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Publishers Peter Lang have produced a new monograph on Giorgio Scerbanenco, written by Dr Marco Paoli, lecturer in Italian in Modern Languages & Cultures. Scerbanenco is one of Italy’s most prolific twentieth-century writers, but he has rarely attracted the degree of critical attention that has been afforded to his contemporaries, despite his creation of a considerable body of popular literature, including crime fiction (giallo), science fiction (fantascienza) and romantic fiction (romanzi rosa).
Dr Paoli, whose interest in the work of Scerbanenco dates back to his graduate studies, is particularly struck by the author’s role in the development of Italian crime fiction.
Scerbanenco’s versatility as a popular fiction writer has marginalized him from mainstream critical analysis which, especially in the Italian academic context, has focused almost exclusively on literary and stylistics themes and ignored any connection between literature and its socio-historical context – Marco Paoli
Dr Paoli’s book discusses Giorgio Scerbanenco’s representation of criminal environments in his Duca Lamberti series (1966-69), focusing on three innovative aspects characterising Italian crime fiction in the 1960s: urban space, violence and gender. Dr Paoli focuses on the psychological resonances of Scerbanenco’s novels, especially the author’s controversial narrative styles and ‘moral rebellion’ to contemporary social issues in an attempt to heighten and exaggerate the nature of the criminal acts and the reader’s experience.