Spatial Plots
Virtuality and the Embodied Mind in Baricco, Camilleri and Calvino

Marzia Beltrami

Italian Perspectives 45

Legenda

  January 2021

ISBN: 978-1-781883-02-0 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781883-05-1 (paperback, 2022)

ISBN: 978-1-781883-08-2 (JSTOR ebook)

ContemporaryItalianFiction


In discussions about plot, causality and chronology are sometimes held out as the only possible organising principles. And yet readers often transmute fragmented writings, parallel storylines, or tales within tales into a meaningful whole. Other patterns play a role in guiding our attention and, as Beltrami suggests, they invite us to make sense of narratives as spaces to be explored.

The critical analysis of selected works by Alessandro Baricco (b. 1958), Andrea Camilleri (b. 1925) and Italo Calvino (1923-1985) dovetails broader theoretical reflection about the ways in which narrative comprehension, far from being ‘extraordinary’, is a practice embedded in our everyday life and deeply rooted in the sense-making strategies we use to negotiate the world around us. Drawing on recent studies in cognitive literary criticism and cognitive narratology, Beltrami investigates the techniques that elicit such ‘spatial’ understanding and illustrates how a cognitive-oriented approach may help illuminate the internal workings of narrative texts and open up novel readings. The images of map, trajectory and fractal are offered to represent three types of spatial plots, three ways in which stories may be understood and navigated as spaces.

Bibliography entry:

Beltrami, Marzia, Spatial Plots: Virtuality and the Embodied Mind in Baricco, Camilleri and Calvino, Italian Perspectives, 45 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2021)

First footnote reference: 35 Marzia Beltrami, Spatial Plots: Virtuality and the Embodied Mind in Baricco, Camilleri and Calvino, Italian Perspectives, 45 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2021), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Beltrami, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Beltrami, Marzia. 2021. Spatial Plots: Virtuality and the Embodied Mind in Baricco, Camilleri and Calvino, Italian Perspectives, 45 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Beltrami 2021: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Beltrami 2021: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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