Narratives of Murder and Knowledge: Pellegrino Artusi and Dante Alighieri as Sleuths

Mirna Cicioni


Using McHale’s notions of “epistemological” and “ontological” dominants, this article analyzes three historical crime novels that have real historical characters as their protagonist: Marco Malvaldi’s Odore di chiuso (2011), featuring Pellegrino Artusi as the detective, and Giulio Leoni’s I delitti del mosaico (2004) and La crociata delle tenebre (2007), with Dante Alighieri as the sleuth. The article shows how the hybridization of crime fiction, history, and biography may be a fertile ground for the representation of the different ways of “knowing” in their respective historical periods and the construction of a dialogue between past and present constructed around depictions of social and political diversity, language issues, and ideas of “Italy.”

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