In Italics: In Defense of Ethnicity

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Guernica Editions, 1996 - Literary Collections - 265 pages
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Poet and novelist, Antonio D'Alfonso has been writing essays and giving in-depth interviews for twenty years. This collection contains the most important of these texts which have been reworked into a coherent entity. D'Alfonso discusses the importance of ethnic awareness which he places at the antipodes of territorial nationalism for which ethnicity is too often mistaken. The themes raised in this eclectic book relate to general culture, language, literature, film, and publishing (he founded Guernica Editions in 1978). Though it is the Italian perspective (which the author prefers to call Italic) that is favored, the themes and concepts developed are applicable to other cultures and countries. In Italics is a polemical and unblushing defense for the individual's right to a collective Imaginary, no matter which country one lives in.
 

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A thorough analysis of realities in Canada refering to ethnic identity, the noxious influences of nationalism, the problems met when publishing books in that country. Culture is seen as non-verbal and for describing the complex situation of Italics (Italians living on abroad and in Italy) the author uses the term conscious identity that can develop only in a pluricultural country.
Ethnicity is seen as transborder community ignoring territorialgenus.
The book also refers to the problems of immigrants because of bilingualism.
The future of Canada should be pluricultural federalism.
There are lots of references to Italic literature and films. Thanks to this book I discovered a huge list of new names I hadn't known about.
Quite an interesting book to be read.
 

Contents

The Road Between
23
Babel or the Welder
43
Letter to a Critic
55
A Literary Culture in Search of a Tradition
59
Discovering and Publishing ItalianCanadian Writers
63
The Ethnic Theme and the Scriptwriter
67
Philologists of Reality
71
To Break the Code of Silence
77
Atopia
129
Pluriculturalism Is Becoming a Global Affair
141
Unmeltable Ethnics
145
A Place on Earth
159
Closets and More Closets
165
Starting at Square One
167
Choosing Ones Identity in a Pluricultural Country
171
Italicamente
181

Where Do We Go from Here?
85
In the Mouths of People
89
Magma
93
Cultural Trends in Quebec
97
Criticizing Critics
101
Fragments on the Italic Reality
103
Waiting for My Friends
111
The Ethnic Imaginary
115
The Path to Hope
117
Identity and Culture from One Village to Another
123
The Enduring Writer
191
In Defense of Ethnicity
201
The Altar of Assimilation
215
One Plus One Does Not Make Two
239
There Is No Proper English
249
Epilogue
253
Sources
255
Bibliography
261
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Claudine Bertrand is the author of more than 20 books of poetry. She won the Prix Femmes de merite 1997, the Medaille d'or du Rayonnement culturel de la Renaissance francaise, and the Prix International de Poesie Tristan Tzara 2000-2001. She lives in Montreal, Quebec. Antonio D'Alfonso is a publisher, translator, and the author of "Un vendredi du mois d'aout," which won the Trillium Award.

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