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Title: New Italian epic : history, journalism and the 21st century 'novel'
Author: Willman, Kate Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 5699
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This study examines the recent literary phenomenon known as the New Italian Epic, a label coined by Wu Ming 1 in a document called the Memorandum in 2008. Wu Ming 1 used the label New Italian Epic to describe a corpus of Italian texts, mainly published after the year 2000, that are an unusual mix of genres, styles and media, and that have a renewed sense of political and ethical commitment. After describing the phenomenon and outlining the main theoretical underpinnings to my analysis of it, I examine the Memorandum in detail, in order to individuate the ideas that will resurface throughout the study, related to postmodernism, new technologies, history and memory studies, epic, realism, and the role of literature in society. This is followed by a periodisation, which traces developments in recent history and literature that influenced the New Italian Epic phenomenon, including the Cannibal and migrant writers of the nineties, the violent events at the G8 protest in Genoa in 2001, and the political and cultural climate in Italy in the new millennium. I go on to analyse three key themes that particularly stand out in the New Italian Epic texts – the recurring theme of the death of the father, the use of the historical novel form, and texts that seem to be journalistic, but sometimes change or distort reality – each of which is accompanied by close reading of two or three novels from the New Italian Epic corpus, and compared to other previous or contemporary cultural developments in Italy and abroad. I conclude by considering the interactions between literature and film in the twenty-first century, and suggest that the ‘unidentified narrative objects’ we have seen throughout the study seem to be a particular product of our times.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures