Il romanzo enciclopedico

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] The encyclopedic novel

Giuseppe Langella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The essay studies the characteristics of the encyclopedic novel as a typical form of modern literature. Besides, the novel as such has strong aptitudes to amass encyclopedic information. In the encyclopedic novel the trend becomes a key feature, either as a language polyphony or as a structural dominance of the didactic digressions over the narrative frame. Moreover, unlike, medieval encyclopedism, which was the expression of a cosmic regular world idea, the modern one is unfinished and circumstantial (Flaubert), since it appears rather as a manic transcription of chaos (Gadda), or as a “challenge to labyrinth” (Calvino).The bulimic assemblage of data or the combinatorial obsession of maps and networks make up for the loss of totality.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] The encyclopedic novel
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationLe forme del romanzo italiano e le letterature occidentali dal Sette al Novecento
EditorsSimona Costa, Monica Venturini
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Calvino Italo
  • Eco Umberto
  • Flaudert Gustave
  • Gadda Carlo Emilio
  • Joyce James
  • Mann Thomas
  • Musil Robert
  • Romanzo enciclopedico


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