Italian Literature, a Very Short Introduction, by Peter Hainsworth & David Robey #BookReview

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

italian-literature-vsiAlong with Dagny a.k.a Madame Vauquer from the Vauquer Boarding House and Jonathan from  Intermittencies of the Mind  I am reading The Leopard (1958) by Sicilian author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, so I thought I’d take a look at another VSI.  But it’s not really surprising that Italian Literature, a Very Short Introduction doesn’t mention Lampedusa because he was so very much out of step with postwar developments in Italy.  In the wake of fascism, Italian literature was generally brutally realist, while Lampedusa’s book is a nostalgic novel set in pre-unification Italy.  It doesn’t fit into the characteristics of Italian literature in this period at all.

This VSI is not like the mostly chronological structure of the French VSI which I read a little while ago.  After a useful four-page introduction, the book is framed as general discussions of problematic trends and issues:

  • History
  • Tradition
  • Theory
  • Politics
  • Secularism
  • Women

(Women get a chapter…

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