ITAL-360 Giallo! Italian Detective Fiction
Offered academic year 2006-2007
Professor Nicoletta Pireddu
WHODUNIT? Italian literature begins to ask this question only in the 1930s, with the publication of the first libri gialli, which drew inspiration from British and American crime fiction. In this seminar, we will trace the extraordinary evolution of Italian detective fiction from its foreign antecedents and its early success in Italy's mass literary market to the later appeal exerted by the detective format upon mainstream contemporary male novelists, as well as upon their feminist re-writers. A study of the Italian giallo will allow us to explore how literature adopts the motif of crime to raise issues of justice, politics, and morality, how power is deployed in the struggle between mafia and the law, how the space of the city is connected with the space of the narrative, and how writers use the search for meaning to convey different ideas about knowledge and interpretation of reality, from the heroic discovery of truth to the postmodern anti-heroic failure to decipher clues and solve mysteries. Conducted in Italian.
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