La terre retrouvée ? : ebreo e nazione nel romanzo italiano del Novecento

Abstract : The aim of the thesis is to study the relationship between «Jew» and «nation» in the Italian novel of the twentieth century, departing from a specific historical event: the 1917 Balfour Declaration. This gave the Jews the right to create a «Jewish national home» in Palestine and to gradually become the majority ethnic group. The creation of a State will take thirty years later. A kind of surrender to the principle of the Balfour Declaration will happen in the 1990s through the Oslo agreements. The State of Israel accepts the very idea that in the territory of Mandatory Palestine a Palestinian-Arab state can be establish after the 1948-49 aborted attempt. The opening chapter introduces the theme of the relationship between the Jew and the Italian nation in a historical perspective. Chapter two tells the writers and books on «national integration» between 1920s and 1930s. The central novel is «Jom Hakippurim» by Giuseppe Morpurgo (1924). Chapter three focuses on popular anti-Jewish anti-Semite literature of the 1930s and 1940s (the Fascist age). The roots of anti-Jewish novels are the 19th century feuilletons, where the Jew is the negative character par excellence. Chapter four analyzes the the XXth century Italian Jewish literary avant-garde, that is to say the Jewish writers devoted to the crisis of contemporary subjectivity: Adriano Grego, Giorgio Bassani, Giorgio Voghera, Roberto Antonio and Debenedetti Vigevani. Chapter five focuses on the persecution of Jews and the various forms of novels between the 1940s and 1980s. The literary value is not high, except the cases of «La Storia» by Elsa Morante (1974) and «Se non ora, quando?» by Primo Levi (1982). Chapter six analyzes the figure of the fascist Jew through four novels published in the 1960s and 1980s. All the characters are not intended to survive to the «death of the homeland» of Italian Risorgimento. Chapter Seven considers the figure of the Wandering Jew through its various forms (exotic, Levantine, cosmopolitan). This kind is close to the «anomic Jew», because it deals with the stereotype par excellence: the historical and ontological wandering Jew for religious reasons. Chapter eight focuses on the representation of Israel as a place of worship and policy. The «Christian» genre has not been visited by Jewish writers, who have shown particular interest neither in ancient history of Israel, nor in the life events of Jesus of Nazareth, nor in the new state of Israel. Chapter Nine analyzes the Jewish novels by Alberto Lecco and its tragic realism. Lecco examines the problem of Jewish consciousness through the 19th century great Russian writers and the contemporary Jewish diaspora in North America. The conclusions try to provide comprehensive answers to the various relationships between the Jew and the nation in the XXth century Italian novels. In the absence of an «Italian nation», the novelist imaginary did not propose a «parallel nationalization» or a «Zionist desire»: the Italian Jew is always a Diaspora Jew, «condemned» to his legal status of National minority. The historical, religious, economic and cultural «differences» experienced a difficult coexistence alongside the national mythomoteur. This condition explains why historians have emphasized the problem of national integration, assimilation, acculturation National by Italian Jews, while the novelist imagination was considered a problem of secondary importance.
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Vincenzo Pinto. La terre retrouvée ? : ebreo e nazione nel romanzo italiano del Novecento. Literature. Université de Grenoble, 2012. Italian. ⟨NNT : 2012GRENL006⟩. ⟨tel-00923191⟩

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