Modern Italian Literature

Overview

This authoritative and vividly written book brings readers into the heart of Italian literary culture from the 1690s to the present. It probes the work of major authors in their broad cultural context, traces the history of audiences and publishers, explores the shifting relationship between public and private, assesses the impact of significant historical trends and events on creative processes, and establishes the continuities as well as the discontinuities of the Italian ...
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Overview

This authoritative and vividly written book brings readers into the heart of Italian literary culture from the 1690s to the present. It probes the work of major authors in their broad cultural context, traces the history of audiences and publishers, explores the shifting relationship between public and private, assesses the impact of significant historical trends and events on creative processes, and establishes the continuities as well as the discontinuities of the Italian literary tradition.

A synoptic overview at the beginning of the volume is designed to help the reader get her or his bearings in the detail of the nine chapters which follow. Using an essentially chronological framework, the book is divided into three major cultural time-spans: the 'long' eighteenth century, the decades of national identity formation and the creation of 'modern', industrial Italy between 1816 and 1900, and the twentieth century with its constant renegotiation of national cultural identity. A final epilogue provides a snapshot of Italian literary culture in the near-present. This is a book which will be readily accessible to students and all those interested in Italian culture, and at the same time is based on the most up-to-date scholarship. New readings of the canonical authors rub shoulders with a refreshing attention to 'standard' and popular writing, gender issues, and the interaction between written and oral forms, producing a history of modern Italian literature which is new in its conception and its scope.

About the Author:
Ann Hallamore Caesar is Professor of Italian at the University of Warwick

About the Author:
Michael Caesar is Serena Professor ofItalian at the University of Birmingham

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ann Hallamore Caesar is Professor of Italian at the University of Warwick.

Michael Caesar is Serena Professor of Italian at the University of Birmingham.

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Table of Contents


Preface and acknowledgements     vii
Introduction: an overview of modern Italian literature     1
The Long Eighteenth Century (1690-1815)
Cross-currents of modernity     13
This is Arcadia     13
New states, new thinkers     21
Enlightenment and the public arena     28
Journalism, theatre and the book trade in Venice     28
Enlightenment and reform from Naples to Milan     34
Literature and revolution     45
Italy and France     45
Alfieri: life and drama     51
Foscolo: between classicism and romanticism     58
Literature and Unification (1816-1900)
Romantic Italy     67
Milan 1816     67
Florence 1827     72
Leopardi: the challenge of poetry     77
Writing the nation     87
Manzoni: the responsibility of the writer     87
History and fiction     92
Literature and the people     99
Memory, monuments and the national past     106
Making the nation     113
The literary culture of Unification     113
The artist as observer: verismo and the social     119
Domesticity and the literary market     124
From Modernism to the Market (1900 to the Present)
Modernism and the crisis of the literary subject     135
The search for identity     135
War, technology and the arts     143
Narratives of selfhood: the subjective turn in fiction     150
Literature, Fascism and anti-Fascism     159
Writing and the regime     159
The social condition of intellectuals     165
Testing the limits of the novel     170
Resistance, Reconstruction and neo-realism     180
From the avant-garde to the market-place     188
The last avant-garde?     188
The widening of culture     195
A minimalist postmodernism: the poetics of attention     202
Epilogue: a weekend in April     209
References     215
Further reading     220
Index     223
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