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Luigi Meneghello e Carlo Dionisotti: una biografia intellettuale di due espatriati in Inghilterra

Pozzolo, M. (2019) Luigi Meneghello e Carlo Dionisotti: una biografia intellettuale di due espatriati in Inghilterra. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

In 1947 the literary historian Carlo Dionisotti (1908-1998) and the novelist Luigi Meneghello (19222007) took the decision to expatriate, leaving Italy behind and settling in England for the rest of their professional lives. This decision was linked to the disillusionment engendered by the postwar Italian political scene, more specifically by the failure of the Partito d’Azione (where both were militants) to effectively contribute to the political renewal of the country. It is perhaps not by chance that Meneghello and Dionisotti’s departures coincided with the dissolution of the Partito d’Azione. Placing the dispatrio and the spiemontizzazione – as Meneghello and Dionisotti respectively referred to it – as a watershed in their biographies, this PhD offers a deep insight on each of their intellectual experiences, both in Italy and England. By firstly analysing the roots of their expatriation, this research investigates to what extent the fascist regime’s educational policy had forged them as individuals, influencing their future choices, from a political and professional perspective. Secondly, this work sheds light on how both engaged with English society, in cultural, linguistic and academic terms: by changing the monocentric approach traditionally used to study Meneghello and Dionisotti, most of the times restricted to the Italian context, this research will instead assess their role as transnational intellectuals, underlining how fundamental the influence of the cultural translation was in their published works and personal correspondence. In line with the recent transnational and interdisciplinary trend undertaken within Italian Studies, this PhD thesis therefore aims to examine how the cross-cultural encounter with a foreign country helped them to shape their reflections on the interplay between localism, regionalism, and transnationalism in their work. This expatriation in fact, not only marked a pivotal moment in their professional career, establishing them as influential academics within the British scene, but also contributed to their theoretical and literary outcomes and creative practices. Making extensive use of their published work and personal archives, I shall also compare and contrast the intellectual biographies of Carlo Dionisotti and Luigi Meneghello, within the context of the intellectual Italian post-war diaspora in Great Britain, placing this work as a stepping stone for the analysis of this hitherto unexplored trend.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:La Penna, D.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Literature and Languages
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies
ID Code:85036
Date on Title Page:2018

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