The Modern Italian Novel: From Manzoni to Svevo

The Modern Italian Novel: From Manzoni to Svevo

The Modern Italian Novel: From Manzoni to Svevo

The Modern Italian Novel: From Manzoni to Svevo

Excerpt

In the Prolecomena to my book, A Guide to Contemporary Italian Literature (1962) I remarked that one of the significant aspects of the postwar American rediscovery of Italian letters was an absorbing and fruitful interest in the poets and novelists of the past. My characterization of the phenomenon soon proved to be more accurate than I had hoped, and a number of translations and critical studies focusing on the Renaissance and the nineteenth century have afforded readers the opportunity of a more intimate glimpse of trends and artists of modern Italy.

My Guide was primarily concerned with explaining and analyzing the quality and meaning of a number of cultural manifestations in twentieth-century Italy-ranging from fiction and poetry to the cinema and the little magazines. Lack of space prevented me from doing more than offering a mere outline of the immediate background necessary to understand contemporary Italian writing. Indeed, in the course of writing my book, it had become increasingly clear to me that to comment extensively on the fathers of the contemporary novel in Italy and on the tradition they formed would inevitably mean writing one or more additional volumes that might serve as prologue and companions to my Guide.

It was this intention, coupled with the awareness that no single study in English dealing with the Italian novel is available to today's readers, that persuaded me of the necessity to prepare the present work. The last study of . . .

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