The Italian Literature of the Axis War: Memories of Self-Absolution and the Quest for Responsibility

The Italian Literature of the Axis War: Memories of Self-Absolution and the Quest for Responsibility

English | 2021 | ISBN-13 : 978-3030631802 | 275 Pages | PDF, EPUB | 8.63 MB

This book investigates the representation of the Axis War – the wars of aggression that Fascist Italy fought in North Africa, Greece, the Soviet Union, and the Balkans, from 1940 to 1943 – in three decades of Italian literature. Building on an innovative and interdisciplinary methodology, which combines memory studies, historiography, thematic criticism, and narratology, this book explores the main topoi, themes, and masterplots of an extensive corpus of novels and memoirs to assess the contribution of literature to the reshaping of Italian memory and identity after the end of Fascism. By exploring the influence that public memory exercises on literary depictions and, in return, the contribution of literary texts to the formation and dissemination of a discourse about the past, the book examines to what extent Italian literature helped readers form an ethical awareness of the crimes committed by members of their national community during World War II.

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