Under Italian Eyes. Notes on Conradfs Reception in Italy


                                              Fausto Ciompi



In my paper I will sketch some crucial moments of Conradfs reception in Italy from 1924 to the present day with reference to a few texts taken as test-cases. My subject concerns only literary criticism and not other forms of  reception such as translations, transcodifications into non-literary media and so on. My silence on the international critical bibliography does not mean that the cultural debate on Conrad has been a provincial business in this country. The critics I will discuss have interacted actively with their foreign colleagues. If I restrict my references to Italian criticism it is because my purpose is to outline the several specifically Italian Conrads that critics have shaped and re-shaped in their collective enterprise of interpretation and cultural mediation.

The first article on Conrad to be published in Italian was by Carlo Placci, a musicologist and writer from Florence. The article appeared in the 15 October 1911 issue of a Florentine magazine, Il Marzocco,[1] and contained, besides several laudatory remarks, a critique of Conradfs exceedingly complex narrative technique.

After Placcifs groundbreaking article and a few more critical contributions coming almost exclusively from Placcifs Florentine circle, Emilio Cecchi it was who, in an essay published in August 1924, a few days after Conradfs death, consecrated him as a master in contemporary fiction for the Italian audience. In this seminal article, published in a magazine called Il Convegno,[2] Cecchi surveys Conradfs whole career and discusses his acclimazione (acclimatisation) in the Italian cultural world. Cecchi denies that Conrad is an exotic writer specialised in sea novels and regards him as a modern author who, in terms of style, descends from James and Flaubert and anticipates Proust. In Cecchifs opinion, Conrad writes introspective narratives in Dostoevskyfs way, but at the slower pace and in the resounding, strictly-controlled sentences of Flaubert. Conradfs interest in thwarted consciences and humiliated existences are, then, the Slavonic and Dostoevskyan features of his fiction. But unlike Dostoevsky, Conrad holds brotherly love to be ineffectual and his outcasts are rather consummated by a destructive fever. Conradfs misogyny, on the other hand, is redeemed only by the compassion he occasionally grants to some of his heroines.

Quite originally, then, Cecchi remarks that Conrad resorts to exoticism and personal recollection ? occasional weak points of his fiction ? only when he is tired or puzzled by the complexity of his narrative machines or by the profundity of the issues he is dealing with. An advocate of the so-called eart prosef and of formal discipline, Cecchi also blames Conradfs melodramatic inclinations; the intricacy of his plots; his Wagnerian excess of lyricism and symbolism and his obsession with textual liaisons.

As to Conradfs acclimatisation in Italy, Cecchi freely admits that Conradfs sad monotony and occasional morbidity are evident defects. But he prefers this morbidity to the false sanity, happiness, and lightness overestimated by contemporary Italian culture or, to put it more explicitly than Cecchi, by Benedetto Crocefs aesthetics.


Cecchifs article of 1924 continued to exert a profound influence on Italian criticism for several decades subsequent to his. This is the case, for instance, with Mario Prazfs and Aurelio Zancofs histories of English  literature, first published respectively in 1937 and 1944.

Cecchifs ideas are also present, if especially e contrario, in a 1946 article by the novelist and poet Cesare Pavese.[3] In Conradfs fiction, Pavese recognises his own pessimistic existentialism and some of his favourite themes: the absurdity of life, the picture of unrealised dreams and of passions that stay unfulfilled.

Implicitly dissenting from Cecchi and Praz, Pavese then strongly denies Conradfs Slavonism. To Pavese, in fact, Conrad seems to be imbued with English culture. Unlike Cecchi, who had criticised Conradfs indulgence of recollection, Pavese appreciates what he describes as Conradfs endless chats on themes of no apparent matter while his characterfs soul is vexed by anguish and anxiety. In fact, what in Conradfs fiction does win the readerfs admiration is, according to Pavese, the masterly linguistic connections at work within all parts of his narratives. What to Cecchi and to the culture of art prose had seemed intricacies and involutions were regarded as connective functionality by a novelist of the new generation.  

In broad terms, Conradfs Italian reception in the Forties and Fifties moves within the precincts of a vague Existentialism or an idealistic humanism. As the novelist Silvio DfArzo put it in 1950,[4] Conrad is thus seen as a profound student of the human condition, especially that of the exile, a melancholy voyager who travels the seas of life asking no question, giving no answer, opposing trouble with manly dignity. This apparently generic view of Conrad as humane writer or as analyst of la condition humaine is held, with different nuances, by readers like the critic Marco Forti,[5] Piero Jahier (novelist and one of Conradfs translators),[6] and Alberto Savinio,[7] writer, painter and Giorgio De Chiricofs brother.


If now we wished to state the most evident features of Conradfs early critical reception in Italy, we could mention three main points:


First, either Decadent or existentialist, Slavonic or anglophile, Conrad is perceived as a gloomy pessimist, a modern writer with strong debts to Romanticism as well as to realism; 

Second, the Conradian canon is dominated by Victory and Lord Jim, which are invariably appreciated either individually or in a golden couple by readers like Furst,[8] Cecchi, Pavese, DfArzo, Montale,[9] and, later on, Manganelli and Moravia. Although Heart of Darkness is the first Conrad piece to be translated in book-form in 1924, the novelette is not even mentioned by Bardi, Zanco or Praz in their histories of English literature, nor is it appreciated by any critic of relevance.

Third, Conradfs narrative complexities are first criticised and then re-valued in a sort of functionalist turn suggested by Pavese and confirmed by the fellow-novelist Tomasi di Lampedusa, who in 1954 praised the indirect, multiple narration of Lord Jim.[10] This new interest in Conradfs technique led, in 1957, to Giuliana Mazzottifs[11] essay focusing on what she termed Conradfs ginversion methodh. Cecchi himself, in a 1949 article titled gRitorno a Conrad?h (gReturn to Conrad?h),[12] slightly but significantly modified his opinion on Conradfs style. Here Cecchi noted that, in the 10 years following Conradfs death, his books had been translated generously into Italian, sometimes reasonably well, sometimes not. Then his popularity decreased especially because Italian authors, publishers and the reading public turned their interest towards American literature. According to Cecchi, the new favour for Conradfs narrative shown by Italian culture in the late Forties was due to his frequentation of the sublime. Conradfs sublime seemed to consist in the solemn slowness and linguistic complexity of his style which he suddenly transcends thanks to dizzy and fatal solutions that will remain among the most remarkable exploits of Romantic literature. In other words, in 1949 Cecchi found Conrad had the technical virtues of his own defects.


              It is Mario Currelifs conviction[13] that the early phase of Conradfs reception in Italy is brought to a close with the completion of the twenty-four volume Bompiani edition of his works in 1966, while the new era of Conradian studies was opened in 1967 by the publication of the first volume of the Mursia collected edition. Besides its unprecedented comprehensiveness, what makes the Mursia edition particularly recommendable is the high standard of the critical introductions by Elio Chinol, Franco Marenco and Renato Prinzhofer, and the philological accuracy guaranteed by Ugo Mursiafs textual notes and by his personal supervision of the translatorsf work.

A concomitant factor of great impact on Conradian studies, in Italy and elsewhere, was the explosion, in the Sixties and Seventies, of new reading methods such as Marxist historicism, psychoanalysis, close textual reading in all its variants, feminist criticism and, later on, Bakhtinian dialogism. As a consequence of the ensuing lively critical debate, the Italian version of the Conradian canon was re-defined and, especially since the Eighties, opened up. New critical attention has thus been given to Conradfs supposed minor works and to previously neglected aspects of his literary output, such as his plays and the connections of his fiction with the cinema.

An early example of the political interpretation of Conradfs fiction, obviously inconceivable before Italyfs liberation from Nazi-fascism, was supplied in 1954 by the novelist Italo Calvino.[14] In his article, Calvino, who had graduated from Turin University with a dissertation on Conrad, defined him as a reactionary and an atheistic humanist whose fiction nonetheless deserves our admiration. What Calvino admires in Conrad is his capacity to cope bravely with the black avalanche of the fin-de-siecle crisis just like his heroes face lifefs challenge firmly, as if provided, so to speak, with a lionfs backbone.  

As to the re-shaping of the Conradian canon, in 1954 Tomasi di Lampedusa,[15] the cosmopolitan author of the best-selling novel Il gattopardo, adds Heart of Darkness, The Shadow Line and a few more previously undervalued books to Conradfs musts. In 1967 the academic critic Claudio Gorlier, in his turn, mentioned Lord Jim, Nostromo, Typhoon and Heart of Darkness as Conradfs most representative works.[16] The reception of the very few works pinpointed by Gorlier has been varied. For instance, as shown by Currelifs inquiry into recent translations and re-issues of Conradfs novels, Typhoon has long been a favourite with publishers and readers in Italy, but has not commanded equal critical consideration. That is certainly why eConradfs epic veinf, as Cecchi defined it, has appealed to fewer critics ? Bigongiari and Gorlier among them ? than Conradfs Modernist production.

The credibility of the post-war revaluation of Nostromo, instead, has been tested by several critical readings. Very briefly, let me give a few examples of such interpretations taking Franco Marencof s [17] essay as a starting point. Marenco perceptively read Nostromo as a text whose form rather than in its themes mark it out as political. In Nostromo, Marenco argued, all political beliefs are shown as fake and empty. The textfs literary structure denounces this emptiness by the continuous frustration of all the attempts at story-telling that never manage to be successfully arranged in a conventional plot. Narration itself is thus placed under the sign of scepticism and destruction. Its twists and shifts, its proceeding through the accumulation of detached biographies show the prevalence of socio-economic forces on all human efforts. This is probably the first time, in Italian criticism, that the critical focus has shifted from the Romantic fatalism and the interior or moral life of Conradfs characters, to the overwhelming power of the socio-economic context.

At the opposite end of the interpretative spectrum is Alessandro Portellifs reading of Nostromo in 1973.[18] Portelli claimed Nostromo is not a critique of all ideologies, nor is Conrad just a detached and sceptical observer of the socio-economic tragedies taking place in his spectacular universe. Nostromo rather expresses the middle-class conservatism and the rulersf fear of the subaltern classes, whose representation as an irrational mob is just one of the many signs of Conradfs reactionary ideology.  

             The critical discussion on Nostromo was then re-oriented by Mario Curreli in three articles published between 1978 and 1980.[19]  By connecting the function of literary techniques to the textfs ideological discourse, Curreli read Nostromo as built around the pivotal symbol of the silver, while the charactersf semiotic status was studied as that of, respectively, speakers and agents. Both speech and action are human strategies interpreted by Curreli as inevitably doomed, as typically happens to all the great narratives of politics, economy and even love in Conradfs fiction. Like Marenco, Curreli depicted Conrad as a sceptic, even apocalyptic author whose honest representation of political reality is not distorted by his conservative bias.

Another text to be promoted to canonical status by post-war criticism is The Secret Sharer. In 1967 Ugo Mursia[20] presented it as one of Conradfs most remarkable stories, and in 1975 Andrea Zanzotto,[21] one of the most eminent contemporary Italian poets, regarded The Secret Sharer as a work of musical perfection combining freshness and maturity. Interestingly enough, Zanzotto seems to appreciate Conrad for reasons opposite to Calvinofs ones. In fact, Zanzottofs Conrad is a Decadent whose outcasts are the counterpart of Nietzschefs Ubermenschen. In Conradfs fiction, Zanzotto contended, the conscious side of man never entirely prevails over his own unconscious and no captain is really ever an esprit fort, the master of himself, but a victim of colonialism, a pariah of the seas, or an innocent dreamer of adolescent adventures and paradises.

Besides Romana Rutellifs fine psychoanalytic study of The Secret Sharer,[22] we can then mention Francesco Marronifs 1987 semiotic analysis of Conradfs story. [23]  Marroni found it particularly significant that the perfect integrity of norms and conventions can never be achieved by Conradfs heroes because human experience is always contradictory and incomplete. Men are wanderers in motion towards the dark coast, the gate of Erebus. Even the language, in this highly subjective story, hardly corresponds to objective reality. The lexis of incomprehensibility characterises the story from the onset, and words work according to what Roland Barthes called gle paradigme infini de la differenceh.


Among the objects of critical re-valuation, then, let me now hint at the critical reception of gFalkh. The first sign of critical interest in this short story was provided in Italy as late as 1985, when our host and already veteran Conradian Mario Curreli wrote a socio-semiotic interpretation of the tale at four hands with an enthusiastic postgraduate, myself. gFalkh was interpreted by Curreli and Ciompi[24] as the Bildung of the modern capitalist, or, as Conrad puts it, the gborn monopolisth who descends to hell and to the lowest state of nature, that of cannibalism, only to return to civilisation and reproduce there, in the cultural spheres of trade and wooing rituals, the mythical codes of natural, brutal power which he had put on through his katabatic experience.

In 1989, further attention to gFalkh was drawn by Serena Cenni,[25] whose essay focused on the narratorfs social function and the storyfs interpersonal rhetoric. As Cenni argued, by placing Falkfs subversive act of cannibalism within the sea code of survival, the narrator normalises Falkfs diversity and the cannibal may thus become acceptable to Hermann and the middle class he represents. The story requires an internal audience, because the narratorfs addressees are the selected representatives of the community whose pardon or understanding the transgressor must seek.

The importance of the addresser/addressee relation in gFalkh was later confirmed by Francesco Marroni,[26] in an article appearing in a 1995 issue of the magazine Merope edited by Mario Curreli and entirely devoted to Conrad. But the clearest sign of this new critical consideration of gFalkh was probably its first time separate publication, in 1994, from the Typhoon and Other Stories volume. The tale appeared in the Marsilio bilingual series, with an introduction by the eminent Conrad critic Alessandro Serpieri,[27] who in 1966 had provided readers with a handy selection of Conradfs letters. Falkfs story powers along, in Serpierifs reading, as a rite of initiation and as the enactment of the psychoanalytic principle of incorporation, in which the sexual and alimentary instincts intermingle as the basic components of human personality.


Since the Seventies, however, the critical debate has focused especially on Heart of Darkness, which, as Carlo Pagetti put it in 1987, has long appeared to most critics as Conradfs text par excellence.[28]

In the post-war reception of Heart of Darkness, we can distinguish three main interpretative trends. The first one is the humanistic reading in the line established by Silvio DfArzo. In 1956, for instance, incidentally anticipating Guerardfs notion of nocturnal journey, Glauco Cambon[29] read Heart of Darkness as the progress to the innermost recess of the human soul. This interpretation, recently resumed among others by the philosopher Sergio Givone, has been so popular among Italian critics that it is no exaggeration to say that Heart of Darkness has long been convenient shorthand for the dissection of an evil soul. 

A further humanistic reading of Heart of Darkness was provided, in 1974, by Giovanni Cianci.[30] Cianci anticipates Todorovfs view that Kurtz is a hollow man, though a remarkable one, in the first place because he discovers the void at the heart of himself. If, as a Faustian hero, Kurtz experiences the impossibility of achieving or communicating the ultimate truth, Marlow, the ordinary man, finds out that the only remedies to the horror of reality are action or the escape into the world of illusions. It is to preserve the artificial integrity of this world that Marlow lies to the Intended. 

In 1987, then, Francesco Gozzi[31] studied Heart of Darkness as a medieval Morality and a sort of Psycomachia. As the text seems to suggest through the sentence gThere was nothing either above him or below himh, Kurtz is at the same time overman and beast. In Gozzifs reading, Kurtz has damned himself by choosing a superb ggreat solitudeh. Perhaps he can be saved if he humbles himself before a fellow human-being, that is, obviously, Marlow.  Marlow actually exorcises the devil within Kurtz, whose hybris is an excessive thirst for knowledge that has led him to explore the area where light and darkness mix and become indistinguishable. The private truth Kurtz has discovered there cannot be communicated. Marlowfs account of it is thus necessarily indeterminate, and his reticence and lies are unavoidable consequences of such incommunicability.

In all the humanistic readings discussed above, Kurtz is usually presented as a Faustian, charismatic character, who commands respect and admiration in spite of his evil aura. It is thus small wonder that, in 1980, a book-length essay was devoted to the subject by Valerio Bruni.[32]

A second line of interpretation of Heart of Darkness is explicitly political. In 1973 Renato Oliva[33] provokingly read Heart of Darkness as the expression of Conradfs imperfect imperialism. According to Oliva, Conrad criticises the brutal exploitation of the Congo carried out by the Belgians but ultimately supports colonialism in its idealised British version. A further step in mounting this critique was taken by the novelist Alberto Moravia,[34] who described Conradfs politics in terms of an eimperfectf understanding of colonialism. For Moravia, in fact, Conradfs rejection of colonialist brutality is not determined by the authorfs accurate reading of the historical situation. It is rather the reaction of a conservative, anglophile gentleman to the insulting inappropriateness of imperialism.

Such interpretations were confuted by another Marxist-oriented critic, Giuseppe Sertoli, in several contributions spanning from 1974 to 1999.[35] It is no fluke, argues Sertoli, that the white characters in Heart of Darkness come from different European countries and that all Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz. It is equally significant that the gloom hanging over London in the storyfs incipit becomes the darkness in the heart of Africa. It is, in fact, the western civilisation that takes its sepulchral emptiness to the colonised world. In his confrontation with the wilderness, Kurtz yields to the power of unconscious, brutal instincts and achieves self-knowledge at the expense of his life. Marlow, instead, does not cross over the edge. He is no Prince Hamlet but an attendant lord who is unable to subvert conformities. However, if he lies to Kurtzfs Intended and does not inform her of Kurtzfs reversion to savagery, he does not lie to his audience on the Nellie, nor is Conrad reticent with his reader. The horror of every type of colonialism, concludes Sertoli, is fully exposed.

A third type of reading of  Conradfs Heart of Darkness is of a symbolic and archetypal nature, such as those provided by Francesco Giacobelli in 1976,[36] Mario Domenichelli[37] in 1978 and Marina Barale in 1990.[38] In his deconstructive and psychoanalytic approach, Domenichelli interprets  Heart of Darkness as a discourse without a Weltanschauung and a critique to every Weltanschauung, faith or belief. To Oliva, and to the advocates of Kurtzfs sinister fascination, Domenichelli objects that Kurtz is not altogether saved by Conrad by having him acting or grandiloquently speaking in an atmosphere (91) of Faustian grandeur. Kurtz is, like all Conradfs supposed overmen, just human, all too human, and not the strong producer of his own convictions He is the beastly body, the repressed desire freed from Victorian constraints that speaks the horror in a devilish voice. He is Baal Zebub, the Lord of the flies (insects, in fact, buzz in the great peace of death and announce his presence, 63). In Heart of Darkness each main character has a double and the connections between characters are described by Domenichelli in terms of the Jungian quaternium. Kurtz is thus, among other things, Marlowfs negative double, the infernal sun, the king of Darkness, the father Marlow tries to kill in order to get hold of the Intended seen as the pure mother.

But the Intended remains aloof and detached. Eventually Kurtz meets her only in the horror of Death. Kurtzfs fiance is, in fact, Atropos, the third of the Fates, whose obscure fellow- knitters of manfs life are the two old women met by Marlow in the sepulchral city and by him addressed with the words: gAve, old knitters of black wool. Morituri vos salutanth. This is why, argues Domenichelli, Marlow does not lie when he says the last word pronounced by Kurtz was the Intendedfs name.

I am unfortunately unable to provide further examples of Domenichellifs pyrotechnical arguments. I will conclude by observing that his interpretation is highly representative of  the contemporary reading of Conrad as an apocalyptic nihilist: a writer who, paradoxically, elaborates the enormous inheritance of different cultural traditions only to expose them as hollow at the core. This view is shared, among others, by Franco Marenco,[39] who, in the wake of Mario Perniolafs 1966 essay on Conradfs meta-fiction,[40] has often insisted on the meta-literary value of Conradfs novels. In Marencofs opinion, in fact, Conradfs work typifies what Lukacs defined as the intrinsic weakness of avantgarde writing, that is, its impossibility to found positive social and axiological values. Marencofs Conrad is the paradoxical, ironic beginner of the literature of exhaustion which spans from Decadentism to Samuel Beckett. In this sense, the kenosis of traditional fiction Conrad performs in books like Victory is even more important than the literary gymnastics of his more experimental texts. This interpretation is particularly attractive because it transcends the achievement-decline scheme and blurs several other binaries. For instance, it makes the old opposition Romantic/realist irrelevant. It also undermines the new-historicist claim, recently voiced among others by Luisa Villa, that Conradfs fiction is the work of a split author writing either as an experimental  High-Modernist or as a garrulous romancer.

Conradfs apocalyptic nihilism or scepticism is emphasised by several critics: by  Serpieri,[41] who stresses the fact that, in Conradfs fiction, the sublime is often reduced to the grotesque and the absurd; by Rella, Gorlier, Curreli and Pagetti.[42] The latter deems Conrad the most eminent author at the turn of the century because, among other things, he revolutionises the status of the hero and of truth in fiction.

Such interpretation of Conrad as a nihilist is opposed by a minority of equally influential critics who do not deny his technical modernity but foreground the ethical side of  his fiction. Agostino Lombardo,[43] for instance, regards Conrad as a Decadent who transcends fin de siecle aestheticism through his modern narrative techniques and his solid ethics. Giovanni Cianci,[44] in his turn, concedes that Conradfs language is often haunted by a modernist ambiguity but also underlines that, as happens in most Victorian fiction, Conradfs stories are illumined by his moral certainties.

Let me conclude at this final bifurcation. In packaging a small part of Conradfs Italian Wirkungsgeschichte, I started from the early Conrad of the so-called liquid literature, then I hinted at the sublime Conrad devised by the art prose culture, at Conrad the existentialist, the humanist, the political observer, the apocalyptic nihilist, the meta-literary destroyer of fictional tradition. In the end, the originally liquid object of my attention unexpectedly metamorphosed into the pretty solid condition of a Flaubertian god who shares the axiological certainties of his late Victorian contemporaries. Every survey of critical interpretations unavoidably confirms that our readings are historically-determined. In that respect, the best we can do is to be the rigorous tracers of chains that bind. But such hermeneutic variance may also give the impression that what critics normally do is, as Cesare Segre[45] has recently put it, to sell or shop in the supermarket of opinions. And in this respect, I do not wish to master, to unify or to reappropriate contradictions. My aim was only to usher you into the Italian supermarket of Conrad criticism.





[1] C. Placci, gJoseph Conradh, Il Marzocco, 15 October 1911.

[2] E. Cecchi, gJoseph Conradh, Il Convegno (agosto 1924), reprinted in Id., Scrittori inglesi e americani, Milano, Garzanti (1935) 1976, vol. 1, pp. 202-217.

[3] C. Pavese, gJoseph Conradh, La letteratura americana e altri saggi, Firenze, Il Saggiatore, (1951) 1978, pp. 201-204.

[4] S. DfArzo, gJoseph Conrad, o dellfeUmanitafh, in Il Ponte, Firenze, 1950, reprinted in Id., Contea inglese, Palermo, Sellerio, 1987, pp. 61-68.

[5] M. Forti, gRecensione a Un reietto delle isoleh, Paragone, III, 30 (1952), pp. 73-75.

[6] P. Jahier, gLfuomo Conradh, Paragone, ottobre 1953.

[7] A. Savinio, gLferrore di Conradh, Corriere della sera, 15 settembre 1950.

[8] H. Furst, gLfarte di Conradh, Lfidea nazionale, 19 aprile 1924.

[9] E. Montale, gPresentazioneh to H. Melville, Billy Budd, Milano, Bompiani, (1942) 1982, pp. XXII.

[10] G. Tomasi di Lampedusa, Milano, Mondadori, 1991, pp. 371-376.

[11] G. Mazzotti, gSul eMetodo Inversivof di Joseph Conradh, in Rivista di Letterature Moderne e Comparateh, X, 1957.

[12] E. Cecchi, gRitorno a Conrad?h, (1949) reprinted in Id., Scrittori inglesi e americani, pp. 223-226.

[13] M. Curreli, Invito alla lettura di Conrad, Milano, Mursia, 1984, pp. 126-127.

[14] I. Calvino, gI capitani di Conradh, LfUnita, 3 agosto 1954, reprinted in Id., Perche leggere i classici, Milano, Mondadori,  2002, pp. 189-193.

[15] G. Tomasi di Lampedusa, gJoseph Conradh, in Id., Letteratura inglese: LfOttocento e il Novecento, (1954) Milano, Mondadori, 1991, pp.371-376.

[16] C. Gorlier, gJoseph Conradh, Grande dizionario enciclopedico, Torino, Utet, 1967.

[17] F. Marenco, gGaribaldi col pennacchio: Saggio sul Nostromo di Conradh, Trimestre, III, 3-4 (1969), and IV, 1 (1970).

[18] A. Portelli, gRelazione sui recenti avvenimenti politici verificatisi nella repubblica di Costaguana (basata sulle informazioni fornite dal signor Joseph Conrad nel suo libro Nostromo, in R. Oliva, A. Portelli, Conrad: lfimperialismo imperfetto, Torino, Einaudi, 1973, pp. 71-123.

[19] M. Curreli, gSu alcuni sistemi di immagini nel Nostromo di Conradh, in M. Curreli (ed.), Critical Dimensions, Cuneo, Saste, 1978; gAspetti della tecnica narrativa nel Nostromo di Conradh, Studi dellfIstituto Linguistico (1979) 2; gGli schiavi dellfargento nel Nostromo di Conradh, Studi dellfIstituto Linguistico, (1980) 3.

[20] U. Mursia, gNoteh a Tutti i racconti e i romanzi brevi, Milano, Mursia, 1967.     

[21] A. Zanzotto, gNota introduttivah to J. Conrad, Il compagno segreto, Milano, Bur, 1975, pp. 15-23.

[22] R. Rutelli, gThe Secret Sharer: lfaccettazione del seh, in Id. Il desiderio del diverso: Saggio sul doppio, Roma, Delfino, 1979.

[23] F. Marroni, geAlle porte dellfErebof. Per una lettura di The Secret Sharer di Joseph Conradh, in C.Pagetti, B.DfEgidio, F. Marroni, Il nostro cammino tortuoso. Conrad tra autobiografia e fiction, Pescara, Tracce, 1987, pp. 51-81.

[24] F. Ciompi, M. Curreli, gSullfistituzionalizzazione del mito in Falk  di Conradh, Linguistica e Letteratura, X, 1-2 (1985).

[25] S. Cenni, gAssurdita e orrore in Falk  di Joseph Conradh, in Id.,  Il sortilegio della parola, Roma, Bulzoni, 1989, pp. 11-30.

[26] F. Marroni,  gVoci e silenzi in Falk di Joseph Conradh, in M. Curreli (ed.), Prospettive conradiane, supplemento Merope, VII, 8 (1985).

[27] A. Serpieri, gIntroduzioneh to Falk, Venezia, Marsilio, 1994, pp. 9-42.

[28] C. Pagetti, B.D. DfEgidio, F. Marroni, Il nostro cammino tortuoso. A symptom of the popularity of Heart of Darkness is that Conradfs novelette, regarded as an archetype of modern writing, has been appended unabridged to Remo Ceserani and Lidia de Federicisfs I materiali e lfimmaginario, one of the favourite handbooks of comparative literature in Italian high school for years.

[29] G. Cambon, gGiacobbe e lfangelo in Melville e in Conradh, Letteratura, maggio-agosto 1956, reprinted in Id. La lotta con Proteo, Milano, Bompiani, 1963.

[30] G. Cianci, gHeart of Darkness: il compromesso con lfippopotamoh, Studi inglesi, (1974) 1, pp.167-201.

[31] F. Gozzi, Due romanzi di Conrad: gHeart of Darknessh and gLord Jimh, Pisa, ETS, 1987.

[32] V. Bruni, Lfiniziazione diabolica: matrice faustiana dellferoe conradiano, Abano Terme, Piovan, 1980.

[33] R. Oliva, gDalla commedia della luce alla tragedia della tenebra, ovvero lfambigua redenzione di Kurtzh, in R. Oliva, A. Portelli, Conrad: lfimperialismo imperfetto, pp. 8-70.

[34] A. Moravia, gRicordo di Conradh, in Lettere dal Sahara, Milano, Bompiani, 1981, p. 181.

[35] G. Sertoli, gConoscenza e potere. Su Heart of Darkness di Joseph Conradh, Altri Termini, 4-5 (1974); gIntroduzioneh a J. Conrad, Cuore di tenebra, Torino, Einaudi, 1974 and 1999.

[36] F. Giacobelli, gSimbolo e metafora in Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness, Nostromo e The Secret Sharerh, in Simbolo, metafora, allegoria, atti del IV convegno italo-tedesco (Bressanone, 1976), Padova, Liviana, 1980.

[37] M. Domenichelli, Narciso al buio, Ravenna, Longo, 1978.

[38] M. Barale, gIl livello mitico-archetipico nella ecornicef di Heart of Darknessh, in M. Curreli (ed.), Intertestualita e mito nel romanzo inglese contemporaneo, Pisa, Ets, 1990.

[39] F. Marenco, gJoseph Conradh, in V. Amoruso, F. Binni (eds.), I contemporanei, Roma, Lucarini, 1978, vol. I and gIl romanzo, quel cannibaleh, in F. Marenco (ed.), Storia della civilta letteraria inglese, Torino, Utet, 1996, pp. 48-54.

[40] M. Perniola, gJoseph Conradh, in Id., Il metaromanzo, Milano, Silva, 1956.

[41] A. Serpieri, gJoseph Conrad: tanti personaggi, un unico spazioh, in F. fiorentino (ed.), Raccontare e descrivere: lo spazio nel romanzo dellfOttocento, Roma, Bulzoni, 1997, pp.193-209.

[42] C. Pagetti, Lfimpero di  carta: La letteratura inglese del secondo Ottocento, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1994.

[43] A. Lombardo, gIntroduzione a Conradh, in M. Bignami (ed.), To make you see: saggi su Joseph Conrad, Milano, Cisalpino, 1992, pp. 11-18.

[44] G. Cianci, gConradh, in Storia della letteratura inglese, a cura di  P. Bertinetti, Torino, Einaudi, 2000, vol. II, pp.199-204.

[45] C. Segre, Notizie dalla crisi, Torino, Einaudi, 1993 and Id., Ritorno alla critica, Torino, Einaudi, 2001.