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Description de l’éditeur

Lucienne Kroha, in "Exile in Giorgio Bassani's Work," analyzes the exile motif as it figures in three first-person novels in which the same protagonist/narrator tells the story of his experiences as a Jew in pre-war Fascist Italy. The story of his coming-to-grips as an exile in his own country after the implementation of the Race Laws of 1938 becomes a sort of Bildungsroman, in which both the mirage of integration and the "ghetto mentality" are likened to the comforting maternal cocoon of pre-oedipal narcissism. On the other hand, the reality of Jewish life under Emancipation is described as demanding the mature, manly acceptance of exile or oedipal difference. The gendered elaboration of the exile motif reflects doubts about Jewish manliness rampant in post-Darwinian pseudo-scientific discourses of Jewish identity. Perhaps the best characterization of the exile motif by Giorgio Bassani in his masterful first-person trilogy (subsequently included in the collection entitled Il romanzo di Ferrara) is to be found in the first novel, Gli occhiali d'oro. (1) The narrator is recalling his return to Ferrara from Riccione, after the summer holidays and just before the passage of the 1938 Race Laws which were to strip the Jews of Italy of their civil rights almost overnight. (2) Not surprisingly, the much-anticipated "rientro" turns out to be as painful as the days spent on the beach, during which the campaign against the Jews in the Italian press had reached a frenzied peak. Ferrara is no longer the protective cocoon it had once been, and the young protagonist is no longer at home in it. The Fascist Gino Cariati and his cohorts now glare at him regularly from the tables in front of the Caffe della Borsa, while his best friend Nino Bottecchiari is contemplating joining the Fascist party for career reasons and appears totally indifferent to his plight, failing to make even the slightest mention of any sadness at the recent turn of events:

Professionnel et technique
1 janvier
Annali d'Italianistica, Inc.

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