As an expression of his vision of reality, Landolfi employs certain grotesque images in his narratives, the genesis and analysis of which are the subject of this first book-length study to be published in English. Attention is focused on grotesque elements as they develop chronologically in both the short stories and novels, from «il Mar delle Blatte» and La pietra lunare to «Un destino da pollo» and Racconto d'autunno. Central components in the grotesque imagery are the world of animals and plants, and unusual psychological patterns of human behavior. The sources and inspiration of the grotesque are also traced with reference to patterns of European Romanticism.
Appendices include the complete texts of «La morte del re di Francia» and «La spada», as well as an up-to-date bibliography.