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Mic Drop. Addio. Montalbano (Addio, Montalbano!)

Elgin Eckert


Elgin K. Eckert discusses Riccardino, the final instalment in Andrea Camilleri’s Montalbano series of detective fiction, written in 2005 but published posthumously in 2020. She argues that the book’s correct place in the chronology of the series is as the tenth novel rather than as a final work and shows that it marks a break in the series. The article argues that the novel, which centres around the conflict between reality and fiction and between author/Author and character, subverts the conventions of the mystery genre and examines the implications this has for a rereading of the entire series. Eckert shows how in Riccardino Camilleri pushes the boundary of metafiction past its breaking point by writing a book that is no longer a mystery novel but falls clearly into the category of narcissistic metafiction. The implication is that the Montalbano series does not conclude with the destruction of a narrative illusion, but that Camilleri continues the illusion for 18 more novels. Accordingly, these books need to be reread and re-analysed in a completely different light, reflecting on all the layers of fiction of the Montalbano series. In the last analysis, the revelations in Riccardino make it difficult to consider the books in the Montalbano series as merely commercial operations of genre fiction and oblige scholars to re-examine 29 full length novels and hundreds of short stories in the light of complex literary-theoretical issues.

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