Crime Fiction of Crisis: New Neo-Realism in the Age of Berlusconi from 1990 to 2010
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation focuses on selected crime novels by Grazia Verasani, Elisabetta Bucciarelli, Carlo Lucarelli, Luciano Marrocu, Massimo Carlotto and Giancarlo De Cataldo written between 1990 and 2010, the years known as the era of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an age that is symbolic, among other things, of disrespect and affront to democracy, of reinforcement of sexism, control of the media, controversial legitimizing views of Fascism, impudent corruption, attempts to change and create laws for personal advantage, and collusion with Mafia. My work shows that these novels are romanzi sociali that continue the tradition of social commitment of Italian crime fiction began with Augusto De Angelis in the 1930s and then developed by Giorgio Scerbanenco, Loriano Macchiavelli and Leonardo Sciascia. The novels I analyze are a commentary on the country's current crises, such as the status of women, the objectification of the female body and the increase of violence against women (Verasani and Bucciarelli). My study also explores how historical crime fiction brings attention to the issue of historical revisionism that characterized the rise to power in 1994 of Berlusconi's Forza Italia and exposes the mythology of the innocent Fascist and the good-hearted Italian regarding the responsibilities of Italian colonialism (Lucarelli and Marrocu). Finally, in an era characterized by the lack of freedom of the press, some of these novels act as a counter-information tool on hot issues such as the collusion with the institutions and organized crime and the web of powers that shaped postwar Italy, and they demythologize the image of northeastern Italy, described as the engine of Italian economy, by exposing its corruption and illegal business with organized crime (De Cataldo and Carlotto). Ultimately, this dissertation shows the potential of crime writing as a genre suitable to perform social criticism and to involve a more socially and politically conscious readership.