A City in Search of an Author : The Literary Identity of by Katia Pizzi

By Katia Pizzi

Poised among the Mediterranean and the Mitteleuropa, crossroads of civilizations and seat of vivid cultural and literary existence, Trieste is now stated as having fun with unrivalled cultural prestige among Italian towns. This quantity, the 1st complete learn of Triestine literature in English, initially reassesses Trieste+?s literary id, paying specific realization to the interval among 1918 and 1954 while neighborhood writing grew to become intensely conscious of its neighborhood specificity and a few of its imperative motifs got here prominently to the fore. Trieste+?s singular border identification, reflected in a variegated literary output, emerges right here as encumbered with complexities and ambiguities, resembling the debatable inspiration of triestinita, the ambiguous relation with nationalism, particularly in its Fascist inflection, and the anxieties generated by means of repeated re-definitions of the area+?s old borders.

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Extra resources for A City in Search of an Author : The Literary Identity of Trieste

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Invention of Tradition, p. 4: 1. 34 At one and the same time conjurers and victims of this tradition, Triestine authors experience their city as an alluring landscape of the mind, a privileged theatre for the enactment of their own autobiographies. As discussed above, in providing the foundation stone for the formation of a critical discourse on Triestine literature, the 'myth of Trieste' proved to be inescapable for local authors. 35 This latter aspect in particular determined the success of this 'myth' in the 1930s, when a reactionary officialdom that had claimed the monopoly on pre-war patriotic and nationalistic discourses was able to respond quite naturally to a nostalgic search for an all-Italian Trieste d'antan.

In reality, however, despite La Voce's calls for a modernization and internationalization of literary culture, the force at play here was the pre-eminent toscanita of the vociani that triggered an equally powerful idea of local loyalty and singularity in the Triestines. Paradoxically, the deep influx of an insular 'toscanita vociana' undermined the integration with Italy sought by those Triestine intellectuals. As Giani Stuparich commented, recalling Slataper's late-night Florentine readings of excerpts from // mio carso, 'era proprio la scoperta 19.

9 For instance, Saba's severe and unloving mother is nothing if not Italy itself, guilty of betraying day after day the loyalty of her loving child (Trieste) and of generating, in Enzo Bettiza's words, a typical Triestine 'nevrosi del tradimento'. In Giani Stuparich's writing, mothers are pro-Italian nationalists and so formidable as to surpass their sons in the exercise of patriotism. In the poetry of Lina Galli, Trieste is first identified with the Good Mother, but in view of the loss of much of the border area of Istria, Galli later views Trieste as a Bad Mother.

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