Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

A Woman’s Loss of Imagination: Paola Masino’s Magical Realism in Nascita e morte della Massaia

Fiorucci, Wissia (2018) A Woman’s Loss of Imagination: Paola Masino’s Magical Realism in Nascita e morte della Massaia. Italian Culture, 36 (2). pp. 120-135. ISSN 0161-4622. E-ISSN 1559-0909. (doi:10.1080/01614622.2018.1485993) (KAR id:69930)


Criticism on Paola Masino has flourished since the early 2000s. This increased attention has contributed towards reclaiming an author often overshadowed by the attention received by her partner, Massimo Bontempelli, the father of realismo magico. Masino experimented with a variety of styles—realismo magico was one of them—as she rejected strictly naturalistic forms of representation, preferring to co-opt myths and the supernatural. Nascita e morte della Massaia (1945) is Masino’s most renowned literary effort, both for its critique of Fascist Italy and for its sophisticated stylistic effects. Nascita, while indebted to Bontempelli’s theorizations, features all the chief characteristics listed in Faris’s analysis of magical realism as an international phenomenon, and illustrates how magical realism offers strategies for evading censorship to those writing against totalitarianism regimes. At the same time, it is an example of how magical realism can be used to denounce socially imposed gender roles. My analysis shows how this narrative mode emerges on multiple levels within Masino’s text.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/01614622.2018.1485993
Uncontrolled keywords: Masino, magical realism, realismo magico, Fascist censorship, subversive literature, magical realism and gender
Subjects: P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PB Modern Languages
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Wissia Fiorucci
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 13:48 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 03:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Fiorucci, Wissia.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.