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Caravaggio in Recent Italian Fiction
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Modern Languages, Romance Languages.
2016 (English)In: New Caravaggio: Papers presented at the international conferences in Uppsala and Rome 2013 / [ed] Maj-Britt Andersson, Firenze: Edizioni Polistampa , 2016, 115-125 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines four Italian biographical novels about Caravaggio from 1994 to 2012 that make part of two growing international phenomena– the global enthusiasm for Caravaggio’s art and the strong interest for biographical fiction. Caravaggio’s dramatic life and innovative art indeed offer a perfect combination for imaginative literary treatment. After a brief reflection on the nature of the hybrid genre that combines biography and fiction, and the reasons for its recent popularity, the focus shifts to the biographical novels about artists, a sub-genre that exhibits a number of peculiarities based on the interplay of text and image. The Italian novels about Caravaggio in this study are a relatively late contribution to a worldwide literary trend, but contain some interesting innovations. The last two novels in the sample contain reproductions of the artist’s work, thereby transforming the novel into a multimedial means of communication. Itis argued that this leads to a number of consequences for the novel: the disappearance of traditional ecphrasis, the possibility of being more specific about details and the creation of new plots based on the interaction between text and image. On the other hand, the novels display a preoccupation with the issue of credibility inherent to the genre of biographical novel itself. The analysis concerns the narrative strategies of the authors that include the frequent use of paratexts, the combination of narrative and descriptive parts and the different ways of choosing the narrator in charge of the story.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Firenze: Edizioni Polistampa , 2016. 115-125 p.
Keyword [en]
Caravaggio, biographical novel, paratext, image, artist novel, ecphrasis
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-280628ISBN: 9788859615873OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-280628DiVA: diva2:911478
Available from: 2016-03-11 Created: 2016-03-11 Last updated: 2016-03-11

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