The contribution is based on the favourable relationship between literature and sociology and on the bidirectional relationship of knowledge and critical analysis linked to social changes. In fact, literature, due to its scope, is often a tool for sociological reflection. The reciprocal relationship between literature and sociology occurs when the literary arguments emerge from the analysis of the text and assume the role of sociological reflection. The contribution presents two levels of analysis: - the didactic relevance of a character like Merini, that started as a concrete analysis of the linguistic form, resulting from a rhetorical passage from an overabundance of meaning to a blank page, on the one hand, and a research - discreet but rigorous - of the invasive representation on society of the character-artist, in the never resolved conflict of contami-nation between genius -madness. - the sociological reflection that derives from the didactic project "Ricordami il pensiero della vita. Il mondo di Alda Merini" ("Remember me the thought of life. The world of Al-da Merini") was a reason for empirical study on the concepts of normality, stereotype and dis/ability. Merini’s biography has a particular meaning because, although she was exposed to judg-ment and shame, she challenged the hierarchies of abilism.
Keywords: disability-normality; stereotype; creativity and madness; students; factor analysis; cluster analysis; literature and sociology; life stories.