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Broken Time, Fragmented Space

Broken Time, Fragmented Space: A Cultural Map of Postwar Italy

Anna Maria Torriglia
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  • Book Info
    Broken Time, Fragmented Space
    Book Description:

    Examines how the artists and intellectuals of post-war Italy dealt with the 'shameful' heritage of their fascist upbringing and education by trying to craft a new cultural identity for themselves and the country.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7158-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xx)
    (pp. xxi-2)
  5. chapter one TIME HAS CHANGED
    (pp. 3-38)

    The disarray of Italian artists and intellectuals of the immediate postwar period was intense, painful, and contradictory.¹ Invested with a cogent moral imperative, artists and intellectuals on the left, along with partisans of different orientations, moderates and Catholics alike, felt called to a very challenging task. They needed to craft a transition from the Fascist regime to the Republic.² The job was not easy, since, at the end of the Second World War, the Fascist heritage had turned, almost overnight, into a shameful past that most wanted to forget. And yet, notwithstanding intellectualsʼ declarations about their thorough postwar renewal, it...

  6. chapter two FROM MOTHER TO DAUGHTER
    (pp. 39-78)

    Parallel to the symbolic killing of fathers and the condemnation of their Fascist teachings runs the re-evaluation of women - in particular the mother figure - that took place in the first decade after the Second World War, between the late forties and early fifties. A great number of novels and films of the postwar period present the image of a generous, instinctual, and passionate woman whose reproductive capacity amounts to much more than a mere biological feature, and symbolizes a possibility of rebirth and regeneration for the entire Italian society. Women had not been involved, in person, in the...

  7. chapter three THE MYTH OF AMERICA
    (pp. 79-116)

    One of the most striking features of Italian postwar culture - and one of the main guidelines according to which it is possible to read it - is its relationship with the United States. Imitating America seems to signal Italyʼs transition from a traditional country still based on agriculture and ruled by conservative social interactions - overseen and disciplined by the Church - to an industrialized, increasingly more urbanized and socially more atomized one. It marks Italyʼs plunge into modernity,tout court. The interaction with America was not new; however, it was in the postwar years that the relationship became...

  8. chapter four THE COUNTRY AT HAND
    (pp. 117-148)

    In the late forties and early fifties, the idea of modernity was consistently associated with a concept that was quite recent, in its large-scale application, for Italian society: that of leisure time. On the one hand, the increasing distance from the war and theVentennio, both chronological and emotional, depleted of moral urgency the need to process oneʼs involvement in Fascism. On the other, Italians were entangled in their present - meaning a reconstruction that seemed to erase, at a fast pace, the poverty the war had left behind. The result was that narratives referring to Fascism, or which took...

    (pp. 149-156)

    Between the maternal, overwhelmingly emotional Pina ofRoma cittá apertaand the refined, independent, and economically self-reliant Clelia ofLe amichethere is a huge, unbridgeable gap; and yet only a decade separates the two characters. The different ways in which Pina and Clelia live their womanhood - one as a mother, in a role that appears still influenced by Fascist rhetoric and the Catholic church, the other as a single woman focused on her career - reveal the transformations that affected Italy in the postwar years. These transformations were numerous, varied, and, for the most part, irreversible: they plunged...

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 157-214)
    (pp. 215-230)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 231-239)