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The chronological approach adopted in this article emphasises the recurrence and the interpretation of the theme of power in the work of this Tuscan author over a twenty year period. In the first two novels of the Seventies, power appears as the malevolent disfunction of a society in transformation from the Garibaldi epoch to the First Republic. Thereafter, a more contemplative and more metaphysical phase is revealed in the short story collections of the Eighties, in particular Piccoli equivoci senza importanza. By way of L’angelo nero (1991) we come to the present and to Sostiene Pereira, in which Tabucchi examines the relationship between writing and history, between civil commitment and politics, between literature and the demistification of power.