The Literary Supernatural

History, Logic and Forms

ISBN: 9788806223458
publisher: Einaudi
year: 2017
pages: 190


In Il soprannaturale letterario Francesco Orlando distils twenty years of research, giving a conceptual re-evaluation of the literature in which ‘entities or relationships or events contradict the laws of reality commonly regarded as natural or normal’. Starting from Todorov’s theory of the ‘fantastic’, he develops the notion of ‘the supernatural’: supernatural literature tells the secret story of the relationship human beings have had with the principle of reality; it analyses individuals’ resistance to the demands of reality and truth imposed by every civilization – their need to believe in the impossible.
In support of his theory, Orlando examines classics such as Don Quixote, Hamlet, Phaedra, Faust, The Brothers Karamazov, Orlando innamorato and Gerusalemme liberata. The new critical approach presented in Il soprannaturale letterario helps us to see these works in a new light.