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Giorgio Scerbanenco

Urban Space, Violence and Gender Identity in Post-War Italian Crime Fiction


Marco Paoli

The works of Giorgio Scerbanenco repeatedly articulate and explore the implications of new forms of criminality that emerged in Italy’s post-war transformation towards its «economic miracle». An indepth analysis of Scerbanenco’s Duca Lamberti series constitutes the critical focus of this study, and in particular the psychological resonances of the role played by the author’s controversial representation of the urban space, its violence, (in)justice and gender roles. In what way do these elements heighten and/or exaggerate the nature of the criminal acts and the reader’s experience? This study therefore investigates a reader’s potential response to the content, the settings, and, above all, the characters Scerbanenco portrays in these four novels.


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This book would never have appeared without the emotional, moral and financial support of the University of Liverpool, the University of Salford and my Ph.D. thesis supervisors, Gillian Ania and William Hope, who have been a continual source of support, providing constructive ideas, help, advice and criticism. Their in- tellectual influence on my work has been key from the very begin- ning of this project. I wish to record my thanks to Jennifer Burns and Danielle Hipkins for their advice and criticism on the occasion of my Ph.D. examination, which took place in January 2010. Thanks are also due to anonymous reviewers and Claire Taylor, for their comments on the first draft of this book, and to Cecilia Scerbanenco for sharing valuable information about her father. I would also like to thank my colleagues at the University of Liverpool for their companionship and patience during my periods of physical and mental absence in the preparation of this manuscript.

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