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From Raw Emotions to Narrative Transformations: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of the Horse Trope in Gianna Manzini’s Narrative

Maria Sergi


This article advances the argument that Gianna Manzini’s oeuvre is best appreciated as an overarching autobiographical text in which the subject is not a pre-determined simulation drawn from memory. I argue, rather, that the aesthetics of her subjects’ constant coming-into-being throughout her writing constitutes an over-arching autobiographical account. The horse is one of Manzini’s recurring narrative tropes. I explore the evolution of the horse character through the psychoanalytic lens of Antonino Ferro’s theory of “narrative derivatives”, which are understood to sponsor “narrative transformations”.
I examine four horse characters drawn from four separate stories and argue that they contain and reflect hitherto unrecognised traumatic responses embedded in her father’s memory. I argue that in this way she accomplishes a narrative transformation of previously mute traumata.

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Spunti e Ricerche. Rivista d'italianistica.
ISSN (Print): 0816-5432.
ISSN (Electronic): 2200-8942.