The Italian Gothic and Fantastic: Encounters and Rewritings of Narrative Traditions
Edited by Francesca Billiani & Gigliola Sulis

About the Editors:
Francesca Billiani (BA Trieste, PhD Reading) is a Lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of Manchester, where she is also a member of the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies.

Gigliola Sulis (BA Cagliari, PhD Reading), is a Lecturer in Italian Literature at the University of Leeds.

This volume investigates modes of the reception, rewriting, and appropriation of the gothic and the fantastic in Italy in the late nineteenth century and the second half of the twentieth century. It articulates the ways in which Italian writers both undermined the narrative spaces created by realist narration and introduced a gnoseological dimension centered on a disempowered and disjointed subjectivity. It argues that both in their breaking of nineteenth- and twentieth-century aesthetic and literary paradigms and in their radical questioning of personal, collective, ideological, and literary identities, the gothic and the fantastic become forces of subversion. The identity resulting from this hermeneutic engagement is defined not by coincidence, but by difference: both collective and subjective identities must activate a process of negotiation that has to assimilate the Other in the spaces between the real and the unreal. Meanwhile, by assimilating the Other into our own modes of representation of reality and imagination, twentieth century female writers of the fantastic show how alternative identities can be shaped and social constituencies can be challenged.


Max Duperray


The Italian Gothic and Fantastic: An Inquiry into the Notions of Literary and Cultural Traditions (1869-1997)
Francesca Billiani

Part I: Critical Coordinates

The Boundaries of the Fantastic
Remo Ceserani, Translated by Jonathan Hensher

Anxiety-free: Rereadings of the Freudian “Uncanny”
Monica Farnetti, Translated by Danielle Hipkins

Part II: Nineteenth-Century Experimentations

The Eye that Kills: Notes on a Fantastic Theme
Vittorio Roda, Translated by Carol O’Sullivan

A Portrait of the Writer as a Somnambule: Reflections on Verismo and Phantasmagoria in Verga and Capuana
Angelo M. Mangini, Translated by Carol O’Sullivan

Sensation, Seduction, and the Supernatural: Fogazzaro’s Malombra
Ann Hallamore Caesar

From Domestic to Dramatic: Matilde Serao’s Use of the Gothic
Ursula Fanning

Part III: The Female Fantastic in the Twentieth Century

Fantasy, Narrative, and the Natural World in Anna Maria Ortese
Sharon Wood

An Inquiry into Modality and Genre: Reconsidering L’Iguana by Anna Marie Ortese
Daniela La Penna

Excessively Fantastic? Rossana Ombres’s Serenata
Danielle Hipkins

Paola Capriolo’s Mythic Fantasies
Rita Wilson

Notes on Contributors

ISBN 978-0-8386-4126-2

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