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The Novel as Investigation

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Leonardo Sciascia’s Mafia

Editorial Review Product Description Todos los personajes de este libro parecen empenados en confrontarse con el tiempo: el tiempo de las vicisitudes que han vivido o estan viviendo y el de la memoria y la conciencia. Read more. Piazza d'Italia by Antonio Tabucchi. The stories in this collection I like best are those with a backdrop of terrorism and revenge, the title story and "The Trains that Go to Madras.

The only one of the stories in the collection that I actively dislike is "Anywhere Out of the World," a drab ghost story with one very long run-on paragraph taking six of the eleven pages of the story. If it is supposed to be a fable, the point was not made.

In a two-page "Author's Note," Tabucchi expounds on ambiguity. Stories simplify the flux and complication of life. Riddles without solutions fail as stories--which is not to contend that stories must explain everything.

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Little Ambiguities Tabucchi writes both novellas and short story collections. He's a minimalist but one who chooses his few words well. His writing seems slight at first and his plots almost nonexistent but there is a momentum that builds as you get to know him from story to story, his deceptively simple words and stories are like queries as to what the nature of life might be. This collection is just eleven short 10 pgs each attempts to show how life might occur. The first story ,"Little Misunderstandings Each fall into roles chosen for them by the accidents of circumstance and all seem helpless to be able to participate in their lives except as observers who find themselves mildly amusing.

As Tabucchi tells it we see the widow of a great man of letters going through the motions of mourning. But there is at stories end a twist. James would have filled in the story with sufficient nuance and detail to give the reader a clear picture of a particular psychology and at least give us as readers a chance at understanding a characters motive for doing a certain thing. Tabucchi only gives you the barest amont of information.

The last event of the story therefore remains an inexplicable one, the story remains an unsolved ambiguity. Tabucchi is interested in the interior lives of his characters but everything that happens there remains unclear, not really describable except in the most cursory way. His characters do not have psychologies in the traditional sense, "psychology" implies certain identifiable attributes and a certain consistency of character.

The strongest thing a Tabucchi character has is perhaps a vague and growing suspicion or a never quite articulated emotion. In "The Riddle"an automobile that may have belonged to Proust is only one uncertainty in a story where nothing is certain, the car is the dominant image of the story, it is the central thing which draws our attention, it seems to tie the various aspects of the story together. Everything about the unlikely events related in the story is shady and shadowy and perhaps nothing more than a dream. Only the car seems to hold some significant meaning, carry some symbolic weight but Its just a riddle after all.