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Title: Literary geographies of the boom : perceptions of space in post-war Italian literature (1956-1979)
Author: Brecciaroli, Giulia
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 8806
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This research offers an account of the post-war transition in Italy through different literary voices, belonging to various genres, and their original and complementary narration of post-war Italy's changing geography. Two chapters of the dissertation concentrate on Milan and Turin, the expanding industrial cities of the North, in the novels of Bianciardi (La vita agra, 1962), Volponi (Memoriale, 1962; Le mosche del capitale, 1989), Scerbanenco (Venere privata, 1966; Traditori di tutti, 1966; I ragazzi del massacro, 1968; I milanesi ammazzano al sabato, 1969) and Fruttero & Lucentini (La donna della domenica, 1972; A che punto è la notte, 1979). The focus of the last chapter broadens to embrace the socio-cultural landscape of the country, through the analysis of post-war Italian travel writing and the specific examples of Piovene (Viaggio in Italia, 1957), Ortese (La lente scura, 1991) and Arbasino (Fratelli d'Italia, 1963). The exploration of literary geographies, corroborated by theories of space in contemporary societies, is functional to challenge narrations of the boom as chiefly a time of growing prosperity and optimism, and instead exposes ambiguous feelings about Italian modernity. The post-war years are seen as a period in which feelings of hope and anxiety coexist and inter-mingle, and where existential uncertainty provides a driving force for the examined authors to challenge accepted ways of seeing and being, in the framework of the postmodern theories that are slowly infiltrating the Italian cultural debate in those years. Coherently with the interpretation of the boom as a 'space of cultural transition' (Minghelli, 2016), the texts are somewhat suspended between past, of which they retain some central thematics (alienation, anxiety) and future, as some of the arguments that shape the postmodern sensitivity can be traced between the lines, in the tension toward a different understanding of modernity. The innovative selection of authors and genres sheds new light on the inconsistencies of post-war development, as well as reframing key issues in post-war Italian society, such as the inability to incorporate a critical reflection upon the past into the process of nation and identity building in this crucial moment of the country's history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Burns ; Jennifer
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures