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Be Cool (2005)
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Justified
Life of Crime

Friday, November 16, 2018

Una commedia americana (An American Comedy)


Una commedia americana by Giulio Segato

Google Translation:

One of the favorite expressions by critics and reviewers who have a text by Leonard is the “Dickens of Detroit”. An epithet whose origin is often traced back to J. D. Reed, author of an article published in “Time” and entitled A Dickens From Detroit. In fact, the title was decided by an editor in chief of the American magazine who was not very familiar with Leonard’s novels. It is not surprising, therefore, that the expression adopted, however suggestive and captivating, is rather misleading. In the nineteenth century, however, there is another writer who seems to me more reasonable to approach Leonard, although he belongs to a different literary tradition: Honoré de Balzac with his Comédie humaine. Balzac, through all the works that go to form the Comédie, intended to compose a mosaic of the French society of his time, illustrating all the fi gures, even the most marginal, and showing man and woman in all moral transformations. of their character. This summary, although brief, could also accurately describe Leonard’s work. It is pacific that there are many differences, as is inevitable in proposing the suggestion of a comparison between authors whose respective context is radically different, above all in historical terms. Yet even the forty-four novels published by Leonard can be read as one great narrative - an American comedy! - who wants to follow the tangle of existences along the streets of the US province, through the eyes of disoriented detectives and immature and ridiculous killers. This is because, as in Balzac, every Leonard novel is plural, that is, it contains multiple stories that intertwine and recur in characters that seem to disappear into thin air and then re-emerge after many years.

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