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: Alberto Moravia is one of the best known and most widely translated writers to come out of contemporary Italy. This study suggests new ways of reading his fiction in the context of recent works of feminist and cultural theory about gender, the structure of subjectivity and the processes of narrative. It argues that an analysis of Moravia's presentation of contemporary "man" is incomplete without looking at his vision of women. Sharon Wood aims to show this narrative form to be a traditional moralising exploitation of women, the medium for Moravia's own preoccupation with man. Wood's reassessment goes beyond the feminist criticism of the 1970's which dwelt on the context of Moravia's work. She suggests that he is confined by form, this his use of language and gender reflects, rather than challenges, Italian society, and is linked to a political vision that is ultimately reactionary.