Alberto Arbasino and Luigi Malerba visited China as members of Italian authors’ delegation in 1980 and published respectively their travel reportage Trans-Pacific Express (1981) and Cina Cina (1985). Arbasino travelled to many countries and published several travel books. Malerba was particularly fond of China. During their visits, Arbasino and Malerba were the closest of travel companions. There are, in fact, many similarities and differences in their travel writings. The two authors were representatives of Gruppo ’63 in the literary movement Neoavanguardia. Based on the richness and flexibility of this literary genre, they also adopted this innovative style of writing. In terms of the narrative structure, in both there does not appear to be a clear itinerary or a logic to their travels. Regarding their linguistic styles, Arbasino’s writing is rich of rhetorical forms, whereas Malerba’s book is imagery, resembling a fairy-tale. For the two authors, China represents a series of incomprehensible signs. Arbasino transforms these signs into elements of literary invention, while Malerba sees the travel destination as a place of imagination. China is a literary space between imagination and reality in their travel writings.
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