MYS-SPEAKED – Mystical Emotions and the Limits of Language in Contemporary English, French, and Italian Literatures (H2020-MSCA-IF-2021)


  • Title: Mystical Emotions and the Limits of Language in Contemporary English, French, and Italian Literatures
  • Acronym: MYS-SPEAKED
  • Funding: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 101059916.
  • Amount:  € 172.750.08.
  • MSCA Fellow: Riccardo Raimondo (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
  • Supervisor: Alessandro Scarsella, Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
  • Mentor: Roberta Dreon, Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
  • Secondment mentor: Maxime Prévost, Department of French (University of Ottawa)


Brief description

What are mystical emotions? It “the mystical” really “inexpressible” (das Unaussprechliche) as Ludwig Wittgenstein stated? The originality of the MYS-SPEAKED project consists in its foundational oxymoron: investigating the connections between emotions and language in the specific case of mystical literature, a literary genre dealing with the Unspeakable itself. The project constitutes the first attempt to study mysticism in contemporary literature pushing the boundaries between literary analysis, theory of sensibility, philosophy of emotions, and philosophy of language. The multilingual corpus (French, English, and Italian) includes texts dealing with the Mystery by transcending all ideas of traditional religion or gendered religious/esoteric orders, thus debunking the bias that mysticism belongs only to religious contexts and that there exists a male/female spirituality. What’s more, the chosen authors extend the limits of mystical enunciation to the performative and non-verbal dimension by often contaminating their production with other arts (such as theatre for Mariangela Gualtieri, painting for Yves Bonnefoy, comics for Alan Moore, song for Fleur Jaeggy in collaboration with Franco Battiato).

Riccardo Raimondo (former MSCA Global Fellow) is supervised by Prof. Alessandro Scarsella (Ca’ Foscari) in Comparative Literature, mentored by Maxime Prévost (University of Ottawa) in French and English literature, and supported by Roberta Dreon (Ca’ Foscari) in the theory of sensibility and philosophy of emotions.


Short presentation

Dr. Riccardo Raimondo has obtained a BA in Modern Literatures at the University of Catania (2013), a Master in Comparative Literature at Sorbonne Université (2015), and a PhD in French and Italian Literature at Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (2018). He has also been Visiting Researcher at the University of Ottawa (2016) and University of Oxford (2017), and Post-doc Associate at UZH Zurich (2018-2019). He is former MSCA Global Fellow at the University of Oslo and Université de Montréal (2019-2022), and MSCA Fellow at Ca’ Foscari for the MYS-SPEAKED project (2022-2024) in collaboration with the University of Ottawa. He is interested in Intellectual history and Book history, Translation and Transnational studies, as well as Religion & Literature studies and Western Esotericism.

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