Original Research

'Speech within speech': The writing of Antonio Tabucchi

R. Wilson
Literator | Vol 17, No 1 | a581 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v17i1.581 | © 1996 R. Wilson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 1996 | Published: 30 April 1996

About the author(s)

R. Wilson, Department of Modem Languages and Literatures, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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The narrator of Antonio Tabucchi’s 1991 novel Requiem has an appointment with a dead poet. During the twenty-four hours which he spends in Lisbon waiting to keep his appointment, he undertakes a physical journey through the city, which turns out to be also a parallel journey of the anima through memory. The journey is initiated by a book, Livro do Desassossego (The book of disquietude), by Fernando Pessoa, the “great poet” who awaits the narrator in the city of this novel. This paper examines Tabucchi's "dialogue with the dead", both within this text and across other Tabucchi texts. It endeavours to show how Tabucchi’s recuperation of Pessoa becomes the recognition of the Other's voices within one’s own unconscious, enabling the exploration of repressed discourse.


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