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Evil ambiguities: the fantastic flight from interpretation in Dino Buzzati's Il deserto dei Tartari and Paola Capriolo's early fiction

Danielle Hipkins


The power the image of Dino Buzzati's Fortezza Bastiani continues to hold in the imagination of Italian critics is reflected in the initial response to the young contemporary author, Paola Capriolo. A number of reviews of her debut collection of short stories, La grande Eulalia, draw attention to its striking similarity to Il deserto dei Tartari, in particular between the topos of Buzzati's fortress and the unnamed fortress which becomes a prison for the reader, writer and protagonists of the final two stories in the collection: "Il gigante" and "Lettere a Luisa." Alongside the claim that both authors draw upon the fantastic tradition there are more detailed parallels to be drawn between the fortresses and the psychological make-up of the central male protagonists in both Buzzati's novel and Capriolo's tale, "Il gigante".

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