|A ghost at noon by Alberto Moravia is better known by its film version, called Contempt, which was directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starred Bridgette Bardot in one of her iconic roles.|
A ghost at noon (1955)
by Alberto Moravia
Contempt (1963), directed by Jean-Luc Godard is one hell of a movie. That film is based on A ghost at noon, the 1955 novel by Alberto Moravia. Riccardo Molteni is a struggling film journalist with a new wife, living in a rented room in post-war Rome. In short order he falls in with Battini, a larger-than-life producer who wants to hire Riccardo to write film scripts. Based entirely on his new found employment, Riccardo makes the down payment on a larger flat, only to be immediately informed by his young wife that she would rather sleep in a separate room.
The relationship spirals downward from there, with events coming to a climax at Battini's remote Capri villa, as Riccard and a German director are set to collaborate on a movie version of Homer's Odyssey. This joining of the project of literary adaptation with a personal relationship drama is one of the go-to moves of smart mid to late 20th century narrative story telling. You can think of the large genre of "movies about making movies." A ghost at noon is the first of these sort of stories.