Archetipi napoletani in veste postmoderna. Venti anni di narrativa su Napoli

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The article contests the recent Italian literary debate on the exhaustion of postmodernism as a literary practice and the emergence of new realisms. My contention is that the participants in the debate refer to a narrow literary canon which ignores large areas of the Italian narrative production which have never relinquished a commitment to reality even while adopting postmodern narrative practices. Neapolitan narrative from the early 1990s to the present is an example.
The article examines a sample of novels by Michele Serio, Giuseppe Montesano, Marosia Castaldi, Peppe Lanzetta, and Michele Ferrandino, emphasizing: their critical use of Neapolitan classical archetypes rooted in the city’s geophysical characteristics to expose stereotypes and redefine Neapolitan identity; their blend of postmodernist, modernist and realist modes; the ethical and aesthetic productivity of this hybridization of styles and their underlying ideologies; the presence of a renewed engagement with reality well before the appearance of Roberto Saviano’s Gomorra.
The article demonstrates against other recent assessments that: postmodern practices can still be fruitfully put to the service of critical representations of contemporary Italy; Saviano’s book is not a harbinger of a new committed writing, but a continuation and point of arrival of trends and processes going as far back as Ermanno Rea’s Mistero napoletano (1994); Naples is used by contemporary writers not only to engage with local problems but also as an allegory of contemporary Italy and of the global world.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationTradizione e modernità nella cultura italiana contemporanea. Italia e Europa
EditorsIlona Fried
Place of PublicationBudapest, Hungary
PublisherEötvös Lorand University (ELTE) TFK
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)978-963-284-025-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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