Methods of Murder: Beccarian Introspection and Lombrosian Vivisection in Italian Crime Fiction

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University of Toronto Press, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 353 pages
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The first extended analysis of the relationship between Italian criminology and crime fiction in English, Methods of Murder examines works by major authors both popular, such as Gianrico Carofiglio, and canonical, such as Carlo Emilio Gadda.

Many scholars have argued that detective fiction did not exist in Italy until 1929, and that the genre, which was considered largely Anglo-Saxon, was irrelevant on the Italian peninsula. By contrast, Past traces the roots of the twentieth-century literature and cinema of crime to two much earlier, diverging interpretations of the criminal: the bodiless figure of Cesare Beccaria's Enlightenment-era On Crimes and Punishments, and the biological offender of Cesare Lombroso's positivist Criminal Man.

Through her examinations of these texts, Past demonstrates the links between literary, philosophical, and scientific constructions of the criminal, and provides the basis for an important reconceptualization of Italian crime fiction.

 

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Contents

The Mysterious Case of Crime Fiction in Italy
3
BECCARIAN INTROSPECTION
21
Cesare Beccarias Disembodied Criminal
23
Dark Ends for Leonardo Sciascias Enlightened Detectives
49
Andrea Camilleris Sicilian Simulacrum
82
Violence and the Law in Gianrico Carofiglios Beccarian Courtroom
107
LOMBROSIAN VIVISECTION
133
Cesare Lombroso Vivisects the Criminal
135
Carlo Emilio Gaddas Bodies of Evidence
171
Dario Argentos Aesthetics of Violence
207
Carlo Lucarellis Lombrosian Nightmare
238
Crime in the TwentyFirst Century
269
References
331
Index
347
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About the author (2012)

Elena Past is an assistant professor of Italian in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Wayne State University.

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