By Maria Truglio
This booklet bridges the fields of Children’s Literature and Italian stories by way of reading how turn-of-the-century children’s books solid a unified nationwide identification for the recent Italian nation. via contextualized shut readings of quite a lot of texts, Truglio exhibits how the 19th-century idea of recapitulation, which held that ontogeny (the individual’s improvement) repeats phylogeny (the evolution of the species), underlies the innovations of this corpus. Italian fairy stories, novels, poems, and brief tales indicate that the non-public improvement of the kid corresponds to and for that reason naturalizes the modernizing improvement of the country. within the context of Italy’s asymmetric and ambivalent modernization, those narrative trajectories are enabled via a developmental melancholia. utilizing a psychoanalytic lens, and in discussion with contemporary Anglophone Children’s Literature feedback, this learn proposes that nationwide identification used to be developed through a strategy of renouncing and incorporating paternal and maternal figures, rendered as obligatory steps into adulthood and modernity. With chapters at the heroic determine of Garibaldi, the Orientalized depiction of the South, and the function of ladies in formation narratives, this e-book discloses how melancholic itineraries produced gendered nationwide topics. This examine engages either recognized Italian texts, reminiscent of Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio and De Amicis’ Heart, and books that experience fallen into obscurity by means of authors reminiscent of Baccini, Treves, Gianelli, and Nuccio. Its procedure and corpus make clear questions being tested by way of Italianists, Children’s Literature students, and social and cultural historians with an curiosity in nationwide id formation.
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