‘Fantastic News’: Literary Modes of Representation in Dino Buzzati’s Journalism

Francesco Schiavon

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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My main purpose is to investigate the characteristics of the merging of the literary mode of the fantastic and journalism that constitutes the most original element within Buzzati’s non-fictional production. I intend to analyze the modes of representation that his journalism borrowed from fiction in order to demonstrate that Buzzati’s journalism forces us to challenge our idea of objectivity and that the fictional element of representation which characterizes his articles provides a further option to investigate the ambivalence of the real. In order to understand Buzzati’s contribution to the creation of this new hybrid prose that I will define ‘fantastic news’ I intend to focus on the cultural role of Buzzati’s journalistic production, his relationship with his historical, cultural and social time, and the readership effected by Buzzati’s distinctive narrative between the 1940s and 1970s.

I will ground my discussion on journalistic and literary theory, by taking in particular consideration those works which deal with the fantastic and the relationship between journalism and fiction. The close reading of the most relevant collections of his pieces of journalism will help to identify the factors that shaped the author’s non-fictional prose. Particular attention will be given to the influence of Fascist censorship, the experience from Italian colonies, and aboard Italian Navy ships during the Second World War. I will also investigate Buzzati’s interest in occultism, paranormal phenomena, and crime news. My research aims to provide a broader idea of the cultural implications carried by Buzzati’s journalistic writings and the author’s role in the context of fantastic journalism as a literary mode.

Despite his great success all around the world, It was the French, not the Italian scholars who initially studied Buzzati. Furthermore, Italian scholarship focused on his journalistic production only at the end of the 1990s. The amount of criticism is considerable in French and Italy today, whereas Buzzati still remains almost unknown in Anglophone criticism. Lastly, in spite of the increasing interest in Buzzati’s production among Italian scholars during the last three decades, Buzzati is still not unanimously included in the Italian literary canon and his works are rarely anthologized.

It is my purpose to treat Buzzati’s articles as part of a unitary production. I will analyze the author’s modes of representation in order to demonstrate how his atypical position in the Italian cultural panorama, often defined ‘isolated’ by scholars, is due to the continuous dialogue between fantastic literature and non-fiction which characterizes his entire oeuvre.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • De Donno, Fabrizio, Supervisor
Award date1 Feb 2014
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014


  • Fantasy
  • Journalism
  • Literature - Italian
  • Theory, Philosophy, Marxism
  • Modernism
  • Postmodernism
  • Fascism
  • Colonialism
  • Postcolonialism
  • newspapers

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