Naturalismo e anacronismo. Appunti etnocritici su I Malavoglia di Verga

Francesco Della Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article aims to apply anthropological interpretive tools to study literature, to find a new approach for literary critics. In particular, the French ethnocritique method is used to read Giovanni Verga’s masterpiece, I Malavoglia. As a naturalistic work, the novel should maintain a certain distance from the world it describes; actually the radical alternative of mythical and historical time, which characterizes I Malavoglia, can be considered as a translation of the writer’s autobiographical distress. The conflict between mythical past and progressive time, which is the novel’s main theme, coincides with Verga’s existential and cultural otherness: as a Sicilian who escaped his own original world and then came back, he is inside and both outside that world; he can restore his divided self only by the power of literary metaphor. By way of a hermeneutical analysis that combines a close textual reading with constant attention to the social, cultural and symbolical context, the article provides a complete view of the relation between writer’s life and his novel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalRomance Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Giovanni Verga
  • anthropology
  • ethnocritique
  • myth
  • novel
  • time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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