Ask the Dust di John Fante: La tradizione letteraria e le risposte della polvere


Most critical studies on John Fante tend to insist exclusively on his Italianness putting into evidence his biographical experiences and Italian roots at the expense of the complex literary inheritance underlying his vocation. Through a reading of Ask the Dust, the present paper intends to propose a portrayal of the author as an authentically American voice who was fully aware of the great novelistic tradition that shaped his literary sensibility. At the same time, Fante’s discovery of the novels of the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, through the suggestion of the independent literary agent Elizabeth Nowell, shows how his development was based on a variety of influences that went beyond Italian literature and culture. Thus, Fante’s indisputable originality lies precisely in his wide-raging vision and capacity to embrace diverse languages and cultures.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v59p117

Keywords: John Fante; Ask the Dust; the American novel; literary inheritance; Knut Hamsun

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