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1  Email Interview, 23 November 2006. Unless specified otherwise, all statements by Avoledo in this essay derive from this interview.

2  The Free Radio is a short story in the collection East, West, New York, Vintage, 1994.

3  He did, however, write a number of book reviews for «Il Giornale» (personal communication, 14 November 2009).

4  See, for example, L. Lipperini, Un esordio letterario nel segno di internet, in «La Repubblica», 24 January 2003; S. Baschiera, Questo Ŕ un altro mondo, «», 10 February 2003, available at: <> [last accessed 30 July 2011].

5  See, for example, L'elenco telefonico di Atlantide, Turin, Einaudi, 2003, pp. 62, 109; hereafter ETA.

6  Whilst all Giulio's friends have degrees, in fact, few are "able" to work in the professions for which they have studied; this is not (or not just) because of a scarcity of jobs, but since intelligence and experience are not required, merely various degrees of compliance.

7  Mazzi asks Giulio petulantly: «Sono o non sono il responsabile del personale?» (ETA p. 198), to which he retorts: «Pensavo che fossi l'addetta alle "relazioni umane"». She merely answers back, «Stessa cosa» (ETA, p. 199). The irony is extended, since shortly afterwards they begin an affair.

8  These relate not only to the world of banking, but touch wider issues. At one point Giulio goes to visit his neighbour Fabrici at the hospice, where he notices a large sign: «Non aggiungiamo anni alla vita ma vita agli anni»; it occupies a whole wall, «come i motti mussoliniani del ventennio» (ETA p. 410), the description evidently hinting also at more contemporary political associations and slogans.

9  Amon-Ra is the "Zeus" of the pharaonic pantheon, as well as the Egyptian Sun god. Gottman is the "god-man", a sort of universal orchestrator; his father, we later discover, is named Adolf.

10  In addition to being run by Grimm Consulting, and financed by the Covenant Foundation of New York (where its headquarters are located), the bank also, as is pointed out much later to Giulio, «nutre un interesse per l'antico Egitto del tutto insolito per una banca» (ETA, p. 341).

11  Reference to the "Santo Graal" recurs intermittently (eg ETA, pp. 13, 426).

12  See A. Bianchi, Vivere dopo la morte. Postmoderno e distopia ne «L'elenco telefonico di Atlantide» di Tullio Avoledo, in «Narrativa», September 2003, n. 25, Scrittori del Duemila: Gli esordienti, pp. 187-200, p. 187; and E. Baranelli, «L'elenco telefonico di Atlantide» di Tullio Avoledo, in «Gialloweb», 5 February 2003, <> [last accessed 30 July 2011]. Today, Avoledo feels "released" from his close identification with Giulio: «Abbiamo tutti bisogno di vedere le cose dal punto di vista di un altro, prima o poi. Di sentirci sbilanciare dalle nostre certezze. [...] Il relativo benessere economico seguito ai miei quattro romanzi [fino al 2006] mi permette di essere pi¨ ottimista e tollerante di Giulio Rovedo».

13  S. Baschiera, Questo Ŕ un altro mondo, cit. See also G. Ania, Apocalypse and Dystopia in Contemporary Writing, in Ania, & Ann Hallamore Caesar, eds, Trends in Contemporary Italian Narrative 1980-2007, Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007, pp. 155-81.

14  E. Baranelli, «L'elenco telefonico di Atlantide» di Tullio Avoledo, cit.

15  See also ETA, pp. 33, 213-14. The life-film analogy recurs in Avoledo's third novel, Lo stato dell'unione; protagonist Alberto comments to his friend: «Questo Ŕ il mio unico film, Neil», but here he does not want to know the end; see Lo stato dell'unione, Turin, Einaudi, 2005, p. 337; hereafter, SU.

16  At one point Mika is physically bullied into agreeing to procure an honorary doctorate for an important personage; see Mare di Bering, Turin, Einaudi, 2004, p. 225; hereafter MB.

17  We are even told, in passing, that Mika's father has worked in a bank for thirty years (see MB, p. 20).

18  W. Giordani, review of Mare di Bering, in «Gialloweb», 4 January 2004, <> [last accessed 30 July 2011].

19  For a discussion of this novel, see G. Ania, The "corporate" corruption of identity in Tullio Avoledo's «Lo stato dell'Unione», in Specchi di realtÓ (aspetti del rapporto tra narrativa e societÓ in Italia dopo il 1989), «Quaderni di cultura», 8, Turin, Trauben Edizioni; Dublin, Trinity College, 2011, pp. 9-22.

20  Avoledo's early experiences of the literary world into which he "projected" himself (or "was projected") are amusingly recounted in his piece Impressioni di viaggio nel mondo letterario, in «Il Giornale», 29 January 2004.

21  M. Mocchi, review of L'elenco telefonico di Atlantide, in «Intercom. Science Ficttion Station E-zine», n. 14, <> [last accessed 30 July 2011].

22  Prior to its publication (personal communications, 20/21 January 2009), I learnt that this novel was to be set in the year 2035, in Salford (following his visit there in June 2008), where there would be a Chair in Chrono-literature, or the literature of time-travel. The novel was published in November 2009, as this article was nearing completion.

Bollettino '900 - Electronic Journal of '900 Italian Literature - © 2010


Giugno-dicembre 2010, n. 1-2