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The Intellectual as a Detective

From Leonardo Sciascia to Roberto Saviano


Angelo Castagnino

The Intellectual as a Detective: From Leonardo Sciascia to Roberto Saviano offers a fresh perspective on both Italian crime fiction and the role of the intellectual in Italian society. By analyzing the characterization of men of culture as investigators, this book addresses their social commitment in a period that goes from the Sixties to today. The connection it establishes between fiction and real life makes this book an interesting addition to the debate on crime literature and its social function in Italy. The detectives created by Sciascia, Eco, Pasolini, Saviano and other novelists foster a reflection on how the narrative aspect of characterization has been used in connection with a historical perspective. Thanks to its broad scope, not limited to a single author, this book can be studied in undergraduate and graduate classes on the Italian detective novel, and it can be a helpful resource for scholars interested in characterization and the transforming figure of the intellectual in Italian society.
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Appendix: Biographical Information on the Authors Discussed


Antonello Carbone (1967) is a journalist based in Catania, where he works for Tgr Rai Sicilia. He previously collaborated with L’Espresso Sera and La Sicilia. He also participated in the Rai daily show La vita in diretta. A Taormina, d’inverno (2013) is his first novel.

Umberto Eco (1932) is one of the most recognized scholars in Italy and abroad, and professor emeritus at Università di Bologna. After an initial involvement in “Azione Cattolica”, he abandoned religious faith. Over the years, he has applied his studies on semiology and philosophy to narrative techniques, becoming a novelist in 1980, with the publication of Il nome della rosa. Among the many influential works by Eco, it is particularly worth mentioning Opera aperta (1962), a study on the reception of written texts, and Apocalittici e integrati (1964), in which he discusses the controversial relationship between intellectuals and mass media.

Carlo Lucarelli (1960) is one of the main protagonists of the period of increasing popularity that noir literature has enjoyed in Italy from the Nineties to today. He was one of the founding members of Gruppo 13, which fostered the discussion on the Italian giallo. Thanks to his clever use of different media and technologies, Lucarelli has created a persona that embodies the commitment of writers to social denunciation. He is widely known as a novelist, journalist, Internet and television personality. His literary trilogy of Ispettore Coliandro was turned into a TV series and a graphic novel. Lucarelli also hosts Blu...

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