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Harlequin the glutton

Joseph Farrell


One of the most celebrated lazzi associated with the character of Arlecchino remains the lazzo of the devouring of the fly. Since zibaldoni were essentially technical handbooks designed to convey an indispensable minimum of information to fellow professionals, those lazzi which are extant present, to the frustration and annoyance of contemporary critics and theatre directors, formidable problems of interpretation. They are preserved in a format shorn of all literary pretence, and the language employed is the plain jargon of the workshop manual rather than the belletristic prose of the anthology. The words were a series of prompts or insider's code rather than a detailed stage direction for the uninformed.

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Spunti e Ricerche. Rivista d'italianistica.
ISSN (Print): 0816-5432.
ISSN (Electronic): 2200-8942.