Critical Context

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 167

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Like many of Moravia’s works, A Ghost at Noon has been adapted for film, serving as the basis for Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Mepris (1963; Contempt, 1964). Chronologically it belongs to the period of L’amore coniugale (1949; Conjugal Love, 1951) and Il conformista (1951; The Conformist, 1952).

A Ghost at Noon is marked by many of the features that characterize Moravia’s body of work. It is typical of his fiction both in its journalistic or documentary style and in its visual acuity—in part, perhaps, a reflection of his long career as a film critic. It evidences the author’s conviction that character is shaped by the things people have to do, rather than by those which they choose to do. It offers a psychologically acute analysis of the subtle corruptions of an affluent society. A Ghost at Noon is also representative of Moravia’s fiction in its deeper vision of the malaise of the modern world—a vision which made him a forerunner of the existentialist school of novelists.