Socially Symbolic Acts: The Historicizing Fictions of Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, and Antonio Tabucchi

Socially Symbolic Acts: The Historicizing Fictions of Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, and Antonio Tabucchi

Socially Symbolic Acts: The Historicizing Fictions of Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, and Antonio Tabucchi

Socially Symbolic Acts: The Historicizing Fictions of Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, and Antonio Tabucchi

Synopsis

This book discusses issues of broad cultural consequence by examining the work of three of Italy's most prominent living novelists_Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, and Antonio Tabucchi. It uses an approach that is both historicist and psychoanalytic to address topics in cultural studies and Italian studies

Excerpt

In the chapters that follow I will discuss issues of broad cultural consequence through close readings of the prose fictions of three of contemporary Italy’s most prominent novelists, Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, and Antonio Tabucchi. All three are generally recognized among the most important intellectual figures in contemporary Europe. Eco, of course, is extremely well-known in the Anglophonic world. This is due to his remarkable abilities as a raconteur, his skills at marketing his work, and the psychological consistency of his characters, topics we will have occasion to examine in detail in the chapters that follow. Consolo and Tabucchi are equally deserving of such recognition, given the superior aesthetic qualities of their fictions. This is not to say that Consolo and Tabucchi are unknown outside of Italy. Consolo gained international attention with Il sorriso dell’ignoto marinaio [The Smile of the Unknown Mariner], which has been translated into the major European languages—French, Spanish, German, and English—even though the (pluri)linguistic strategies and experiments that inform his fictions make translating them a challenge. Since then his fictions have attracted an ever-growing bibliography. Consolo’s nonfictional essays have been published in major Italian newspapers, in Spain by El País, and by the Argentinian La Naciòn, and have been collected in volumes in Italy.

Tabucchi, a scholar of Portuguese literature, is extremely wellknown in the Iberian Peninsula and throughout Latin America; his works have been translated into all of the world’s major languages. Over the past two decades he has enjoyed consistent and wide popular success in Italy with accessible fictions such as Sostiene Pereira [Pereira Declares] and La testa perduta di Damasceno Monteiro [The Missing Head of Damaseno Monteiro]. His most recent works—Si sta facendo sempre più tardi [It . . .

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