems about the future of Gadda's works.

Terzoli, the editor of the poetic texts for the 1993 Einaudi edition, which was shortly afterward replicated in the Garzanti series, published in 1994 an article questioning some aspects of the philological approach applied to Gadda's oeuvre. Her article is also an important testimony to the specific problems faced in publishing a text with its own characteristics and peculiarities within the overall project of a collected works edition. Together with the general issues shared with other Gaddian works (mainly fragmentation and lack of completeness), Terzoli had to consider the specificity of a poetic corpus which is metrically, chronologically and editorially very heterogeneous: she aimed to provide a text that was as easy to read as possible, ending with an appendix devoted to the information about manuscripts and editions and to the critical apparatus. This last point was the most problematic since, in agreement with Guglielmo Gorni's vision (1986: 400), Terzoli wanted to distance herself from a type of philology focused more on the apparatus than on the text, claiming the impossibility, and maybe even the uselessness, of giving a complete list of all the varied witnesses of the writing process recoverable in drafts. In her edition therefore she decided to provide only the "ultima fase reperibile in ogni testimone," the one that she was able to identify as historically existent and materially verifiable. She made this choice not only because of an economic criterion of readability but also because she believed that "il tentativo di riprodurre tutti gli stadi attraverso i quali si costituisce la lezione finale di un testo, si rivela spesso un'astrazione, un oggettivo abuso che non presenta garanzie certe neppure per quanto attiene alla diacronia di tutti gli interventi correttori" (Terzoli, 2009: 141). Obviously, Terzoli was not denying the possibility or importance of a study of the scartafacci and of the genetic phases of a text, but she suggested that an edition was not the right place to insert Gadda's numerous afterthoughts--these, she felt, should be used, commented on and interpreted in a separated critical and scholarly study. Her view reflected a theoretical stance that was not entirely in line with the guidelines of Isella's philology. Terzoli's voice remained mostly isolated and her commentary of Quer pasticciaccio--finally published recently--was born and developed outside the pavese circle and the Adelphi operation. (27)

In the same period, coming from a more commercial editorial perspective, Roscioni targeted in particular the question of indexes and raised significant doubts as to the reliability of a critical criterion based on a supposed existence of a "sigillo dell'autoritAaAaAeA gaddiana" (Roscion 1995: 40), thereby calling into question some of the choices of the recent editors of Gadda's works. It is noteworthy that, only a year away from the last printed volume of the Garzanti series, Roscioni was already addressing his words to the future editors, taking almost for granted that Isella's edition might be just a first step, an excellent and reliable tool for what has yet to come. Besides noting the scarcity of commented editions, he pointed out that Gadda, like any other writer, should be read both by scholars and non-academic readers, something--he noted--that Isella's operation seemed to have forgotten, thereby restricting its audience to the group of gaddisti and gaddofili eager to thoroughly read all Gadda's writings, and to immerse themselves in the almost infinite textual tangles and possibilities, tiny or groundbreaking, at the base of his activity.

In addition, in relation to Gadda's published and known texts Roscioni developed the incisive expression and image terre emerse, meaning that the fragmented materials that had emerged were only the tip of a bigger iceberg that must be rediscovered in its entirety--in its complex network of connections--to give sense to and to fully understand what has been revealed:

I volumi che conosciamo sono terre provvisoriamente emerse dalla acque agitate e profonde dell'esperienza, dell'immaginativa, dell'inquietudine di Gadda: terre i cui contorni sono destinati a essere alterati, anche radicalmente, da successivi sommovimenti e rivoluzioni. AccadrAaAaAeA fatto che continenti saranno frammentati in piccoli arcipelaghi e isole agglormerate e fuse in continenti. (Roscioni, 1995: 227).

Addressing some of the issues pointed out by Roscioni, in 2000 Catia Fagioli published an article as a first step toward a possible alternative edition of La cognizione del dolore (the alternate edition was never realized). Fagioli's criticism did not concern the Garzanti series, but the scholarly commented edition of La cognizione published by Manzotti in 1987 for Einaudi--an edition highly praised since its first appearance and still pivotal for Gadda students and scholars. While highlighting the great importance of Manzotti's work for the history of Gaddian studies, Fagioli attacked the choice of replicating the structural model of the 1971 Struzzi edition of La cognizione, without even taking into account the Supercoralli edition, also published in 1971, after an interval of just two months. As is well known, these two volumes each combined the novel's elements in different ways, and neither was endorsed with certainty by the author. It may be useful here to recall the four different combinations making up La cognizione during the first years of its editorial life:
                      Einaudi, 1970         Einaudi, 1971
                      (fourth edition       (first edition
                      for the               for the Struzzi
Einaudi, 1963         Supercoralli series)  series; fifth overall)

Co Mini's Saggio      Contini's Saggio      l-IX chapters
introduttivo          introduttivo          Appendix (Contini's
Gadda's "pseudo-      Gadda's "pseudo-      introduction;
dialogue", L'Editore  dialogue", L'Editore  Gadda's L'Editore
chiede venia del      chiede venia del      chiede venia;
recupero chiamando    recupero chiamando    Autunno)
in causa l'Autore.    in causa l'Autore.
I-VII chapters        I-VII chapters
Autunno               Autunno
                      VIII-IX chapters

                      Einaudi, 1971
                      (fifth edition for
                      the Supercoralli
Einaudi, 1963         series; sixth overall)

Co Mini's Saggio      Contini's Saggio
introduttivo          introduttivo
Gadda's "pseudo-      Gadda's "pseudo-dialogue",
dialogue", L'Editore  L'Editore
chiede venia del      chiede venia del
recupero chiamando    recupero chiamando
in causa l'Autore.    in causa l'Autore
I-VII chapters        I-IX chapters
Autunno               Autunno

Fagioli, arguing in favor of the 1971 Supercoralli arrangement, criticized Manzotti not only because he had followed the previous arrangement, but also because he had presented it as the more logical choice and not as simply an arbitrary decision (as was, in Fagioli's analysis, the decision to restore the Italian version of the Spanish names JosAaAaAe Pepita, Pepa etc.). What is also worth emphasizing is her disapproval of the general structure of Manzotti's edition: there are two areas of critical apparatus, one for textual variants and one for commentary. This combination is criticized as counterproductive to the goal of providing a clear perception of the work (Fagioli, 2000: 56): in her opinion, the commentary is overly pervaded by a philological spirit, while the apparatus is too terse, recording only the authorial variants inserted during the final editorial phase (in this respect Fagioli's words are very harsh, see in particular p. 58). Fagioli felt that Manzotti used Gadda's handwritten or typed material mainly for hermeneutical purposes, and thereby compromised the intrinsic philological structure of a scholarly edition.

In this case criticism of a particular editorial choice also reflects a different theoretical vision of what should be the structure and purpose of a critical edition. In this sense Fagioli seems to move away from Terzoli's methodological considerations, but Fagioli's critique remains at an early stage, one might say, of pure planning. The work of Manzotti, who dedicated and still continues to dedicate much of his scholar activity to Gadda and to the minute details of his writing, still remains essential when approaching La cognizione, especially given that no alternative model has been proposed. Fagioli made an important point by citing two necessities that arise in Gadda's case: first, giving an account of the extremely complex historical-textual-philological component, and second--still largely disregarded--providing the texts with an exegesis. Manzotti is perhaps one of the few to have faced this problem directly and explicitly, by constructing a mixed edition that, while maybe falling short of the integrity of a pure scholarly edition, remains an effective and useful guide to reading. For these reasons we eagerly await the forthcoming Adelphi volume of La cognizione, which will also be curated by Manzotti. At first very little information about the project was available, but the spirit of a new Cognizione has begun to come out into the open. The congress Cantieri testuali: Gadda, held in Lugano on November 8-9, 2013, brought together the people making up the nucleus of the new project: Pinotti (Gadda e i suoi editori), Italia (Il "nuovo"Eros e Pirapo), Vela (La "nuova" Adalgisa), Manzotti (La "nuova" Cognizione del dolore), and Arnaldo Liberati, the person currently in charge of the Gaddian estate. (28) Unfortunately, the proceedings of the congress are not yet available, and what little information we have is from the abstract of Manzotti's paper. There he stresses the existence of "non una o 'la' Cognizione, ma 'piAaAaAeA ' Cognizioni focusing on the drafts of the novel's first sections in Letteratura, which have been preserved and rediscovered in the Liberati Archives. The conservation of new drafts, changes and rewritings will surely allow Gaddian scholars to advance new theses adding further nuance to the already complex publishing history of the text. Such a wealth of material will doubtless make the construction of a critical apparatus even more challenging. For the moment we can only wait for the release of the new edition, while wondering how Manzotti will combine the new acquisitions and whether he will offer an updated commentary.

The Adelphi editions

The possibility to publish Gadda's texts in independent volumes has meant new opportunities for the editors who were able to work autonomously without the restrictions intrinsic of the Garzanti operation. Therefore it is now time to consider in detail the volumes already published by Adelphi, paying particular attention to their novelty in comparison with the previous editions.

Accoppiamenti giudiziosi

1963, which saw the publication of two of his works within the space of two months, was a pivotal year for Gadda: in March, Garzanti published Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, a new collection of short stories that extended the 1953 Novelle dal Ducato in fiamme, while, in April, Einaudi finally released the first edition of La cognizione del dolore. As mentioned earlier, this tangle of editors was a recurrent situation for Gadda. 1963 marked a particularly intense moment in the rivalry between Einaudi and Garzanti; with the publication of Accoppiamenti giudiziosi the latter was able reinforce Gadda's profile in his catalogue and issue a challenge to Einaudi.

The new Adelphi edition offers a rich and dense set of editorial notes with a detailed reconstruction of the genesis and history of this work. (29) It makes large use of the plentiful correspondence between the writer and his editors, which was recently discovered in the Liberati Archives, sometime after the Garzanti opertion had already been published. (30) Italia and Pinotti decided to reproduce the text of the 1963 princeps, an edition under the control of the author--the same choice that had been made by Raffaella Rodondi, the Garzanti editor of the text. The Adelphi edition generally defers to Rodondi's analysis of the connections between Novelle dal Ducato in fiamme and Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, as well as of the variations between the journal and book texts. On the other hand, Italia and Pinotti add a focus on the historic background: on the unpublished and published material that led up to the 1953 and 1963 collections. (31) Along these lines, they analyze in detail the tripartite "ghost novel" published by Isella, together with an incredible corpus of documents and scholarly apparati, in 1995 as Disegni milanesi: San Giorgio in casa Brocchi; Un fulmine sul 220; L'incendio di via Keplero. It is not possible here to review in detail the complex history of these texts, with their profound implications for the concept of fragmentation in Gadda (this problem is addressed in the editorial notes; see pp. 376; 390-391), but particularly noteworthy is their attempt to prove that L'incendio di via Keplero could have been designed by Gadda "non giAaAaAeA come un descrittivo pezzo di colore, bensAaAaAeA come l'in di un cartone milanese addirittura antecedente il Fulmine (i cui primi abbozzi non precedono il 1932)" (p. 395). It is therefore very useful to be able to read in the Appendix at the end of the Adelphi edition the first drafts of L'incendio, together with the original unpublished Dramma o Soggetto cinematografico that Gadda wrote as a possible follow-up to the Accoppiamenti giudiziosi short story. (32)

Although the Adelphi text of Accoppiamenti giudiziosi is not essentially different from Rodondi's, given that both editors follow the princeps, the para-textual sections contain significant new contributions: new documents, a rich appendix, and also recent insights coming from progress in Gaddian studies.


The edition of L'Adalgisa is perhaps the most innovative of the Adelphi volumes to date. Vela decided to offer the 1944 princeps, published in Florence by Le Monnier, whereas Guido Lucchini had chosen the 1955 edition of L'Adalgisa from the Einaudi volume I sogni la folgore. In the Garzanti series this decision was also applied to Il castello di Udine and La madonna dei filosofi, edited by Rodondi. Lucchini chose the 1955 text, on the grounds that it appeared in a collection approved by and under the control of Gadda, and no significant changes were present relative to the 1944 text; nevertheless, he clearly stated that the princeps was generally more accurate and correct than the later edition, which contains several lectiones faciliores and less attention to the accents of the Milanese dialect (RR I 847-848).

Vela's edition is therefore an important step forward, made possible by Adelphi's decision to publish Gadda's works in separate books, thereby allowing other choices to surface besides the Garzanti ones: we can now read two "Adalgisas", adding more texts to an already rich landscape of "doppioni, triploni e quadruploni" (SGF I 490). This situation was in some sense already present within L'Adalgisa, given that several pieces of it were already part of other work, whether published (two stories derived from La cognizione) or merely envisaged (five of L'Adalgisa's stories were part of the failed project Un fulmine sul 220: Quando il Girolamo ha smesso; I ritagli di tempo; Un "concerto" di centoventi professori; Al parco, in una sera di maggio; L'Adalgisa; Notte di luna was largely modified but was already part of Racconto italiano).

Vela decided not to follow Gadda's final set of decisions, which were made in 1955 and driven partly by commercial motives, but, rather, the "prima volontAaAaAeA d'autore, quella urgentemente storica". He therefo publishes the very first version of L'Adalgisa, the one that also concludes Gadda's relation with his hometown Milan (pp. 342-343). Besides Vela's decision to publish the 1944 princeps, his most important contribution is his analysis of the history of L'Adalgisa, in which texts discovered and released after the Garzanti edition play a pivotal role. In Lucchini's notes some ideas were presented as mere hypotheses because of the lack of documentary support (see RR I 839-841); in some cases, this material was actually discovered later, as for Un fulmine sul 220. (33) In addition, the Liberati Archive has unearthed a previously unknown handwritten volume of the princeps, with 210 marginal notes inserted by Gadda while he was working for the second edition published in 1945. Although this document provides important evidence, for his critical text Vela has rightly used only the few changes that were actually included in the second edition (p. 375). Even more than in the case of Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, Vela decided to scrupulously preserve the princeps, correcting only the most obvious errors and typos, as well as certifiable textual inconsistencies. For Gadda's writings the task of the philologist is never easy--there is often the real risk of interpreting as a mistake a form characteristic of the Gaddian usus scribendi, or vice versa: as Vela justly pointed out, there is always the danger of "avallare mostri o viceversa banalizzare squisite raritAaAaAeA " (pp. 378). His editori note, dense with information, brilliantly written and philologically engaging, also addresses fifteen cases in detail in which he shows that preserving the princeps is the best way to respect Gadda's intentions (see the examples discussed at pp. 378-384). While these editorial choices are well argued and persuasive, less compelling is Vela's defense of retaining the orthography perchAaAaAeA?, nAaAaAeA@, poichAaAaAeA@, etc., accente the grave accent as per the 1944 edition, as opposed to the modern orthography with the acute. The editorial note's last paragraph, in which Vela gives this issue center stage, reviewing arguments in favor of one or the other choice through a sort of trial between perchAaAaAeA@ a perchAaAaAeA?, is, to be sure, very enjoyable to read, but the overall reasoni is not as rigorous as one might wish. The princeps of L'Adalgisa consistently used only the grave accent, and Vela--also tracing the presence of the grave and acute accents in some of Gadda's texts--took this as evidence in favor of using the grave accent throughout his edition. Vela's reconstruction is hardly irrefutable--it is not possible to know for sure whether Gadda used this accent to stress a particular pronunciation of the Milanese dialect or whether the choice was merely a consequence of the editorial, or perhaps simply typographical, characteristics of Le Monnier imprints. Moreover, in the Liberati volume of the princeps, there are two cases in which the author corrected sicchAaAaAeA@ to sicchAa Clearly this is not compelling evidence of Gadda's wish to modify all the accents (as it was taken to be in the Einaudi edition which followed a more structured and rigid editorial policy), but it is perhaps also too easy to say "troppo poco, non conta" (p. 395). All in all, the issue was settled by Vela simply making a choice--while generally very cautious in his decisions, here he decided to take a strong stance, conserving the characteristics of the princeps to the bitter end. (34)

Vela's edition is presumably a precursor of the future text of Il Castello di Udine; in this case, publishing the editio princeps (Edizioni di Solaria, 1934) could be an even more important step forward. The Garzanti series used the 1955 version of the text as contained in I sogni e la folgore, described by Isella as the "stazione terminale di un processo avviato trent'anni avanti" (p. xx); all subsequent editions have followed him in this respect. But while in the case of L'Adalgisa (and also of La Madonna dei Filosofi), the 1955 edition was not significantly different from the princeps, the 1955 edition of Il Castello di Udine cut some of the text and omitted several of Gadda's notes. (35) We should expect then, regarding the general lack of availability of the first edition (which up to now can only be read in libraries or bought in the antique market), that also in this case Adelphi will reproduce the first edition, thereby making it possible to read almost every textual moment of Gadda's works. After all repetita iuvant, and maybe reading and rereading this abundance of editions will help us to better understand his writings.

Finally, in Vela's editorial notes we find another illustration of the 'unfinishedness' that pervades Gadda's works as well as his editions. This is the case of Quattro figlie e ciascuna regina, a text that was not born out of the ashes of the Fulmine but came into being autonomously, as is clear from evidence contained in the great number of manuscripts and documents related to its genesis. This material now awaits further investigation and analysis, which it may be hoped will be brought together in a future scholarly edition.

Verso la Certosa

The third volume published by Adelphi is Verso la Certosa, edited by Orlando, who was also the editor of the corresponding Garzanti text. In both editions, Orlando decided to follow the 1961 princeps (published by Ricciardi) of Gadda's collection of essays--in fact, the new edition features nearly the same text and is the result of editorial choices that are very similar to the ones previously made. (36) In the Garzanti edition Orlando appropriately emphasized three different moments linked to the genesis and history of this selection of essays: Le meraviglie d'Italia (1939, published by Fratelli Parenti); Gli anni (1943, for the Letteratura series, directed by Alessandro Bonsanti); and finally, Verso la Certosa, a collection created--in a limited edition of 1500 copies--for the elegant Ricciardi series Sine titulo as a tribute for Raffaele Mattioli, to whom the work is dedicated. (37) The core of the collection had already appeared in Gli anni (8 pieces), so much so that Gadda initially intended to maintain the title; this base is augmented with 5 pieces from Le meraviglie and 5 articles from other journals (see the useful summary table at pp. 248-249). Piero Citati assisted Gadda in putting this essay collection together, a role he had played with the earlier collection I viaggi la morte. Verso la Certosa marks the de facto end of the productive and constructive phase of this group of texts. This statement is not contradicted by the publication in 1964 of the Einaudi collection Le meraviglie d'Italia--Gli anni. In fact, this hybrid text should be considered a byproduct of the author's residual commitments to Einaudi. It incorporates, with no major or meaningful changes, 15 pieces from Verso la Certosa, 13 pieces from Le meraviglie, one from Gli anni, as well as La "Mostra Leonardesca" a Milano, an essay that had always gravitated around this project.

From the title and ample documentary evidence, it is clear that Gadda did not actively organize this collection; on the other hand, he placed his definitive (if such a thing were possible) authorial seal of approval on the 1961 text. It is therefore appropriate for Orlando to privilege the initial phases of each essay--each one was published separately, with distinct and substantial sets of editorial notes, in the Garzanti series (see also Orlando, 2007). For Adelphi she repeats this choice, publishing Verso la Certosa, together with related material already present in the previous edition (La "Mostra Leonardesca" a Milano) and unpublished documents (some letters between Gadda and Mattioli; Gadda's letter to Mario Luzi about failing to win the Premio Marzotto, and Gadda's speech upon accepting the Premio degli Editori). The new volume also contains some previously unpublished material discovered in the Liberati Archives. (38) Aside from these innovations, Orlando by and large remains faithful to the general structure and choices already featured in the previous edition.

The case of Eros e Priapo

Beside the new editions of Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, L'Adalgisa and Verso la Certosa, it might be interesting to consider some aspects of Italia and Pinotti's work on Eros e Priapo, one of Gadda's most challenging texts even before the new discoveries; their analysis promises to be full of insights from both a philological and hermeneutical point of view. (39)

As mentioned earlier, this turn in Gaddian studies was made possible by the fortuitous discovery of documents that no one knew existed as well as documents which were known to have existed but of which no copies were extant in Ferentino (Frosinone), in the house of Giuseppina Liberati, Gadda's assistant and universal heir. Her nephew, Arnaldo Liberati, decided to move the Gaddian archive to Villafranca (Verona), and to make them available to Gaddian scholars: to cite the most significant material, it became possible to examine a rich collection of letters (more than 5000, sent or received, between 1912 and 1973) (40) as well as Gaddian drafts and manuscripts of fundamental importance (including, respectively, that of Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merluna and of Eros e Priapo). The Liberati Archives have made available the 1944-1945 first draft manuscript of Eros and Priapo, in which significant changes are evident relative to the princeps published by Garzanti in 1967 in a "quasi-posthumous" edition which has been termed "un'edizione coatta d'autore". On editorial grounds, the text was substantially modified, watered-down in tone, language and invective strength (Enzo Siciliano was extensively responsible for these changes). The discovery of the earlier manuscript has created a challenge for Gaddian philologists, both in terms of new interpretive possibilities and in terms of the problems related to the editorial organization of a text that is extremely intricate: "a philological monstrum" difficult to handle and reproduce in all its complexity (Italia, 2013: 147).

Along these lines, Gaddian philology is also at the forefront of using new technological resources in order to present the text in a final editorial form that is as close as possible to the authorial project(s) and wish(es). To achieve this result Italia and Pinotti have created a web platform called WikiGadda, in which scholars involved in the new edition of Eros e Priapo can share material, drafts, proposals and all the tools developed to manage their collaborative efforts. (41) The home page is accessible to all users, while the other sections are open only to the scholars working under the direction of Italia and Pinotti: it will be their responsibility to gather, finalize and present all the material (not just the new text, but also significant additions to the rest of the editorial apparatus) in an edition accessible to Gaddian readers. The researchers have been able to use this web platform as an open space where innovative philological tools, such as color coding variants, can be used to compare the text being produced with the handwritten draft and the 1967 edition (Italia, 2013: 219-223). It will be exciting to see how all of these material and textual levels will find their way into the print edition, and how these philologists will continue to innovate and improve the processing of Gadda's works, and more generally the concept and practice of Italian textual philology. (42)

Besides WikiGadda, Italia and her team have also promoted and created, through the biennial national fund PRIN 2009, the platform Gaddaman, a digital archive of Gadda's manuscripts (Bonavita, 2014). The website collects all the material, data and information conserved in the archives Garzanti, Roscioni and Citati in Milan (Archivio Storico Civico and Biblioteca Trivulziana), and Bonsanti in Florence (Archivio Contemporaneo del Gabinetto G. P. Vieusseux). (43) Gaddaman catalogues very different typologies of manuscripts (notes, translations, sketches etc.) page by page, describing them according to common guidelines, and "permette [... ] di mettere le carte in ordine non giAaAaAeA secondo la datazione d singolo quaderno, ma delle carte stesse, ricostruendo progetti, abbozzi, opere" (Italia, 2014: 21).

Regarding the text of Eros e Priapo, there has been some advance notice of probable forthcoming developments in articles published in recent years (Italia, 2012; 2013: 152-164; Italia and Pinotti, 2008; Pinotti, 2007), especially concerning different significant hermeneutical and critical readings of the new Eros e Priapo. Prior to all the changes and leveling, this work was certainly meant as a polemic against Fascism and Mussolini, stronger and with more expressive violence than what appears in the 1967 edition, but it was also something more--in Gadda's initial intentions it was to be something akin to a philosophical treatise, animated by the necessity to interpret the surrounding reality: as a "disperato tentativo di dimostrare, more geometrico, che una ricostruzione era possibile. E indicare la strada che si poteva percorrere" (Italia, 2013: 163). One major contribution that has already emerged is a more theoretical reflection, undermining the notion of a final and univocal authorial wish, in the case of Gadda in particular, but also more broadly with important consequences for 20th-century Italian philology. For Eros e Priapo, the ultimate goal should not be to identify which text is closer to the author's wish since there was more than just one wish. The 1944-1945 draft and the 1967 edition represent two different structures, plans and cultural-historical phases in Gadda's activity. While waiting for the new volume, we can consult Italia and Pinotti 2008, where a list of the contents is presented, together with an outline of general trends in the changes made by Gadda as he worked on the text, and also the first chapter of the newly discovered manuscript Il bugiardone, with critical apparatus.

Finally, in recent years Erso e Priapo's visibility has significantly increased and readership widened, due to activities that, strictly speaking, are neither academic nor philological. Here I mean the theatrical project of Fabrizio Gifuni who since 2010 has continued to fill Italian and foreign theaters (Edinburgh; Cambridge, MA) with audiences interested in seeing his Gadda Goes to War (L'ingegner Gadda va alla guerra; Ubu Prize for Best Actor and Best Show of the Year 2010), a production in which Gifuni accentuates the inherent modernity of two of Gadda's most complex and least known works (precisely Eros e Priapo and Giornale di guerra e prigionia). This initiative was also promoted and developed in collaboration with Federica G. Pedriali, head of the Italian department at the University of Edinburgh (and chair of the editorial board of the The Edinburgh Journal of Gadda Studies, EJGS), who published--together with her team--the English translation of the piece, accompanied by the DVD of the show and scholarly articles which highlight Gifuni's innovative approach to Gadda's work (Pedriali, 2013).

Conclusion (if possible)

The aim of this article was to offer an account of the editorial and philological history of a pivotal author in 20th-century Italian literature: Carlo Emilio Gadda. Although his writings and their editorial history are extremely intricate, worthy of the attention of top scholars and philologists, Gadda's works are still literary masterpieces that can be easily enjoyed by readers. (44) The magnificence and significance of his novels and short stories is neither affected nor compromised by Gadda's complex writing style. Rather, it is intertwined with it. It is not mere chance that Italo Calvino brought up Gadda when discussing the theme of multiplicity in his Lezioni americane:
La sua filosofia si presta molto bene al mio discorso, in quanto egli
vede il mondo come un "sistema di sistemi", in cui ogni sistema
singolo condiziona gli altri e ne AaAaAeA? condizionato. Carlo Emilio Gadd
cercAaAaAeA  per tutta la sua vita di rappresentare il mondo come u
garbuglio, o groviglio, o gomitolo, di rappresentarlo senza attenuarne
affatto l'inestricabile complessitAaAaAeA , o per meglio dire la presenz
simultanea degli elementi piAaAaAeA  eterogenei che concorrono a determinar
ogni evento. [... ] Nei testi brevi come in ogni episodio dei romanzi
di Gadda, ogni minimo oggetto AaAaAeA? visto come il centro d'una rete d
relazioni che lo scrittore non sa trattenersi dal seguire,
moltiplicando i dettagli in modo che le sue descrizioni e divagazioni
diventano infinite. Da qualsiasi punto di partenza il discorso
s'allarga a comprendere orizzonti sempre piAaAaAeA  vasti, e se potess
continuare a svilupparsi in ogni direzione arriverebbe ad abbracciare
l'intero universo. (Calvino, 1988: 103-105).

The editorial landscape of Gadda's texts reflects the author's tendency towards multiplicity and, in the words of Manzotti, corresponds to "una segreta giustizia estetica: [essendo] Gadda lo scrittore delle alternative, dei compossibili, della vita che per essere "vita" deve essere possibilitAaAaAeA " (Manzotti, 1996: 237). Fortunately, the abundan and quality of Gaddian editions allow readers to perceive as many facets of his writing as possible, despite the likely impossibility of ever obtaining an all-encompassing opera omnia. (45) It seems pretty clear that the Adelphi series will not simply replace the Garzanti corpus: they reproduce two fairly different works, each of which merits a close critical reading and a distinct philological effort. The Adelphi operation is truly an essential resource for Gaddian scholars, who will be able to work with two complete editions, each of which is philologically flawless with respect to its source material. In particular, the format chosen by Adelphi--the publication of independent volumes--is surely a crucial improvement that allows for the study and preservation of the specific features of each text. Moreover, this new edition is renewing the commercial profile of an oft-forgotten author; it has also turned the spotlight of national newspapers onto Gadda. (46)

This overview proved that the Garzanti and Adelphi operations are both important achievements and at the same time jumping off points towards "ever wider horizons," as Calvino brilliantly pointed out, in the continuing attempt to embrace the "whole universe" of Gadda. A better understanding of these editorial shifts, new editions, high and low points in the production of his texts can indeed tell us more about his work and can provide new material for scholarly insights. It revealed the complexities of a process that has contributed significantly to his critical reception and cultural status. In this sense, this detailed overview and evaluation of the editorial history of Gadda's works and the various philological approaches that have been applied to them is also intended as a necessary platform for further analysis. The complex editorial process opens new perspectives around Gadda's own writing process, and on Gaddian scholarship as a whole. More generally, the study of the professional and commercial apparatus, which surrounds an author like Gadda especially during the golden age of the Italian book industry, could highlight his cultural positioning in relation to comparable work being published at the same time, and the pivotal role of publishers in crafting the 20th century Italian canon.


I would like to express my gratitude to Federica G. Pedriali for her advice in writing this article and to Julianne Van Wagenen for her help in proofreading it.


(1.) In memory of Biagio, because "la morte arriva per nulla, circonfusa di silenzio, come una tacita, ultima combinazione del pensiero" (Gadda, La cognizione del dolore).

(2.) We will consider in the next paragraphs other works published by Isella after Gadda's death, such as Un fulmine sul 220.

(3.) Another relevant piece has been recently added by Adelphi, the correspondence between Gadda and Goffredo Parise, "Se mi vede Cecchi, sono fritto "(Scarpa, 2015). In 2013 Adelphi had also published Gadda's letters to Citati: Un gomitolo di concause. Lettere a Pietro Citati (1957-1969). Announced as forthcoming are, as we will see, a new edition of La cognizione del dolore and two volumes of unpublished material, one for the essays and one for the narrative, edited respectively by Claudio Vela and Francesco Venturi.

(4.) Exceptions are the praiseworthy commented editions of La cognizione by Manzotti (1987), of the Primo libro delle favole by Vela (1990), and of Gadda's poems by Terzoli (1993). Finally, while finishing this paper, the long-awaited commentary to Quer pasticciaccio has been published by Terzoli 2015.

(5.) As is well known Isella stated that "il "non finito" deve essere assunto come dato costitutivo, ontologico, della creativitAaAaAeA gaddian (RR I xx-xxi).

(6.) This quotation is taken from Una mattinata ai macelli, the opening text of Le meraviglie d'Italia (; accessed 15 December 2016).

(7.) It might be useful to recall the available English translations of Gadda's works: Acquainted with Grief, translated by William Weaver (1969; 1985); The Fire on Kepler Street, translated by Anthony B. Hartley (1988); That Awful Mess on Via Merulana, translated by William Weaver (1965; 1984). An updated version of "Gadda in translation" can be found at:

(8.) In the last years a part of Gadda's correspondence with his editors has been published in Qdi: Lettere all'editore Ricciardi (1957-1961), edited by Orlando L, I, 2001; Lettereall'editore Einaudi (1939-1967), edited by Orlando L, II, 2003; Lettere a Livio Garzanti (1953-1969), edited by Pinotti G, IV, 2006; Lettere agli editori Rosa e Ballo (1943-1946), edited by Isella D, V, 2007; Lettere a Gian Carlo Roscioni (1963-1970), edited by Pinotti G, n. s. 1, 2010; Lettere alla Mondadori, edited by Pinotti G, n. s. 3, 2012. See also Sebastiani, 1993.

(9.) See, for example, Gadda's letter to Giovanni Comisso, where he refers to a project proposed for Longanesi: "Vorrai comprendere la situazione in cui mi trovo, in cui sono venuto a trovarmi anche per mia colpa, coi diversi editori a cui ho avuto la leggerezza di dire sempre sAaAaAeA , vagamente promettendo: a mia scusa devo dire che anni nessuno mi cercava, di loro: e mi prendeva allora la tema che non avrei mai potuto stampare piAaAaAeA nulla, se non avessi accettato col primo. [. ] Questa AaAaAeA? la mia grottesca situazione. Colpa mia, certo. Ma la situazio AaAaAeA? irrimediabile" (quote from Sebastiani, 1993: XXVIII

(10.) On the relation between published and unpublished material see at least the recent article by Vela 2014.

(11.) On the internal and technical aspects of Gadda's manuscripts (handwriting, ink, etc.) see Fiorentini andDalla Via, 2014; Italia, 1999.

(12.) For the term see, at least, Rico, 2006: 3 n. 1.

(13.) Italia, 2014: 25: "molte varianti alternative = alto tasso di indecisione e progettualitAaAaAeA del testo; molte postille = alto livel di metaletterarietAaAaAeA della prosa, e infine, a dimostrazione della s forza generativa, molte correzioni tardive su una copia in pulito, preferibilmente in senso accresitivo".

(14.) See Italia, 2007b; an example of this shift could be seen considering the two editions of Il fulmine sul 220, published in 1995 and in 2000. See Italia, 2013:166-167; Italia and Pinotti, 2008: 28-34; Italia and Raboni, 2010: 59-60; 110-112.

(15.) Apart from the material found after the conclusion of the Garzanti project, some of Gadda's works were not included (though they were carefully catalogued in the bibliography). For example, some of his journalistic articles of the '30-'40 were gathered and published later in Bertone, 2005. In the last volume of the Garzanti series Isella wrote on completion of his editorial task: "Abbiamo cosAaAaAeA il 'Tut Gadda' a cui aspiravamo piAaAaAeA nei voti che nelle previsioni" (Conclusio provvisorie, SVP 9). But this statement, as we will see, was accompanied by the contradictory awareness that much work was still left to do. See, for example, Italia 2007b: "Dal quadro che si AaAaAeA? tracciato appa evidente il ruolo strategico che un'impresa come quella realizzata da Isella e dalla sua equipe con le Opere Garzanti ha rappresentato, e le prospettive che apre ora, a distanza di un ventennio dalla pubblicazione del suo primo volume. Che siano finalmente maturi i tempi per potere pensare a un'integrazione delle Opere verso un 'Tutto Gadda'? I passi che si stanno muovendo, grazie ancora allo stimolo dei Quaderni, anche verso un'edizione delle lettere e un'edizione degli Appunti lasciano ben sperare". As we will see, the idea itself of an all-embracing and concluded opera omnia might be deceptive in Gadda's case.

(16.) It is worth to note here that another isolated case is the edition of the Meditazione milanese. The new editor, Paola Italia, used the critical text already established by Gian Carlo Roscioni in 1974 (changed only with minor corrections of typos and with the anticipation of the first draft to the second), applying to the structure of the edition the tripartite model proposed by Isella (MM SVP 1310-1312).

(17.) The first was published in Letteratura, 1, a. II, n. 3, (luglio-settembre 1938), pp. 31-54 (and partially with the title Fulmini e Parafulmini, in Il Meridiano di Roma III, 30, 1938, pp. 6-7). The second appeared in Letteratura, 14, a. IV, n. 2 (aprile-giugno 1940), pp. 57-71.

(18.) Another example is the use of two passages of La cognizione (Una visita medica; La mamma) in Novelle dal Ducato in fiamme and Accoppiamenti giudiziosi.

(19.) Apart from its publication the preceding year as Gadda, Taccuino di Caporetto. Diario di guerra e di prigionia, ottobre 1917-aprile 1918, edited by Bonsanti G and S. Milan: Garzanti, 1991.

(20.) Within the tripartite model proposed by Isella, Pinotti used an interesting approach in structuring the apparatus: it is divided in two sections, the first dedicated to the evolution of the text from the manuscript to the printed edition, the second devoted to Gadda's corrections to the last manuscript stage (see Pinotti, 1995: 124-125). The result is an incredibly rich complex even by the standards of Gadda: all the different moments of elaboration of San Giorgio in casa Brocchi have been preserved, from the manuscript to the editorial draft, to the different editions.

(21.) Read Isella's preface in the first number of Qdi: "All'uscita del quinto e ultimo volume delle Opere di Carlo Emilio Gadda [... ], parve motivo di soddisfazione, nel tirare le somme del lavoro compiuto, il poter guardare con fiducia al traguardo finale. Nessuno meglio di chi vi aveva atteso era consapevole di quanto restasse ancora da fare" (p. VII)

(22.) Starting in 2010, after an interruption in the publication due to Isella's death in 2007, the direction of the journal passed to Clelia Martignoni.

(23.) Just to mention some of them: Villa in Brianza (edited by Manzotti in 2001); Grumi di pensiero silvano (edited by Isella in 2001); Secondo libro della poetica (edited by Isella in 2003); Le Marie Luise e la eziologia del loro patriottaggio verbale; Le genti (edited by Pinotti in 2003); La Ragazza di Albissola (edited by Orlando in 2007); Temi di lavoro 1932 (edited by Isella in 2007).

(24.) As clearly stated by Martignoni in the first number of the new series of Qdi: "Come sempre Isella assegnava alla filologia, in senso stretto e lato, il primo e determinante ruolo nel lavoro letterario: una filologia, preciso, tanto illuminante da cui non puAaAaAeA che discender per chi sappia leggere, una nuova visione critica del caso in questione" (p. VIII).

(25.) This veiled polemic seems to find a converse indictment in Raboni's observation: "Certo, a fronte di questo bilancio estremamente positivo per gli studi filologici italiani, non va taciuto [... ] come spesso queste edizioni non abbiano prodotto il dibattito e l'accrescimento di studi che ci si sarebbe potuto aspettare" (in Italia and Raboni, 2010: 33). This is an important issue stressed by Benedetti herself: "Credo che la cultura italiana abbia un conto in sospeso con questo scrittore, il piAaAaAeA lodato e il piAaAaAeA frainteso d'Italia. E non per man valorizzazione della sua opera, che AaAaAeA? stata anzi affidata alla cu scrupolosa dei migliori filologi e celebrata unanimemente come pezzo sommo della letteratura del Novecento; ma per la crudele parcellizzazione a cui AaAaAeA? stata sottoposta in decenni di letture parziali, locali e frantumant Come per un difetto di messa a fuoco o, forse, per un sordo rifiuto, l'opera di Gadda AaAaAeA? stata ripetutamente privata della sua drammati interezza. [... ] Di Gadda si ama il pezzo, la bella pagina, la virtuosistica lingua, la scrittura espressionistica, il plurilinguismo, se ne studiano le fonti letterarie e pittoriche, la formazione trasversale scientifica e umanistica, si studia la travagliata vicenda di scrittura e riscrittura dei suoi testi... Ma si perde di vista il collante che unisce tutti quei frantumi" (Benedetti, 2002: 23-24).

(26.) I am referring to what Benedetti reported in Savettieri et al., 2004: 11-12.

(27.) The commentary (now Terzoli, 2015) had been announced already a few years ago, as the final achievement of a multi-year work (funded by the Fondo Nazionale Svizzero) of Terzoli and the group of students and scholars she guided (see Terzoli et al., 2012: 25-26). It is interesting to note that Terzoli published the commentary without Quer pasticciaccio's text, possibly due to copyright restrictions.

(28.) These scholars also took part in the conference Meraviglie di Gadda. Seminario dAaAaAeA studi sulle carte dello scrittore, organized the University of Pavia on October 17-18, 2013 (the proceedings are now published in Marchi and Vela 2014).

(29.) This work has passed through the hands of four publishers before the Garzanti edition.

(30.) For example, new documents have emerged relevant to Gadda's relationship with Vallecchi and with Valentino Bompiani in 1963.

(31.) Note that in general Rotondi and Italia-Pinotti follow similarly conservative editorial criteria. In general, the following statement of Italia-Pinotti could be valid for many Gaddian editions: "L'editing delle opere di Gadda, giocato com'AaAaAeA? sul sottile discrimine tra neologis e refuso, tra volontAaAaAeA dell'autore e interventi (o sciatteria) di redatto e curatori, AaAaAeA? certo impresa ardua, non meno della loro interpretazion I testi dell'Ingegnere sono stati oggetto di arbitrarie modernizzazioni (fonetiche, grafiche, interpuntive), banalizzazioni e ipercorrettismi (nel lessico e nella sintassi), spesso passati in giudicato nelle edizioni a stampa: in quelle vigilate--piAaAaAeA o meno direttamente--dall'auto e, in modo ancora piAaAaAeA invasivo, nelle loro successive ristampe. A parti dall'edizione delle Opere diretta da Dante Isella, si AaAaAeA? dunque afferma un criterio ecdotico conservativo, da cui discendono interventi puntuali, dichiarati e giustificati singolarmente. [... ] I nuovi materiali, manoscritti e a stampa, emersi da archivi e biblioteche e le nuove conoscenze degli usus scribendi di Gadda che ne sono scaturite ci hanno indotto a intervenire [... ] in forma ancora piAaAaAeA cauta in presen sia di refusi (1), sia di uniformazioni editoriali (2), sia, infine, della resa grafica degli inserti dialettali (3)" (Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, p. 400 ss.).

(32.) The appendix does not provide the apparato genetico and the postille degli abbozzi of the Incendio, which had been carefully reconstructed in the 1995 Disegni milanesi (pp. 230-290), nor of the other unpublished drafts--only alternative variants are indicated.

(33.) Vela generally follows Isella's interpretation, and declares: "Gadda si era trovato ricco di materiali giAaAaAeA almeno 'semilavorati anche di notevole estensione, pronti, con la necessaria applicazione, a essere impiegati non piAaAaAeA come elementi continui di un intrecci ma come tessere discrete, opportunamente cesellate e preparate, da inserire quali pezzi autonomi in altri progetti. [... ] Il Fulmine si smembra, asseconda l'autentica vocazione di Gadda al racconto, nutre della sua linfa segreta i freschissimi disegni. Nel passaggio molto si perde, viene sacrificato, ma quanto rimane rinasce al soffio di una nuova vita. Valeva la pena di aver fallito il Fulmine, se doveva nascerne L'Adalgisa" (p. 351).

(34.) Contrast Italia's comments: "Scopo della filologia--per i testi del Novecento, ma non solo--non AaAaAeA? tanto quello di restituire al tes una volontAaAaAeA decurtata, ma di ricostruire la sua storia interna ed ester per una piAaAaAeA meditata e consapevole scelta editoriale. Non esisto infatti edizioni perfette, ma scelte editoriali operate, volta a volta, a seconda delle esigenze del lettore, ultimo ma piAaAaAeA importante anel del circuito letterario, il cui ruolo attivo nella definizione del testo viene sempre piAaAaAeA riconosciuto" (Italia, 2013: 8

(35.) Rodondi collected all the deleted notes in an Appendix that follows her own editorial notes. On textual issues related to Il castello di Udine see also Roscioni, 1995: 27-29; Venturi, 2014: 50-51.

(36.) The general choice is again to not intervene much and to preserve Gadda's text; the very few mistakes and typos corrected are almost the same in both editions (see p. 1295 for Garzanti; p. 210 for Adelphi).

(37.) As is well known, Mattioli promoted and subsidized the Premio degli Editori in 1957, won by Gadda, as a way to make amends to him for losing out in the 1957 Premio Marzotto, in which Gadda had entered Quer pasticciaccio.

(38.) For one, a document dated October 1960 discussing the ideation phase of Verso la Certosa testimonies Gadda's hypothesis of insertion of a text entitled Nella notte (spazzini a Milano). Another important find is a handwritten copy of Il Petrarca a Milano together with a typescript copy of that manuscript, with some corrections.

(39.) The Adelphi edition of Eros and Priapo was published at the end of 2016, edited by Italia and Pinotti. I could not consider this edition for my essay, which was already submitted for publication.

(40.) For the many problems related to a future edition of the already huge, and over the years bigger and bigger, Gadda's epistolary see Italia, 2004; and, more specifically, Vela, 2007.

(41.) The importance of new technological tools in philology has already been emphasized by Rico, 2006: 9. Their particular applicability to an author like Gadda is noted by Italia, 1999: 62; 2012: 217.

(42.) See Vela, 2014: 17: "Questo AaAaAeA? Gadda. Poterlo studiare, pote ancora portare a galla sue cose sconosciute promuove la nostra filologia, che davvero sente qui di assolvere al compito, rubo la splendida definizione a Leo Spitzer, di 'testimoniare per la bellezza del mondo'".

(43.) The Garzanti fund has been catalogued by Italia and published in serial form in Qdi (2001-2007); Barbara Colli catalogued the Citati fund (QdI, 2010) and the Roscioni fund (QdI, 2011-2013).

(44.) See Manzotti, 1993: 17: "Carlo Emilio Gadda virtuoso della parola per pochi lettori-filologi: calligrafo di raffinati e a volte manierati frammenti di prosa, barocco animatore di ircocervi sintattici e rappresentativi. Gadda scrittore etico: il moralista che schernisce senza pietAaAaAeA le manifestazio aberranti della vita (negatore, a momenti, della vita stessa); o che interpreta commosso il 'dolorante respiro delle generazioni, de semine in semen'. Gadda, ancora, profondo osservatore del reale, e limpido costruttore di descrizioni referenziali e di argomentazioni oggettive. La sommatoria critica degli aspetti molteplici--e divergenti--di una personalitAaAaAeA straordinaria di scrittore appare fissarsi stabilmen nell'ultimo decennio del secolo in un valore, e in una certezza: che Carlo Emilio Gadda sia il maggior prosatore del Novecento italiano, e uno dei maggiori del Novecento europeo accanto ai nomi (Benn, Joyce, Kafka, Musil, ecc.) di un canone ormai consolidato".

(45.) See Bertone, 2005: 9-10: "Uno dei pregi maggiori di questa prograssiva offerta di documenti AaAaAeA? quello di rammentare di continuo agli addet ai lavori che occuparsi dell'opera di Gadda significa non giAaAaAeA arroccar su premature pretese all'esaustivitAaAaAeA , bensi avvicinare con estre circospezione una testualitAaAaAeA intricata e complessa per colmarne pi piano i vuoti, dedicandosi con pazienza alla ricerca di trame e di indizi, al disvelamento graduale dei misteri che serpeggiano nei suoi testi (e che, talvolta, possono anche interessare la sorte dei suoi scritti)".

(46.) Adelphi's project has been abundantly praised; in some cases its editions have been welcomed as "definitive" (see, for example, Arbasino's review of L'Adalgisa, or, on Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, Cavalieri: "L'approdo di CEG in Adelphi AaAaAeA? una garanzia e finalmente avremo un'Ope omnia completa/completa, definitiva/definitiva"). Citati is, appropriately, more cautious, speaking of a "nuova edizione--l'edizione definitiva, se nel caso di Gadda potesse esistere qualcosa di definitivo". The links for the reviews are listed on the WikiGadda website.


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The Garzanti editions (Milan, 1988-1993) are referenced with the ensuing abbreviations followed by the page numbers:

RR I: Romanzi e racconti, Vol. I, edited by Rodondi R, Lucchini G and Manzotti E. Milan: Garzanti, 1988.

RR II: Romanzi e racconti, Vol. II, edited by Pinotti G, Isella D and Rodondi R. Milan: Garzanti, 1989.

SGF I: Saggi giornali favole e altri scritti, Vol. I, edited by Orlando L, Martignoni C and Isella D. Milan: Garzanti, 1991.

SGF II: Saggi giornali favole e altri scritti, Vol. II, edited by Vela C, Gaspari G, Pinotti G, Gavazzeni F, Isella D and Terzoli MA. Milan: Garzanti, 1992.

SVP: Scritti vari e postumi, edited by Silvestri A, Vela C, Isella D, Italia P and Pinotti G. Milan: Garzanti, 1993.

BI: BibliografAaAaAeA a e indici, edited by Isella D, Lucchini G and Orlan L. Milan: Garzanti, 1993.

Gadda CE, Lettere a una gentile signora, edited by Marcenaro G. Milan: Adelphi, 1983.

Gadda EE, Racconto italiano diignoto delnovecento, edited by Isella D. Turin: Einaudi, 1983.

Gadda CE, Disegni milanesi. San Giorgio in casa Brocchi, L'incendio di via Keplero, Un fulmine sul 220, edited by Isella D, Italia P, Pinotti G. Pistoia: Edizioni Niccolai-Can Bianco ("Biblioteca di cultura lombarda"), 1995.

Gadda CE, Un fulmine sul 200, edited by Isella D. Milan: Garzanti, 2000.

Gadda CE, Accoppiamenti giudiziosi, 1924-1958, edited by Italia P and Pinotti G. Milan: Adelphi, 2011.

Gadda CE, L'Adalgisa. Disegni milanesi, edited by Vela C. Milan: Adelphi, 2012.

Gadda CE, Verso la Certosa, edited by Orlando L. Milan: Adelphi, 2012.

Gadda CE, Eros e Priapo, edited by Italia P and Pinotti G. Milan: Adelphi, 2016.

Other abbreviations

EJGS: The Edinburgh Journal of Gadda Studies-- Journal founded and directed by Federica G. Pedriali.

Qdi: I quaderni dell'ingegnere. Testi e studi gaddiani. Journal founded by Dante Isella and directed by Clelia Martignoni.

Chiara Trebaiocchi

Harvard University, USA

Corresponding author:

Chiara Trebaiocchi, Deptartment of Romance Languages and Literatures Harvard University Boylston Hall, 4th Floor Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
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