Flaminia Gallo and Birgit Hanny
Italy: progress behind complexity
Introduction: integration as a stabilising factor
Since the beginning of the European integration process the Italian
membership of the Community seems to have been perceived by masses
and elites as a kind of higher political good – scholars even speak of the
Union as a ‘collective myth’ for Italian society.1 Besides the deficits in the
country’s day-to-day performance in EC policies – e.g. in the implementation of EC law – Italian society has broadly
The Enlightenment and religion
Italy: Roman ‘tyranny’ and
radical Catholic opposition
This final case study provides another different context of the
Enlightenment. The experience of Catholic dissidents in the Italian
peninsular provides some similarities with the struggles in France,
but the very different politico-religious context of the Italian peninsular means that differences tend to outweigh similarities. Differences aside, the point of this chapter is again to illustrate that broad
politico-religious struggle – rather than the actions of the
The introduction to this collection of essays consists of a brief outline of the place of Italy and Italians in British culture as well as a summary of the topics addressed by the contributors. The Gothic novel engages with some of the commonplace assumptions associated with Italy since Shakespeare‘s time. The essays in this collection examine how Italy became a complex geographical and cultural entity based on the unprecedented historical and cultural context in which Gothic writers lived.
Critics of the Gothic have typically stated that ancient, foreign, Catholic, Italy was generally an obvious choice as the site of early Gothic ‘otherness’. I argue that Walpole‘s choice of Italy was in fact overdetermined by his experiences there from 1739–41. In Italy, Walpole learned various strategies for disguising a self implicitly unacceptable in England. Italy was notorious for its homoerotic subcultures. Its Carnevale institutionalised the masquerade, and Italian opera performed the notion that gender is a performance. Upon his return to England, Walpole constructed Strawberry Hill, his most extravagant and elaborate masquerade. Years later, when the dream of his grand staircase impelled, The Castle of Otranto, another disguise was expressed. According to Otranto, Strawberry Hill was the unconscious embodiment of the English cultural prohibitions imposed upon him; the first Gothic novel is also the first closet.
Anglophobia in Fascist Italy traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia from the Great War and through the subsequent peace treaties and its development during the twenty years of Mussolini’s regime. Initially, Britain was seen by many Italians as a ‘false friend’ who was also the main obstacle to Italy’s foreign policy aspirations, a view embraced by Mussolini and his movement. While at times dormant, this Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. The peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. From the mid-1920s, the regime’s intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilisation of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the ‘problem of labour’, and Fascism framed as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased after the Great Depression. The consequence of this was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. An analysis of popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War, in both occupied and liberated Italy.
Italian Narratives and the Late Romantic Metrical Tale
This essay addresses Gothic constructions of Italy by reconsidering Romantic-period literary works that capitalised on stereotypes of the country as a land ridden with violence, vice and dangers. If Gothic discourse ‘pre-scribed’ Italy as a country of terrifying events, Gothic writings also reworked an Italy that was already ‘pre-scribed’ according to hostile notions within a stratified geo-cultural archive dating back at least to the Renaissance. This combination of disparaging images was not created exclusively on the basis of British anti-Catholic feelings and other cultural hostility. Often it originated from Italian documentary sources and, particularly Italian literature, itself the object of increasing scrutiny in the Romantic period. This essay examines the Gothic construction and uses of Italy in verse tales published in the later Romantic period and inspired by Dante‘s Divina Commedia and Boccaccio‘s Decameron, among them Edward Wilmot‘s Ugolino; or, the Tower of Famine, Felicia Hemans‘s ‘The Maremma’, William Herbert‘s Pia della Pietra, John Keats‘s Isabella and Barry Cornwall‘s A Sicilian Story. These narrative poems employ Italy as an archive of Gothic plots, atmospheres and situations, making plain its double status: that of a fictitious, approximative set of geo-cultural notions, as well as that of a repertoire of fictional materials.
This book is a collection of essays on the author's journeys taken during the past fifteen years. They are journeys in time and of memory about a country that no longer exists: the Italy of Roberto Rossellini's Paisà, torn by war and sometimes in conflict with the American 'liberators'. The essays concentrate on the structure and forms of the films they discuss; a confrontation of cultures, the Italy of Luchino Visconti, a territory more cultural than physical, subject to transfigurations wrought by a sophisticated intellectual who viewed the world through the lens of his sensibilities. The first three essays focus on discussions and films relating to neorealism. They seek problems and inconsistencies in points of view and prejudices that have become institutionalized in popular accounts of neorealism. The next two essays are dedicated to Visconti's commemorative and antiquarian vein, to the central importance of mise en scène (in the theatrical sense) in his films. The final essay is an attempt to recover an archetypical image in Pasolini's work. The characteristics shared by these essays include a sensitivity and knowledge of the cinema, genuine scholarship, and the ability to see aesthetic resonances to painting, literature, poetry, music. The contrast between darkness and light in Paisà and in Visconti's Vaghe stelle dell'Orsais most incisive and dramatic. They are all traversed by recurrent themes and obsessions: the contrast between darkness and light, night and day.
This article examines the travel writing and fiction of the physician and writer John Moore in conjunction with the work of his younger contemporary Ann Radcliffe. Moore, who had travelled extensively in Italy while accompanying the Duke of Hamilton on his Grand Tour, was dismissive of the standard eighteenth-century stereotypes of Italian culture and society, but he demonstrates, in both his fiction and non-fictional work, the difficulty of entirely evading such conventions. Placing his work in the context of that of the now much better-known Radcliffe helps to illustrate the ways in which the Gothic discourse of Italy helped to shape the reading and writing of literature that was not necessarily conventionally Gothic.
This collection honours and reflects the pioneering scholarship of Graham A. Loud in the field of Norman Italy (southern Italy and Sicily c. 1000–c. 1200). An international group of scholars, edited by Joanna H. Drell and Paul Oldfield, addresses a diverse range of subjects, reassessing and recasting the paradigm by which Norman Italy has been conventionally understood. Norman Italy’s uniqueness has long rested on its geographic location on Latin Europe’s periphery, a circumstance that intermixed Latin Christians with Byzantine Greeks and Muslims and fostered a vibrant multiculturalism. While elements of this characterisation remain valid, continuing scholarly exploration is sparking a rising awareness of cross-pollination between Norman Italy and the wider medieval world in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The collection’s studies underscore that Norman Italy was not just a parochial Norman or Mediterranean entity but also an integral player in the medieval mainstream. This volume consequently endeavours to move the field’s emphasis beyond the frontier and to articulate both Norman Italy’s contribution to broader historical currents and the impact in turn of these currents upon Norman Italy, an instance of reciprocal influence perhaps surpassing the sum of its parts. This focus leads the volume’s scholars to explore many broader realms within which Norman Italy was integrated, including the secular and monastic church, aristocratic networks, the papacy, crusading, urbanisation, Byzantium and Islam.
-serving post-war Prime Minister
of Italy, was charged with paying the under-aged Moroccan Karima El
Mahroug for sex. Berlusconi also faced charges for abuse of office in
that he had arranged to have El Mahroug released from police custody
during an incident in which she was accused of the theft of €3,000.
While the investigators claimed to have evidence based on the lawful
interception of mobile phone calls