(1908-2003) Italian writer whose most famous book, the nonfiction Avventura dell'uomo (1957; rev 1983; trans as The Adventure of Man 1991 UK), mixes Anthropology and a diffuse Gnosticism (> Gnostic Fantasy) in its attempt to articulate humanity's hidden nature in a clouded world. His fiction tends to convey a similar burden of message, though his second novel, I cinque continenti ["The Five Continents"] (1942; rev 1983), which includes a visit to a tiny Island occupied by the last survivors of Atlantis, is lightly told. Felix (1952; rev 1980) places the biography of its main character within a Frame Story set in an arid AD2000. In Libro bianco (1968; rev 1983; trans Linda Lappin as The White Book 1991 UK) the newly dead protagonist is plunged into a surreal field of judgement (> Posthumous Fantasy); he eventually becomes an Adam (> Adam and Eve), but avoids making the same mistake this time round. Entronauti (1969; rev 1983; trans Linda Lappin as The Entronauts 1991 UK) depicts four journeys in search of the transcendental self; the protagonist is accompanied on these by an invisible archangel whose home is the Gnostic Heaven. [JC]
further reading: Piero Scanziani: A Man for Europe (anth 1991; trans Nicoletta Simbrorowski-Gill 1991 UK), ed anon.