Grazia Deledda’s strategies of female characters’ construction and agency are at the core of this essay. The goal is to investigate how the Nobel prize winner shapes the identity as the actions of her female characters in a decidedly eccentric manner if compared to contemporary Italian narrative. The path of the essay is chiefly chronological as it starts from her first short stories (1888), published in the context of widely circulated periodicals, to ends with Cosima, the autobiographical novel published in 1936, the year of Deledda’s death. A typology of her characters emerges in relation both to the cultural assumptions that strongly influence the first production of Deledda as well as to the heterogeneous literary models with which the writer weaves a dense and uninterrupted dialogue.
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