The Dickensian Naples in Vladimiro Bottone's historical novel
Keywords:mystery, death, alleys, corrupt childhood, deception, history.
The aim of this article is to analyse the literary prose of the Neapolitan writer Vladimiro Bottone through his five historical novels, all of which are set in Naples. With this study, I would like to highlight how much care and attention the author in question puts into his descriptions and dialogues, through which he provides an accurate overview of the historical and social facts of Naples in the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, before the unification of Italy. The author adheres to Scotian teachings and the general lines of Lukacsian criticism in the historical process, skilfully mixing real and ideal characters, the latter fitting perfectly to the society and historical period of reference. Vladimiro Bottone, with his novels, takes us by hand into a Naples that is not the Naples of postcards, not the Naples of pizza and mandolins, but the Naples of lazzari, of blackmail, of corruption, of dark and unhealthy alleys that attract, that fascinate and that eventually crush in their coils whoever dares give in to their lure and fall into their trap; he reveals to us, therefore, the other face of Naples.