Journal of Romance Studies

Natalia Ginzburg: Lessico famigliare and the ethics of the socially committed writer

Journal of Romance Studies (2009), 9, (2), 65–83.

Abstract

There is wide consensus that the early 1960s mark a turning point in Natalia Ginzburg’s career as a writer. This article contends that Ginzburg is able to grow creatively because in Lessico famigliare she is able to assimilate the traumata endured in the Second World War. Through Lessico famigliare, an anomalous autobiography (in that it is a text from which the subject of narration is seemingly absent, or, rather, no more than an observer of friends and family whose lives she records), she succeeds in writing about herself in a non-sentimental way, a concern that characterizes the first half of her career. This allows Ginzburg to attain a higher level of self-understanding that permits her to identify with the characters that populate the plays and narratives of the second half of her career and dispassionately portray a wide array of personalities from their own perspectives.

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Author details

Francese, Joseph