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“I don’t want to die Chinese”: Dystopia and Globalization in Antonio Scurati’s La seconda mezzanotte’


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“I don’t want to die Chinese”: Dystopia and Globalization in Antonio Scurati’s La seconda mezzanotte’

Dr Mark Chu, Department of Italian, UCC

Chinese citizens constitute the third largest immigrant group in Italy. What was previously described as a “silent immigration” (Campani, Carchedi and Tassinari, 1994) has, in recent years, become the focus of popular, journalistic and academic attention, due largely to the growth of the Chinese economy and the consequent perceived threat to Italian businesses from… Chinese companies both in China and in Italy. Similarly, Italian literature has, in the last twenty years, begun to register the presence of “the Chinese”, associating this with an idea of globalization linked to dystopic visions. This paper contextualizes and analyses one example of this recent trend, La seconda mezzanotte (2011; The Second Midnight), by writer and media studies academic Antonio Scurati. The novel is set in 2092, when what is left of Venice after a catastrophic flood has been sold off to a Chinese corporation as a playground for the rich.

                                                    Tuesday, 11 March 2014


                                                     O’Rahilly Building 1.24, Ucc


Mark Chu’s areas of research include Sicilian literature from 1870 to the present and Italian crime fiction. This paper, based on a forthcoming article in the journal Narrativa, is part of his work on the representation of the Other in Italian literature and media, which has resulted in the publication of several articles, including ‘Giallo sarai tu! Hegemonic Representations and Limits of Heteroglossia in Carlo Lucarelli‘ (2001), ‘Crime and the South’ (2011) and ‘Impegno da vendere: società e politica nella serie del commissario Montalbano di Andrea Camilleri’, and in papers including ‘Orientalism – Italian Style: Representations of the Other in Some Recent Italian Crime Fiction’ (Invited Lecture, U of Connecticut, 2001), ‘Representations of Immigrants in Contemporary Italian Literature and Media: A Critical Analysis’ (MLA, 2004), ‘Ghi è tu ghe palla? Parody and the Migrant Voice in Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction’ (RIA, 2011) ‘Domesticating the pericolo giallo: the case of Rabarbaro Zucca’ (ASMI, 2013).



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