Keywords: Carlo Emilio Gadda; Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana; Neobaroque; Overwriting; Anachronism of Images.
This paper describes a passage of Carlo Emilio Gadda's novel "Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana" - the famous description of a mannerist painting representing the saints Peter and Paul - as an example of the Neo-baroque style of writing. In synergy with the recent scholarship on the Neo-Baroque world as well as with theories on the «anachronism of images», the essay suggests that this literary technique, consisting in overwriting poverty and vacuity with an abundance of signs, is aimed at exploring emancipatory versions of the past. The origins of this aesthetic strategy can be traced back to Gadda's unfinished novel "Racconto italiano di ignoto del Novecento". The conclusion of this paper underlines the new light shed by this approach on the vexata quæstio on Gadda's literary style («of words» vs «of things»).