Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Romance Languages

First Advisor

Philippe C. Met


This dissertation studies some features of the 20th century return to romance as a possible answer to the crisis of Modernism or, indeed, as an anti-modern stance. I’ve analyzed Mandiargues’s work on the syntagmatic plan of narrative structures and narrative time and Landolfi’s work on the paradigmatic plan of literary genres – while showing how both authors resorted to the diegetic staging of magic and religious rituals in order to highlight and develop their narrative engagement with the forms of romance and discussing the implications of this. For this purpose I have also researched unpublished manuscript material at the Centro Studi Landolfiani in Siena, Italy, and at the IMEC in Caen, France. Landolfi’s approach consistently comes to dismiss any possibility for romance, and indeed for literature as a whole, in our day; my research isolates some hypotexts of his fictions so far unacknowledged by scholars and proposes a reading that supports in an original way the critical distinction between two subsequent phases of his production. Mandiargues on the other hand, while granting that narrative can continue to be possible, seems to argue that this can only happen on the condition of a radical renunciation of identity, which I have considered in connection with notions of violence, eroticism, and alchemy.