The Italian Gothic and Fantastic: Encounters and Re-writings of Narrative Traditions

Francesca Billiani (Editor), Gigliola Sulis (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This volume investigates modes of the reception, rewriting, and appropriation of the gothic and the fantastic in Italy in the late nineteenth century and the second half of the twentieth century. It articulates the ways in which Italian writers both undermined the narrative spaces created by realist narration and introduced agnoseological dimension centered on a disempowered and disjointed subjectivity. It argues that both in their breaking of nineteenth- and twentieth-century aesthetic and literary paradigms and in their radical questioning of personal, collective, ideological, and literary identities, the gothic and the fantastic become forces of subversion. The identity resulting from this hermeneutic engagement is defined not by coincidence, but by difference: both collective and subjective identities must activate a process of negotiation that has to assimilate the Other in the spaces between the real and the unreal. Meanwhile, by assimilating the Other into our own modes of representation of reality and imagination, twentieth century female writers of the fantastic show how alternative identities can be shaped and social constituencies can be challenged.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMadison, NJ
PublisherFairleigh Dickinson University Press
Number of pages243
ISBN (Print)9781611473537
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007

Publication series

NameThe Fairleigh Dickinson University Press Series in Italian Studies
PublisherFairleigh Dickinson University Press


  • Italian Gothic and Fantastic Literature; Women writers, cultural history


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