This article focuses on the relationship between the representation of femininity and aggressiveness (both stylistic and thematic) in Corrado Govoni's early twentieth-century works, from the erotic-symbolist sonnets of Le fiale (1903) [The Phials] to the Futurist-nationalist
fury of L'inaugurazione della primavera (1915) [The Inauguration of Spring]. Drawing on a number of post-Kleinian psychoanalytical notions, it analyses recurrent discourse practices and narrative/rhetorical strategies in the representations of gender, sex and violence, highlighting
their 'affective grammar'. The first section introduces the methodological framework, and then moves on to a contextualized overview of Govoni's early poetry. The second part undertakes a close reading of a particularly relevant sample of his work, the section from Le fiale entitled
'Vas luxuriae'. Both sections aim to show that the shift from the literary and cultural tropes of decadence to those of avant-garde nationalism is informed affectively by what, adopting Wilfred Bion's language, is termed a failure of psychic containment.
Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.