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A Broader Spectrum for Spectres: The Early Twentieth-Century Popular Fantastic in Italy

A public talk by Dott. Fabrizio Foni 

Event organized by the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Cultural Institute and ADURIM

Most of Fabrizio Foni’s published work aims to challenge the widespread denial of the existence of an Italian fantastic literature geared towards the broadest possible audience, which is analogous to the type of sensational fiction published abroad in the so-called pulp magazines, dime novels, and penny dreadfuls. This is the case of many short stories and serialised novels published in the early Twentieth Century in popular magazines such as ‘La Domenica del Corriere’, the long-celebrated weekly supplement of ‘Corriere della Sera’, Sonzogno’s ‘Giornale Illustrato dei Viaggi’, whose first issue appeared in 1878, and ‘Per Terra e per Mare’, started in 1904 by Emilio Salgari which, despite its short life, was largely imitated. Fabrizio Foni’s talk will offer an innovative reconstruction of a successful kind of literary fiction dealing with the supernatural, the macabre, and the gothic, which contributed to the birth of a veritable cultural industry in Italy addressed to the masses, instead of a small circle of intellectuals.

Fabrizio Foni is Lecturer in the Department of Italian of the University of Malta since October 2013, with a specialisation in popular culture. He also teaches within the M.A. in Film Studies and the M.A. in Literary Tradition and Popular Culture. His research interests include horror, thriller and science fiction, the adventure novels by Emilio Salgari and his followers, comic book series, 1960s and 1970s Italian gothic cinema as well as the multifaceted representations of sideshows and freaks. His publications include three monographs focusing on Italian pulp magazines and novels at the turn of the Twentieth Century.

Free admission. 

  • Organized by: Ambasciata d'Italia a Malta, Istituto Italiano di Cultura
  • In collaboration with: ADURIM