Italy: The Enduring Culture

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Leicester University Press, 2001 - History - 346 pages
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This study of dynamic continuities as well as crises and fissures in Italian culture, takes an interdisciplinary approach. Its coverage extends to literature, art history, opera, film, sexuality, urbanism, the mafia, and population movements of emigration and immigration. Specifically, it looks at how Italy incorporates and continually represents its past in changing ways. The book asks at every point how modern culture and society in Italy have emerged from earlier configurations, and how far and for what reasons they differ from individual past moments. White asks how Italy might be considered a kind of political laboratory in which Western cultures can read their own futures; in other words, how far does Italy hold the status of paradigm, such that our reflections upon Italy past and present are bound also to throw light on other cultures? Also, what qualities of Italianess survive in the transplanted espresso bars, luxury goods and musical culture in far-flung Italian communities around the world? Can our reflections of such cultural survival throw light on the health and continuity of Italian culture in Italy itself?

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