Luca Doninelli

The Imposing View

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The author continues his ethnografic report on "oilrich" Lucania. The dominant theme of these pages is the physical geography of those lands. Modern European literature has dealt with this topic only superficially. In order to find "the fatal dominance of physical agents in literature", Doninelli writes, "we have to turn "nunc et semper" to authors such as Lev Tolstoj, Jack London, Herman Melville or Robert Louis Stevenson, who are not exactly our contemporaries". In the 19th century the interest of literature was focused on the city. One can find it in Latin American literature, and the author explicitly refers to "Grande Sertão", the masterpiece by João Guimarães Rosa. If life in "Sertão" is always in the backlands, in this area of Basilicata, life is always in the highlands. A land that has all that is needed for development, but is still waiting for it, despite the "oil revenue". Growth, however, must remain its objective.

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