Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.287556
Title: The fragments of 'impegno' : interpretations of commitment in contemporary Italian narrative, 1980-1995
Author: Burns, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0001 1494 3155
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1998
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Abstract:
This thesis explores the representation of political and social issues in the work of a selection of contemporary Italian authors, aiming to assess what has become of the notion of political commitment ('impegno'), as debated by intellectuals in the sharply-defined political climate following World War II, and whether the institutional seizure then crisis of the 1980s and 1990s has encouraged a comparable literary response. In part one, I examine the critical works of Vittorini and Calvino, two authors central to the early discussion about the social role of literature, revealing the tensions between their conceptions of the relationship between writers and society, which, despite their close collaboration, are identifiable in their writings of the 1950s and 1960s. I then trace these different veins of thinking - which I have termed 'fault lines' in the solid mass of 'impegno' - into the works of Celati and Palandri, who express the socio-political consciousness of youth in the 1960s and 1970s. In the six chapters of the main body of my thesis, I consider the further breakdown, in the recent climate of political diffidence, of the traditional sense of commitment to a specific cause, into a fragmentary exposure of a variety of 'minority' issues in the work of individual authors or groups of the 1980s and early 1990s, broadly classifiable under the 'giovani narratori' label. This allows me to consider well-known contemporary authors, such as Tabucchi, De Carlo and Tondelli, from a specific perspective, alongside Ballestra, a young and little studied writer. My last two chapters discuss a selection of established women writers and barely-known African immigrant writers, assessing the impact of specific interest-groups on the 'impegno' question. I conclude by considering the specificity of these 'fragments' to Italian culture, within the general context of the postmodern lapse of faith in ideologies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.287556  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Italian fiction; Socio-political climate
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