The pandemic landscape. Experiences from the Italian fiction


  • Dino Gavinelli Department of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Mediations, University of Milan, Italy
  • Marco Maggioli Department of Humanistic Studies, IULM University, Milan, Italy
  • Marcello Tanca Department of Literature, Languages and Heritage, University of Cagliari, Italy


This contribution focuses on the literary description of the pandemic landscape. The main theme is the way in which three Italian novels have described the reactions in 2020 to the “denied landscape” ie to limitations to the free movement of people and, therefore, to free, direct and natural interaction with the outside world. In our opinion, the analysis of the three novels – Andrà tutto bene (various authors), Il veliero sul tetto (Paolo Rumiz) and Reality. Cosa è successo (Giuseppe Genna) – enables to identify a number of shared attitudes after the enforcement of the restriction policy imposing in Italy the lockdown. Each of them, highlighting a specific human reaction, provides useful elements to outline an essential phenomenology of the “pandemic landscape”. We thus obtain three descriptive categories: denied, coveted, and chased landscape. The first typology is represented by the typical pandemic landscape, something which was turned overnight in a deserted and uncanny, indifferent, and silent space. The second typology identifies a desired landscape, where the line between dream and reality, memories, and imagination, is blurred. Finally, the third typology describes the incapability to observe and share the world with the others and, so, the transformation of the landscape into a series of empty, immobile, and unresponsive elements:  the non-landscape.


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Learning Landscapes ed. by Benedetta Castiglioni, Marcello Tanca