Memory and Nostalgia in Antonio Tabucchi's Last Two Books

The European Legacy 17 (7):918-934 (2012)

In Il tempo invecchia in fretta, a collection of short stories (2009), and in Viaggi e altri viaggi, a travel book (2010), the Italian novelist Antonio Tabucchi (1943?2012) investigates the conflict between interior time, or duration, and social, or historical time. Il tempo invecchia interrogates the dialectic between individual lives and grand historical processes. Viaggi?Tabucchi's intellectual autobiography?retrieves the past, which exists in the present as memory, so as to counter the ?eternal present? of media time and its humus, consumerism, and provide a sense, or direction, to future decision making. Both volumes demonstrate a form of social commitment that is not Sartrean?that interrogates the present while abstaining from proposing solutions?but is well suited to our times: by bringing together narrative remnants of the past in the present of memory, Tabucchi attempts to give the present a sense and a direction to the future. These altrove altrui (the elsewheres of others) provoke a feeling of ?nostalgia for the future,? a yearning for what never was, but still might be: a new social and moral order
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DOI 10.1080/10848770.2012.728801
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