Exile, migration, and borders in contemporary Italian literature / Riccardo Chiaruttini.
My dissertation focuses on exile, migration, and borders in the works of modern and contemporary authors, the majority of whom lived in the Northeastern Italy, and active from the beginning of the last century to the present, a period of time during which many historical and sociological changes occurred in Europe. Although these authors were not professional historians, the witnesses of these men are extremely valuable in shedding light on many historical events which are not well documented or well understood. More than other Italian regions, the Northeast, and Trieste in particular, are home to several authors of exile since these lands have been affected by continuous changes to their borders and by significant human migrations. My thesis focuses on these writers and their literary production, concentrating on a period from the early 20 th century to the present.After a general introduction to the field of exile studies, my dissertation is divided into four chapters. Though the writers I analyze have witnessed exile in different ways, their works are linked by a common theme: the experience of exile and the will to leave proof of what they have undergone. Considered in this perspective, the prose works of Scipio Slataper, summarized in his best-known novel Il mio Carso, and the poetry of the young Giuseppe Ungaretti, collected in his Porto sepolto, are deeply significant. Both writers grew up as "Italians" outside of Italy (Slataper in Trieste, which belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Ungaretti in Alexandria of Egypt); and as a result both authors deal with the question of identity.I also consider particular internal borders, those of the soul crossed by authors like Dino Buzzati in his masterpiece novel, Il deserto dei Tartari, or the poetical works of the young Pier Paolo Pasolini, who uses Friulian as a linguistic border vis-à-vis standard Italian.I then focus on Claudio Magris' well-known books such as Danubio and Microcosm,i and I also analyze his lesser known novel Illazioni su una sciabola, in which the author explores how wars can change a territory forever, causing mass migration or genocide. The writer's witness sheds light on the dream of a Kosakkenland in Northeastern Italy among the Cossacks faithful to Adolf Hitler. I consider the works of Enzo Bettiza, Il fantasma di Trieste, and Esilio, a unique account of Dalmatia from the Roman Empire to the present. I also study the poetry in dialect of Biagio Marin, a native of the island of Grado, who left a unique portrait of his "paradise lost" of Istria, in his Elegie istriane.In the final chapter I investigate authors who were not born in Italy but who were forced to migrate and elected Italy as their new homeland. The writers I have considered are Edith Bruck and the brothers Giorgio and Nicola Pressburger, who personally experienced the tragedy of the Holocaust and the Hungarian Revolution. In this study I also include the Italian author Paolo Maurensig who, although he did not himself undergo the Nazi's brutality, shares a certain perception of the reality with Bruck and the Pressburgers.All the authors in my research project bear witness to the life of an expatriate, regardless of the geographical, physical or social situation in which they write.
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