Writing internal exile
in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
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The body of literature concerning internal exile is quite vast, but has been largely ignored by both historians and literary critics. This cultural production (i.e., literary fiction, personal correspondence, and memoirs) gives voice to an array of experiences through prisoners’ self-expression. The concern here is not with historical facticity, but rather with representational strategies: how these texts express the internal exile experience. The fictional texts of Cesare Pavese, Giorgio Bassani and Carlo Lucarelli, for example, present complex relationships between self and other. These stories blur distinctions between historical narrative, life writing, and historical convention, much like the memoirs of Emilio Lussu, Carlo Rosselli, and Francesco Fausto Nitti, whose works established the thematic parameters of confinement narratives. Counter-narratives (e.g., Giovanni Ansaldo’s L’antifascista riluttante) emerge as well and evince the contested memory of the experience.

Internal exile in Fascist Italy

History and representations of confino

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