Public History, Private Stories: Italian Women's Autobiography

Overview

In this important volume, Graziella Parati examines the ways in which Italian women writers articulate their identities through autobiography - a public act that is also the creation of a private life. Considering autobiographical writings by five women writers from the seventeenth century to the present, Parati draws important connections between self-writing and the debate over women's roles, both traditional and transgressive. Parati considers the first prose autobiography written by an Italian woman - Camilla...
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Overview

In this important volume, Graziella Parati examines the ways in which Italian women writers articulate their identities through autobiography - a public act that is also the creation of a private life. Considering autobiographical writings by five women writers from the seventeenth century to the present, Parati draws important connections between self-writing and the debate over women's roles, both traditional and transgressive. Parati considers the first prose autobiography written by an Italian woman - Camilla Faa Gonzaga's 1622 memoir - as her beginning point, citing it as a central "pre-text." Parati then examines the autobiographies of Enif Robert, Fausta Cialente, Rita Levi Montalcini, and Luisa Passerini. Through her discussion of these women's writings, she demonstrates the complex negotiations over identity contained within them, negotiations that challenge dichotomies between male and female, maternal and paternal, and private and public. Public History, Private Stories is a compelling exploration of the disparate identities created by these women through the act of writing autobiography.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816626076
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Camilla Faa Gonzaga: Public and Private in a Woman's Autobiography 28
2 Speaking through Her Body: The Futurist Seduction of a Woman's Voice 44
3 From Genealogy to Gynealogy and Beyond: Fausta Cialente's Le quattro ragazze Wieselberger 72
4 Rita Levi Montalcini's Perfect Imperfection: A Woman's Role in the Public Sphere 97
5 Luisa Passerini's Autoritratto di gruppo: Personalizing Theory 124
Conclusion: Beyond Gynealogical Techniques: Writing Private History and Public Stories 152
Notes 159
Index 189
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