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An entirely new land? Italy’s post-war culture and its fascist past

Leavitt IV, C. L. (2016) An entirely new land? Italy’s post-war culture and its fascist past. Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 21 (1). pp. 4-18. ISSN 1354-571X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/1354571X.2016.1112060

Abstract/Summary

Scholarship has for decades emphasised the significant continuities in Italian culture and society after Fascism, calling into question the rhetoric of post-war renewal. This essay proposes a reassessment of that rhetoric through the analysis of five key metaphors with which Italian intellectuals represented national recovery after 1945: parenthesis, disease, flood, childhood, and discovery. While the current critical consensus would lead us to expect a cultural conversation characterised by repression and evasion, an analysis of these five post-war metaphors instead reveals both a penetrating re-assessment of Italian culture after Fascism and an earnest adherence to the cause of national re-vitalisation. Foregrounding the inter-relation of Italy’s prospects for change and its continuities with Fascism, these metaphors suggest that post-war Italian intellectuals conceived of their country’s hopes for renewal, as well as its connections to the recent past, in terms that transcend the binary division favoured in many historical accounts.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > Italian
ID Code:45857
Publisher:Taylor and Francis

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