L’umorismo nero di Alberto Savinio

Miruna Bulumete


The black humour – privileged by surrealists for its capacity to bring to the surface those psychic contents regarded as taboo, especially those related to death, disease, violence and sexuality (it was Breton himself who coined the expression humour noir) – finds its most conspicuous expression in Savinio’s novel Our soul. The tale of the hybrid figure, that embodies the soul, abounds in coprolalic and sexual licenses, in descriptions of monstrous characters and repulsive, absurd, sadistic or blasphemous situations. Deformities and transgressions are expressed through exhilarating black comedy situations that affect all the narrative levels: according to the division made by Bergson, we find caricatures, comic movements and gestures as well as a comic action, and above all a comic speech. The latter is the result of verbal lapsus, of nonsense, of unusual transfers of sense from the metaphorical to the literal, of certain figures of speech such as hypallage and bizarre analogies that sometimes give rise to anamorphic images. In the narrative there appears liberations of the repressed that constitute real illustrations of Freud's theory according to which the humour and the dream have the same origins and are based on the same mental processes.


black humour, surrealism, irony, myth, love, violence

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