Bart Van den Bossche (K.U. Leuven / FWO – Vlaanderen)

Palandri's novel Boccalone and Pier Vittorio Tondelli's collection of short stories Altri libertini, have both been read as literary and sociological portraits of the generation involved in the settantasette movement. Even if it holds true that both books do refer to events and practices linked to the Movimento, this historical background is evoked through rather fragmented and vague hints, and is never incorporated into a clear-cut sociopolitical agenda. The reasons why precisely these works of fiction have been considered as incisive portraits of the settantasette generation may have to do with the relationship between narrative economy and historical experience in both texts. In particular in Boccalone, the intertwining of the personal and the political (elaborated through the political dimension of desire and the infernal mecanisms of paranoia) is not just decisive for the plot, but determines (and jeopardizes) the very act of story-telling and the very possibility of narrative discourse.