Genesis Bologna 2024 – Costants and Variants in Genetic Criticism

The “Genesis” 2024 meeting dedicated to Constants and Variants in Genetic Criticism therefore intends to document and discuss the alternation between the elements of the “author” system, and the “language” system, that vary incessantly, and those that show similarities, constants, leading to the identification, for each author, or groups of authors, of a “style”. Genetic criticism reveals itself, in this perspective, to be a discipline encompassing philology and criticism, whose objective is not only to represent the process, but to interpret it, and a trans-media discipline, because such an approach does not only concern the genesis of manuscript and printed texts, but of all the products of genius that have had a genesis and evolution, from the most traditional (poetic texts, short stories, novels, essays, theatrical texts) to those that have innovated literary genres (screenplays, storyboards, graphic novels, narrative nonfiction, without neglecting the visual arts).

In the transition of the last three decades, from the manual/mechanical production of texts, to a purely mechanical production, where the entire workflow, from design to printing and dissemination takes place on a digital medium, where the identity of the author is challenged by the multiple identities of a collaborative and social author (Shillingsburg), corrections have not disappeared, but proliferate in a rhizomatic multiplicity of variants, all traceable and memorable (Kirschenbaum), the challenge for criticism is still to study the fascinating interweaving of constants and variants. The concept of fluid text, of ‘text in time’ (Buzzoni), introduced into 20th century culture by Genetic Criticism, proves to be the most productive for investigating the mechanisms of creation, whether on the white sheet of paper or on the black screen.





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