The contemporary Italian writer Gianni Celati has published work in many different genres, including critical and philosophical essays, fiction, and travel books. Well known in Italy, Celati is growing in popularity with readers in North America and England. This is the first book-length study in any language of his entire production of the last thirty-five years.
Nonlinear in approach, this book ranges over a broad landscape of critical thought and creative writing. While analyzing Celati's specific contributions, it also offers vivid sketches of the many literary and intellectual scenes that have influenced the author's life and writing. Rebecca West discusses Celati in relation to other Italian writers, such as Calvino and Ghirri, and American sociolinguists William Labov and Dell Hymes, as well as to postmodern literary theorists, and practitioners of the post-modern, contemporary ethnographers, and experimental writers from many countries. Along the way, she poses questions about human existence, using Celati's reflections as a guide. She also shares much biographical material about the author and accounts of her own encounters with him.
The world's leading authority on Celati, West has produced a work of deep and wide-ranging scholarship that will appeal to anyone interested in literature and the literary world. "Gianni Celati: The Craft of Everyday Storytelling" won the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Studies presented by the Modern Language Association of America.
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Rebecca J. West is Professor of Italian and Cinema/Media Studies, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago.
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