Fragments of impegno: interpretations of commitment in contemporary Italian narrative, 1980-2000
With the Tangentopoli corruption scandals of the early 1990s, Italy is purported recently to have experienced a period of political change comparable to the period immediately following World War II. This latter being the socio-political environment in which the concept of impegno - political commitment - in literature became current, this volume asks whether an equivalent moment of constitutional crisis in the 1990s has had a comparable impact on perceptions of the role of the writer and of literature in Italian society. The volume traces the development of impegno in post-war Italian prose literature using the metaphor of fragmentation: the monolithic notion of commitment to an overarching political agenda has splintered, facilitating a fragmentary attention to specific issues. Part One examines the early impegno debate through the critical works of Vittorini, Calvino, Pasolini, tracing it forward into the 1960s and 1970s. The remaining three parts study in detail the 'fragments of impegno' offered by contemporary authors: Tabucchi, Ramondino, De Carlo, Tondelli, Ballestra, and African immigrant writers, including Fazel, Melliti and Methnani. This range of authors and texts illustrates the ways in which socio-political issues are explicitly or implicitly addressed, represented, or embedded in contemporary Italian literature. Jennifer Burns is a lecturer in the Department of Italian at the University of Warwick. She has published articles on Vittorini and Calvino, Italian literature in the 1970s, Tondelli, and immigrant writing in Italian.
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CHAPTER ONE The impegno Debate
Fault Lines in impegno
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