Faculty and Graduate Student Colloquium
Thu, October 14, 2010 • 4:00 PM • HRH 2.118 French and Italian Lounge
Associate Prof, Guy Raffa-Dante's Bellicose Bones
This talk, part of a book-project on "Dante's Bones and the Idea of Italy," focuses on how events surrounding the poet's tomb and mortal remains have been used to fashion him into a proponent of Italian nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A broad range of cultural activities and objects—including monuments, student protests, political rallies, stamps, postcards, and a battleship—illuminate Dante's evolution from the prophet of Italy's national movement and its claim on occupied ("unredeemed") territories to the spokesman for Italy's intervention in World War I and its capitulation to Mussolini's fascist belligerence soon after the poet's bones were exhumed and examined in 1921.
Graduuate Student Lynn Abell-Pavese in Exile: Foundations of Solitude and Otherness in Il carcere"
In August of 1935, after spending several months in the prisons of Turin and Rome, Cesare Pavese was exiled by fascist authorities to Brancaleone. This deportation not only provided the author with his first real encounter with the mezzogiorno but also had a profound effect on his literary aesthetic, manifest in his first successful attempt at long prose, Il carcere. This novella develops themes that would come to dominate Pavese’s later work: insurmountable solitude and the failure of communication. Specifically, the protagonist’s encounter with ‘otherness’ in Southern Italy leads him to isolate himself from society. Through his various misunderstandings with locals, Stefano figuratively rebuilds the walls of his old prison cell and resigns himself to a solitary life devoid of meaningful interaction.