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See all 2 pre-owned listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information Somewhere between Mussolini's stereotypes of woman as domestic model or degenerate intellectual lies the reality of feminist experience under the Italian Fascist state.

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Eight essays by feminist and Italian scholars explore how women negotiated the Fascist ideology, and the issues of gender identity,. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. Pre-owned Pre-owned.

Racism in the Service of Fascism, Empire-Building and War

No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best Selling in Nonfiction See all. The police rescued her, arresting two of the young men in the course of a few hours. The third killer would never be captured. Well, those were my schoolmates, a year older than me.

Robin Pickering-Iazzi

FP : We never had the Manson Family; this story may have played a similar role in Italian culture, but in so doing it also highlights the differences between our world and the world of America. What story were you trying to tell, by placing it at the center of your book? EA : The Circeo murder case became a watershed, marking a clear point in time, dividing before from after.

That is, what I did know had nothing to do with the murder case, but I knew with my eyes shut and could easily tell the story of the families, the homes, the school, the neighborhood which was, of course, middle class and bourgeois, the same neighborhood that I had grown up in: a peaceful life, a world constructed especially to ensure that nothing dramatic would ever happen. Very permissive! FP : And yet one of the crucial and underlying themes is something else entirely, something that emerges little by little over the course of the novel, namely a deeper reflection on what it means to be male, the authentic nature of maleness, which is both obliged to conform to stereotype and yet recoils from it completely.

EA : Yes, the aspiration to shake off the feminine element as if it were something unnecessary and dangerous, but at the same time, attractive, like a handicap or temptation to be resisted or overcome, or even punished.


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In my agenda as a novelist, I had made absolutely no plans to take on this theme, but it sank its roots into the book in an irresistible fashion. How does a boy develop in an exclusively male setting, in accordance with which models? FP : Sexual segregation winds up convincing itself that it has practically created an independent species.

EA : In exclusively male worlds, amusements, intellectual exchanges, but also emotional ones, friendships, and sex all ran through a milieu and a setting that consisted of only one gender. These gated settings, these exclusive clubs, where there is no mixing and where you are never contaminated by anything different from you, are increasingly rare, in the West, but for that very reason they remain interesting laboratories where a male identity is created and then reinforced with a relentless process of negation.

Fundamentally, in order to be male, it seemed to be enough merely not to be female. At least that was true when I was a boy! For that matter, a few years after I graduated, that school, San Leone Magno, went co-ed: but not out of any ideological reform, merely because there was a decline in enrollment! It would be a very interesting story, and it would demonstrate once again the practical cunning of the Catholic Church, which created a place that, in one sense offered a safe and protected setting meant only for those very women, who, in another sense, that same church was persecuting.

Biography of Benito Mussolini, Fascist Dictator of Italy

EA : Maybe so. FP : Well, those are excessively sexualized situations! The absence of women, meaning the disappearance of the corollary obligation to control yourself, to respect taboos, makes it a possibility to unleash a truly terrible sensuality and Eros. EA : Exactly!

The Steep Rise of Fascism in 90s Italy

They make me uncomfortable. And the mothers who came to drop off and later pick up their sons from a school that they, as women, would never be able to attend. EA : The answer, on a general level, is this: a writer must be willing, when necessary, to take a certain amount of punishment. Turning to the specifics of my novel, in Italy it met with a surprising but, if you stop to think clearly about it, at the same time, obvious response: the most clear-minded and heartfelt readings came from women, and in particular from the variegated feminist universe, and in certain cases from women who, given their generation, had fought at a very young age and in person the battles that were waged as a direct result of the Circeo murder case and the sensational trial that ensued.

The surprise and the enthusiasm were due to that exact aspect: finally, there was a man who in a brazen manner told the story of male misdeeds, but without claiming to be on the side of the angels, without carefully sparing his own soul in the narrative by stating: the ones who raped and murdered were monsters and I have nothing in common with them.

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And you tend to indulge in two-bit, mediocre moralizing. To me this was not just a moral issue, but also one of literary depth and subtlety: it was neither possible nor plausible that the narrator of stories of male violence should claim to have had no part in it all. Not the deeds, but the settings, you see. A world of dangerous similarities, in other words, not of saving differences. EA : And that puts you at risk. My book has the tone and the radical openness of a confession, the way that novelistic narratives sometimes do.