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From the anxieties about mechanised men and women in Massimo Bontempelli's Minnie la candida (1927), to Primo Levi's probing of the golem myth in "Il servo," twentieth-century Italian literature offers a rich, if underexplored, array of cyborg characters which both echo those to be found in Anglophone texts and can be been seen to embody and exemplify concerns emanating from a specifically Italian cultural context.Focusing on cyborg figures in three texts--Dino Buzzati's Il grande ritratto (1960), Roberto Vacca's II robot e il computer (1963), and Niccolo Ammaniti's short story "Ferro" (1996)--this article identifies and analyses approaches to a series of sex/gender issues and attempts to trace the positions assumed by the authors in question back to earlier influential works.Consequently both texts markedly privilege Anglophone literature, film and criticism to the exclusion of Italian discourses and cultural artefacts. Longo (Il nuovo Golem and Homo technologicus) also offers a theoretical engagement with the relationship between humans and technology, but the only Italian literary texts to which significant reference is made are Longo's own.In contrast, this article endeavours to redirect critical attention onto other Italian sources, in an initial attempt to identify and analyse aspects of Italian engagements with the cyborg and bring them into dialogue with Anglophone theoretical work.

(7) Significantly, despite frequent overt attempts to reinforce gender binaries as an inevitable, "natural" principle of human identity (and thus by extension cyborg identity), the sexing and gendering of cyborgs also serves to underscore the constructed and arbitrary nature of gender roles, sexual orientation and sex.Unlike "cyber sex" that involves the wilful shrugging off of gender, sex and sexual orientation since the vast majority of individuals who enter the virtual dimension of MUDS--Multi-User Domains--do so under an assumed identity (see Anne Scott Sorensen), representations of "cyborg sex" often strive to reinforce or replicate more normative human practices.A key question here is why this might be so in an Italian context; why do even recent texts resonate so strongly with the supplanted authority of Lombroso, for example?As a guide to subsequent observations, and in an effort to further contextualize my remarks in relation to existing and ongoing intellectual debate, I preface my considerations of the selected texts with a brief outline of the approaches to sex, gender, and the erotics of technology that inform this article.Sex and Gender: Eroticising Technology My principal concern is our often erotically charged relationship with technology, especially in relation to sexual dynamics between biological human and cyborg beings.

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