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Some thoughts on historical narrative in twentieth century Italian literature

Margaret Baker


The presence of historically-based narrative (i.e. prose writing that brings the past into focus) has been noticeable in Italian writing throughout this century and particularly so in the later half of the century. Recent critical interest has drawn attention to the continuing flow of historical novels, but an extensive survey of the use of Italian prose in the twentieth century would need to take account not only of the historical novel (and the great diversity of approach to it) but also of writing not strictly within this genre, writing that has been guided by personal history and not (or not solely) by a cultural interest in more general perspectives. From the end-point of the twentieth century, the ideological positions of earlier decades reveal themselves more clearly as restraints that influenced literary choices and had particular effect on the novelist's interpretation of history, as well on the reception of the viewpoint expressed.

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