Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

It is a special pleasure to thank the friends and colleagues who provided insight and advice in the making of this book. I am deeply grateful to Lucia Re, whose advice and criticism inspired me throughout the project. I would also like to thank Tibor ...

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Introduction: The Historical Novel and the Dialectics of Genre

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pp. 1-18

Immediately after publishing his historical novel I promessi sposi (The Betrothed)1 in 1827, Alessandro Manzoni renounced the entire genre of historical fiction. A best-seller ante litteram, I promessi sposi, like the great epic poems of the past, would remain a model to ...

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Chapter One. Alessandro Manzoni's J'accuse: Literary Debates,the Essay Del romanzo storieo,and a Theory of Creative Historiography

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pp. 19-69

In spite of Franceseo De Sanctis's influential dismissal (349-50), Manzoni's essay Del romanzo storieo is as much a touchstone for the theory of historical fiction as his novel I promessi sposi is for its practice. Although the essay eventually rejects historical fiction as a logical ...

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Chapter Two. Historical Reconfigurations and the Ideology of Desire: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's Il Gattopardo

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pp. 71-115

In a letter dated 2 January 1957 to his friend Guido Lajolo, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa denied that Il Gattopardo was a historical novel. Although the novel refers to Garibaldi's landing in Sicily and depicts an episode from the Unification of Italy, Lampedusa suggested ...

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Chapter Three. Fiction and Women's History: Elsa Morante's La Storia

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pp. 117-151

Elsa Morante's 1974 best-selling novel La Storia weaves together the fates of Ida Ramundo, her children Nino and Useppe, and the pageant of their acquaintances from 1941 to 1947, the years that saw the horrors of Fascism, Nazism, and World War II. La Storia is based upon a ...

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Chapter Four. Transhistorical Narratives: The Apocalypse and the Carnival in Umberto Eco's Il nome della rosa

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pp. 153-194

Discussing the protean nature of modern fiction, Bakhtin argues that the almost endless variety of its forms can be only partially accounted for and explored. Being the sole genre that currently continues to develop, the novel has no unique canon of its own, yet it can include ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 195-198

In Del romanzo storieo, Manzoni maintains a dualistic approach toward history and fiction and denies that they can be combined into a single genre. Although he concedes that both history and fiction are ideological and linguistic constructs, he is nevertheless convinced that they ...

Appendix: English Translations

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pp. 199-213

Notes

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pp. 215-245

Works Cited

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pp. 247-260

Index

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pp. 261-268