The article analyses the way Elena Ferrante’s My brilliant friend, one of the great literary successes of recent years, narrates the story of the Italian post-war decades. These years appear to us today as a defining period of the twentieth century, of great hopes and equally great disappointments. Moving beyond a methodological discussion, the article strives to compare, on the basis of the issues and the themes dealt with in Ferrante’s long novel, historical discourse with another type of narrative of the past. The article thereby teases out points of convergence, contrast and complementarity, while being fully aware that the relationship between literature and history is complex and problematic.
Keywords: Letteratura, Storia, L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante, Italia