Armando Maggi

The Tale of the Pregnant Slave Buried Alive. The Unsettling Closure of Basile’s The Tale of Tales and the Issue of Moral Imperative

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This essay tackles the issue of «moral imperative» in Giambattista Basile’s The Tale of Tales. Basile’s volume revolves around the character of a pregnant black slave and her unborn baby, whose horrific execution coincides with the happy ending of the entire volume. Inspired by thinkers such as Bloch, Benjamin, Bachelard, Sartre, and Cavarero, Maggi investigates the complex rapport between artistic appreciation and moral demand in Basile’s seminal volume. Maggi shows that by questioning Basile’s disturbing treatment of the black slave and her unborn child a modern reader achieves a more complex and satisfying understanding of Basile’s seminal book.


  • Basile
  • Moral imperative
  • Sartre
  • Bloch
  • Bachelard


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