Matilde Serao, La mano tagliata [The Severed Hand]

Ursula Fanning (Dublin City University)
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La mano tagliata


The Severed Hand

] is one of Matilde Serao’s late Gothic novels. A best-seller in its time, it has been largely ignored, or treated as an embarrassment, by critics until very recently when it became the subject of feminist investigation. The novel, in fact, revels in its Gothic style, calling attention to it beginning with the title: as Freud noted in his 1919 essay “The Uncanny”, a hand cut off at the wrist is a peculiarly disturbing entity. The narrative itself exhibits a plethora of uncanny features distinctive of the Gothic novel: doppelgängers proliferate, the occult arts are more important than in any other of Serao’s novels, and the male character Marcus Henner – one of her most complex masculine figures – functions simultaneously as mesmerist,…

826 words

Citation: Fanning, Ursula. "La mano tagliata". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 July 2010 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

28450 La mano tagliata 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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