Casting Sound: Modality and Poetics in Gabriella Ghermandi's "Regina di fiori e di perle"


  • Laura Dolp
  • Eveljn Ferraro


parole chiave:

Gabriella Ghermandi, musica, amari, Regina, narrazione


This article investigates Gabriella Ghermandi’s novel Regina di fiori e di perle (2007) through two disciplinary perspectives: the first investigates music as a historical and social practice through historical observation of Ghermandi’s characters who reference Ethiopian oral traditions; and the second explores the contemporary dynamics of migration and transnational identity through textual analysis that critiques how storytelling practices are carried into an Italian context. We argue that the novel reflects a dissemination of oral memory across generations and gender and into a postcolonial setting, and that its characters reflect adaptations to institutional and twentieth-century technological change. Crucially, and more specifically, the fate of singing and storytelling in Ghermandi’s fictional world mirrors the author’s experience of moving between orality and recorded and written forms, not as an evolutionary process but as a reciprocal process. Her fictional tradition bearers -- Aron, Yacob, and Mahlet -- embody these malleable modes of transmission, reconfiguring stories for a new generation of Ethiopians and Italians.

Biografie autore

Laura Dolp

Laura Dolp examines the historical agency of music as a site of human transformation, including music and spirituality, the interrelation of music and sociopolitical spaces, storytelling, mapping and musical practices, and the poetics of the natural world. She is editor of Arvo Pärt’s White Light: Media, Culture, Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and contributor to The Cambridge Companion to Arvo Pärt (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis (Oxford University Press, 2016), with Eveljn Ferraro. Her research also appears in 19th-Century Music and Journal of Musicological Research. She holds a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Columbia University. See

Eveljn Ferraro

Eveljn Ferraro investigates Italian national identity within transnational scenarios through the lenses of migration from and to Italy, the connections between literature and other media, liminal spaces, and postcolonial studies. She has contributed to the volumes Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis (Oxford University Press, 2016), with Laura Dolp, The Cultures of Italian Migration: Diverse Trajectories and Discrete Perspectives (Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011), and Small Towns, Big Cities: The Urban Experience of Italian Americans (Bordighera Press, 2010). Her work also appears inthe Journal of the Northeast Modern Language Association Italian Studies (NeMLA Italian Studies) and Carte italiane. She is a Book Review Editor for Altreitalie, an International Journal of Studies on Italian Migrations in the World. She is Adjunct Lecturer of Italian Studies at Santa Clara University, California. She holds a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Brown University.




come citare

Dolp, Laura, e Eveljn Ferraro. «Casting Sound: Modality and Poetics in Gabriella Ghermandi’s “Regina Di Fiori E Di Perle”». Altrelettere, vol. 5, dicembre 2016, doi:10.5903/al_uzh-34.