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Title: The Italian novel and Fascism
Author: Kornfeld, Anne M.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1980
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This thesis examines the depiction of Fascism together with manifestations of dissent and anti-Fascism in the twentieth century Italian novel. The first chapter considers literary prefigurations of Fascism from 1890 onwards, including the treatment of the Superuomo by D'Annunzio, Papini, Marinetti and Soffici, and also the vulgarization of the Superuomo myth in Sarfatti's 'Dux', one of Mussolini's official biographies. Also mentioned are several accounts of the First World War which reveals social dissatisfactions that proved fertile soil for Fascist exploitation. The second chapter concentrates on a number of Fascist and pro-Fascist novels, that is novels written in homage to the regime and the bestsellers whose conservative values, and preoccupations with the nuclear family, coincide with the Fascist regime's domestic policies. The third chapter examines the covert expressions of disenchantment and dissent formulated against the regime; from the antipathy of Palazzeschi and Gadda to Moravia's dissection of middle-class vacuousness, and to the concern for the conditions of the peasants, the emergence of Neorealism and the importance of the influence of the American novel for disenchanted novelists. The fourth chapter compares and contrasts the works of Si lone and Ferrero, two novelists writing in exile, who denounced the injustices and hypocrisies of the regime's domestic policies in order to undermine its international prestige. The fifth chapter analyses the retrospective portrayal of Fascism from 1943-1960, and the ideology of regeneration that developed as a reaction against the cynicism and inhumanity of the regime. The fictional treatment of the Resistance movement and various war journals are also discussed, together with the hostility of reactionary writers towards post-war Italy. A short conclusion outlines some peripheral but relevant considerations, and suggests the difficulties of attempting an accurate assessment of the degree of influence exerted on the novel by Fascism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Romance Literature