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Parati, G. London: Associated University Presses. Pollock, G.

About this book

Studies in the Maternal , 1 1 , pp. Parallax , 15 1 , pp. Russell, B. On Denoting. Mind, 14 56, October , pp. Republished in , Mind, , pp. The philosophy of Logical Atomism. Winnicott, D. Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena. Playing and Reality. Dacia Maraini has created a body of work that questions the mechanisms of oppression and manipulation at play within the economy of a heterosexual regime. Following this line of enquiry, in this article I will be looking at the question of female sexuality as tackled in three works by Dacia Maraini: Donna in Guerra , Storia di Piera and Lettere a Marina I shall posit that, although at odds with the gender roles patriarchal society would expect them to fulfil, the female characters portrayed in these texts do not seem willing to embrace an exclusive sexuality either.

An acute observer of and an active participant in Italian reality, Dacia Maraini has created a body of work that gives an insightful account of the plight of women through different epochs. Namely, they are gender scripts which, being passed down from generation to generation, women are called to constantly re-enact.

Ever since the publication, in , of her influential Gender Trouble , issues of gender, sexuality and performance have always been central in the work of Butler, whose main goal is the destabilisation of the traditional notion of the subject, aimed at exposing its performative nature. Following this line of enquiry, in this article I will be looking at the question of female sexuality in three works by Dacia Maraini written between the mids and the beginning of the following decade: Donna in guerra , Storia di Piera and Lettere a Marina My analysis will highlight the subversion of the socially prescribed gender roles allotted to women within a male-defined perspective.

Wittig starts from the assumption that lesbians are not women. In order to be a woman, in her view, one ought to have a relationship of dependence with men. Thus, the category of women as we understand it is but a product of the straight heterosexual mind Wittig, In this sentence, the ontological roots of gender identity are called into question.

Similarly, in the works which constitute the object of the present study, normative gendered codes are subverted and disrupted; after all, the deconstruction of heterosexual hegemony is for Maraini first and foremost a political strategy, a tool to which she resorts in order to extricate her female characters from a rigid patriarchal frame.

Current criticism on the novels under consideration has focussed primarily on the theme of female identity, most notably in the analysis of Donna in guerra, Tamburry, ; Cavallaro, , or the mother-daughter bond Dagnino, , a bond that has also been read as transcending biological motherhood thus proving to be instrumental in the carving out of a space, for women, within patriarchy Picchietti, Not a great deal of criticism has been produced that scrutinises the treatment of gender relations in Maraini.

I shall do so by engaging in an exploration of the sexualities as depicted in her texts in order to assess their potential for subverting the heterosexual norms of patriarchy. In her relationship with Giacinto, the two characters re-enact, emblematically, the archetypal wife-husband hierarchy.

Drawing on Derrida, Butler advocates deconstruction as a tool for recognising the mechanisms of exclusion of the phallocentric system that lead to how the female subject is constructed as such. Vannina is what the system expects her to be. Ho lavato i piatti. Ho sgrassato le pentole. It is only thanks to the bond that she develops with emblematic female figures, that the protagonist can reconnect to a female experience and find the strength to embark on the road towards self-awareness. With the island laundress Giottina and her friend Tota, Vannina replays the mother-daughter bond.

With a taste for gossip and scabrous stories, the two matrons return Vannina back to the pre-symbolic semiotic sphere. And indeed, the erotically charged language that Tota and Giottina create, at times seems to be a non-language. Dense with symbolism, it both attracts and repels Vannina who, through these symbolic mothers, is nevertheless initiated into female complicity. For Wittig there is no such thing as being a woman, or a man, as the category of sex has been created as a consequence of patriarchal oppression and has then become an alibi for social, economic, psychological differences between two artificially constituted sexes.

Eventually, the two women will find themselves in love with each other. It may be hard to resist the temptation of seeing in Suna the image of the advocate feminist. She is an active member of a Marxist movement, on whose behalf she conducts a survey of the exploitation of female workers in the South of Italy and it is she who awakens Vannina from her state of passivity and subservience to her husband. And yet, upon closer examination, some inconsistencies in her character will soon come to the fore.

The reader will discover that she is no less dependent on her father than Vannina is on Giacinto, although for different reasons. This is a position with which Butler herself concurs, at least inasmuch as the performative character of the same is concerned Kirby, , p. Not only does Vannina disentangle herself from a patriarchal net of expectations and impositions, but also, on more than one occasion, she herself displays a sexuality that goes against sexual norms.

Undoubtedly the most emblematic character in the novel, the latter epitomises non-conformity to the Law of the Symbolic order, the primordial forces of nature against culture, against patriarchal society and the influence it exerts upon women. As the Greek myth goes, when her daughter Persephone is abducted and taken to the underworld, Demeter, upon whom the fruitfulness of the earth depends, renounces her divine functions to look for her, thus bringing about winter.

Even more relevant to our analysis is the revision of the myth by Italian philosopher of sexual difference Adriana Cavarero in her ground-breaking work In Spite of Plato Marginalisation and electroshock therapy is the exacted price for subverting the norm. At times verging on incestuous drives towards both parents by her own admission she shares with the mother the same sexual partners out of a wish to possess her through their bodies , she is obsessed with the male organ and fantasizes having it.

Lacking female support, her subversive nature cannot lead her beyond a mere critique deconstruction of patriarchal ideology. Her cry against non-conformity will thus remain unheard and she will spend her last days in the seclusion of a mental hospital—her punishment for defying the Symbolic order. And it is perhaps no coincidence that both characters who subvert patriarchal sexual norms are made to die by Maraini. However, I would like to advance an interpretation of the novels that refutes a negative reading of the same, as if, to borrow Itala T.

It will thus serve the function of introducing the last of the three novels under discussion. If the universal is masculine, and heterosexual, then it follows that Bianca as woman, and a lesbian, is marked off by the system twice over. Indeed, it might be seen as a device used by women to free themselves from the constraints of a society modelled on a master father, husband, son? Bianca is constantly reminded of the need to escape a binary system and the imposition of rigid sexual categories. Non capisco bene cosa vuol dire sola senza figli sola senza marito sola senza madri padre sorelle?

She is not—as Butler would have it—socially intelligible. Bodies generate and, if we agree with Foucault, are generated by power relations, which, in turn, translate into incarnated binary constructs. Interestingly though and in line with the above, not only is the protagonist of the novel at odds with the gender roles patriarchal society would expect her to fulfil, but she seems equally unwilling to embrace a monolithic homosexuality. On the other hand, it is also true that the coexistence of lesbianism and bisexuality in the text remains far from unproblematic.

The implications of such a predicament are not difficult to foresee. Indeed, one is here faced with the paradox that the rejection of compulsory heterosexuality is carried out through the perpetuation of the very same binary structure which lies at its foundations. But this does not mean privileging the feminine side of the debate either, as it would be but a repetition of the hierarchy—however reversed. In other words, the point is not displacing a dominant discourse which we have said is recognised as marked as masculine with its feminine counterpart.

Indeed, to say that women love men, and cannot love women, is the same as to say that women love women, and cannot love men. It is only the terms of the equation that change, not the effect. This also raises a point on the ambiguity which lies in the use of language and the limitations intrinsic to language itself—namely, its undecidability. And is it not perhaps significant that, at odds as he is with the logocentrism of the Western world, Derrida has chosen dance—that it to say, a non-verbal form of art—for his metaphor? Following on from this premise, it would be too tempting to deduce that the novel ends in a reaffirmation of heterosexuality, a view taken by Beverly Ballaro , p.

If it is true that Bianca, having given up on Marina, starts a relationship with the barman Damiano, it is also true that, towards the end of the novel, she feels an impulse to kiss his stepmother who is also his lover. This reading finds further endorsement in a dream scene. Bianca is lying in bed and falls asleep; she starts dreaming about Damiano but soon after, between their bodies, an unidentified female figure makes an appearance, and Bianca finds herself fantasising about this unexpected presence.

By renouncing an arbitrary resolution of the sexuality of her female protagonist, then, Maraini seems to be warning the readers against the relativity of culturally determined gender roles, reminding them instead of the infinite spectrum of permutations gender might take. The very last scene would reinforce this interpretation.

I would now like to briefly call for a comparison between the three works on the theme of female solidarity. From Julia Kristeva to Luce Irigaray to Luisa Muraro not to forget American poet and essayist Adrienne Rich , feminists have focussed on revising the role of the maternal and the recuperation of a maternal symbolic order.

Bianca finds in Basilia that tenderness that Marina seems incapable to provide her, being obsessed as she is with the wish to possess her lover. And through this nurturing lovingness Bianca has also re discovered a bond with the figure of her mother. Because motherhood, as we perceive it in the text, not only transcends biological constraints, it also reaches out to women across generations. Bianca, seen as a more mature, self-conscious version of Vannina, shows us that patriarchal libidinal economy has to be challenged from within the system.

Indeed, Donna in guerra recounts the process of the consciousness-raising of the protagonist and concludes with her embarking on a journey towards self-awareness of whose outcome, however, we are given no account.

Table of contents

In the same way as Vannina with the female figures she encounters along her path, Bianca proves to be receptive to the offer of allegiance from her mentor Basilia, an allegiance which she uses as a Trojan horse to oppose a phallocentric system that wants to silence her, her condition being represented, on a metaphorical level, by her inability to finish the novel she is working on as a professional writer.

Thus, unlike the mother in Storia di Piera , silenced by a phallocratic system which does not recognise her, she is able to find her own voice again, metaphorically, resuming her own story. As such, the suggestive formulation of the choreography of gender which opened this article becomes the key to the reading of the sexual identities portrayed in the three novels.

Gender—seen as a dance—is reminiscent of a Derridean process which reminds us of the infinite spectrum of permutations it might take. This might not provide feminism with a final answer on how to move from resistance into action, it is just the first step of the political programme which is called into question, but is a step nonetheless. It exposes a logic of exclusion and calls for the construction of alternative spaces.

It suggests that neither biology nor social constructs can define such a thing as the female sexed body. In Bodies that Matter , Butler questions the mutual exclusivity of heterosexuality and homosexuality Butler, By staging non-normative sexualities, Maraini provides, through her characters, a call for the understanding of gender roles as a product of rigid mechanisms of power which result in patterns of behaviour that, consolidated through time, translate into the political, social and cultural supremacy of the male over the female gender.

Ballaro, B. In: L. Benedetti, J. Hairston and S. Ross, eds. New York: Peter Lang. Bellezza, D. Questo libro sulla memoria di una donna, Paese Sera , April 22 nd [online]. Bonanate, M. Se la donna ama una donna, Gazzetta del Popolo , April 18 th [online]. Bongarzoni, O.

Theatre Journal , 40 4 , pp. Bodies that Matter. Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. Cavallaro, D. Cavarero, A. Cavarero trans. Cambridge UK: Polity Press. Towards a Theory of Sexual Difference. In: The Lonely Mirror. Kemp and P. Bono, eds. London and New York, Routledge.

Dagnino, P. Cicioni, N. Prunster, eds. Providence: Berg. Revolution in the Laundry. In: R. Diaconescu-Blumenfeld, A. Testaferri, eds.


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Derrida, J. Diacritics , 12 2 , pp. The Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman Young-Bruel, ed. Freud on Women. London: Vintage. Gabriele, T. Sexes and Genealogies. Gill Trans. New York: Columbia University Press. Kirby, V. Judith Butler Live Theory. London and New York: Continuum.

Lazzaro-Weis, C. Italica, 65 4 , pp. Maraini, D. Donna in guerra. Lettere a Marina. Storia di Piera. Marks, E. Rome: Editori Riuniti. Picchietti, A. Rich, A. New York: W W Norton. Ruffili, P. Tre Domande a Dacia Maraini. Il Resto del Carlino , November 18 th [online]. Rutter, I.

Seger, M. A Conversation with Dacia Maraini. World Literature Today , 85 4 pp. Tamburri, A. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. Wittig, M. The Straight Mind and Other Essays. Boston: Beacon Press. See for example her Campiello prize winner novel La lunga vita di Marianna Ucria which, following the life of a mute duchess living in the eighteenth century the inspiration for the character came to Maraini from a portrait of an aristocratic Sicilian ancestor of hers, Duchess Marianna Alliata Valguarnera , can be read as a timeless narration of the silencing of women in patriarchy.

Since the main suspect was a member of the army and he accused the socialists of manipulating the news, the case soon acquired political implications. This and all subsequent translations are my own Maraini, a, p. I did the dishes. I scoured the saucepans. Although their bond never acquires openly homosexual connotations, it nevertheless goes beyond fatherly love, acquiring instead, I would contend, a queer twinge. A bond of symbolic motherhood-sisterhood, which transcends the biological sphere, is thus established.

For a more detailed exploration of the polysemy of the word, see Introduction 3 by the editors of the volume in New French Feminisms: An Anthology , eds. I do not quite understand what it means alone without children alone without husband alone without mothers fathers sisters? Malerba narra le vicende di Ulisse una volta approdato a Itaca, travestito da mendicante, dopo la permanenza nel regno dei Feaci.

La risposta viene dal mare:. Malerba, , pp. Dopo il riconoscimento, il lieto fine. Nel , nove anni prima della pubblicazione di Itaca per sempre , Maria Corti scrive in Autografo , p. Lo conferma anche Rocco Capozzi, che nella sua recensione a Itaca per sempre scrive:. Si pensi ad alcuni dei suoi romanzi quali Il serpente , Salto mortale , e Il protagonista Capozzi, , pp. Ad esempio, quando Telemaco invita Ulisse a indossare i suoi vecchi abiti, il lettore legge due volte lo stesso episodio, prima dal punto di vista di Ulisse:.

Ho cercato di nascondere sotto il manto di porpora la tunica troppo stretta e mi sono presentato timidamente a Penelope. Nel racconto si perviene al riconoscimento di una sfasatura che impedisce la pacifica corrispondenza delle cose nei nomi. Quando visito le grotte dove si fa e si conserva il vino, i contadini vogliono ogni volta farmi assaggiare il mosto, che non mi piace, e ogni volta io devo incoraggiarli e fare i miei complimenti per il frutto delle loro fatiche come farebbe Ulisse. I contadini sono felici di queste visite e poi ne parlano fra loro per lunghi giorni.

Sono la loro regina e non posso rimanere perennemente rinchiusa nelle mie stanze, devo farmi vedere dai miei sudditi, scambiare qualche parola con loro, offrire dei piccoli doni. Itaca per sempre fa la sua comparsa nel Ma Penelope disfa di notte quello che ha tessuto di giorno, rendendo il tempo intoccabile dagli eventi e la sua stanza mondo impenetrabile dove la donna radica e custodisce la propria appartenenza Cavarero, , pp.

Penelope ha fatto esattamente il contrario. Gli Itacensi e il mito non le rendono una giusta testimonianza. Non mi ha forse ripetutamente tradito durante i suoi viaggi? Chi ha stabilito che una donna debba soffrire e perdonare? Malerba, , p. Capozzi R. Itaca per sempre.

Rivista di studi italiani , XV 2 , pp. Cavarero A. Nonostante Platone: figure femminili nella filosofia antica. Roma: Editori Riuniti, pp. Corti M. Luigi Malerba: una scommessa con il reale. Autografo , 13, pp. Farnetti M. Borghi and Treder U. Perugia: Morlacchi, pp. Guardiani F. Rivista di studi italiani , XV 1 , pp. Heitman R. Taking her seriously. Michigan: University Press, pp. Malerba L. Un fantasma di nome Andrea. Allegoria , 7, pp. Mauri P. Repubblica , 20 Mar. More Details Original Title. Commissario De Luca 3. Premio Scerbanenco Other Editions 7.

Essential Bibliography of -Revival of Fascism:"The Unico"-

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  6. Aug 22, Gauss74 rated it really liked it Shelves: sellerio. Sono le elezioni delle menzogne, del voto di scambio con la mafia, delle vendette partigiane; sono le elezioni del recupero della Nomenklatura fascista nella democrazia cristiana, di eccidi e violenze lasciati impuntiti in nome della ragion di stato, del ricatto morale della chiesa cattolica. In una democrazia ideale non ci dovrebbero essere dubbi: se la polizia scopre il colpevole di un reato penale, questo ultimo va punito secondo la legge chiunque esso sia; ma nella storia le democrazie ideali non esistono.

    Un paese distrutto dalla guerra, colonizzato da eserciti stranieri, con milioni di persone a rischio della morte per fame ha disperatamente bisogno di una classe dirigente e di una struttura di governo, e volenti o nolenti ce n'era soltanto una a disposizione in quegli anni: la cooptazione dei quadri del PNF e della RSI nella nuova amministrazione democratica era dunque un male necessario?

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    Libere elezioni in un momento in cui il mondo si stava spaccando in due ed il nostro paese era ancora invaso dagli eserciti di una delle due fazioni davvero sono state possibili? Come mai in Italia i politici porci, maiali, puttanieri sono sempre di destra? Difficile a dirsi, in ogni caso viva Bartali. Jan 09, charta rated it it was amazing Shelves: europa , narrativa , giallo-noir.

    Via delle Oche 5 persone lo trovano di aiuto Chi nasce quatro More quadrato, recita un detto antico. Nel brevissimo intervallo in cui si ambientano i fatti narrati si delinea a tutto tondo, ed evitando accuratamente i dettagli grande Lucarelli la figura del commissario De Luca. Ciononostante magnifico. Il Lucarelli migliore. Jan 27, Procyon Lotor rated it it was amazing Shelves: gialli-noir-thriller.

    View 2 comments. As soon as we walk in through the door we're thrown straight into the action, not even time for an expresso - this is a vibrant city after all. A man has been found dead in a brothel. It looks like suicide - it isn't, but that's an inconvenient truth More deaths follow. The pace varies. Sometimes leisurely as we stroll, other times we seem to be hanging around, waiting in dark cool hallways Ye As soon as we walk in through the door we're thrown straight into the action, not even time for an expresso - this is a vibrant city after all.

    Yet whatever the pace you feel as if you're wading through treacle. Frustration pervades the atmosphere. Corruption and politics at a time when everything is in flux; the war is over and Italy is on the brink of revolution. Everything is up in the air. De Luca acts as a calming force throughout. He is an island of integrity in a sea of intrigue, arrogance and manipulation.

    He knows what he's doing, he's no political appointment This series, the De Luca trilogy, is masterful. It is superbly written and the translator, Michael Reynolds deserves high praise for making Carlo Lucarelli's wonderful prose available to us.

    11 Punishing the Fascists: An Intense Debate During the Italian Civil War

    My one criticism, the one disappointment, is that some simple grammatical and spelling errors have crept into this final part of this edition; irritating and distracting. But the series - read this trilogy. It is superb! Jan 08, Erica rated it liked it. Un'indagine poliziesca che riporta il lettore indietro nella storia, in un'Italia appena uscita dalla guerra, con il suo passato ancora da digerire.

    Interessante il ritmo scandito da titoli di giornale, come se la lettura fosse accompagnata da uno strillone pronto ad accoglierti all'angolo di ogni capitolo. La lettura in de Un'indagine poliziesca che riporta il lettore indietro nella storia, in un'Italia appena uscita dalla guerra, con il suo passato ancora da digerire. May 27, byAx rated it liked it Shelves: giallo. Casino Politico Altra indagine per il commissario De Luca, ora alla buoncostume, alle prese con un presunto suicidio in quella via di Bologna famosa, prima della Legge Merlin, per i suoi Casini.

    Il romanzo, la cui cadenza viene scandita dalle prime testate dei giornali di allora, il '48, attraverso le Case Chiuse apre una finestra sugli umori di un paese alle prese con le elezioni politiche. Un altro spaccato di un'Italia che fu. Jul 01, Donald Schopflocher rated it really liked it. The concluding book in the De Luca trilogy is the best. In heavily ironic commentary on guilt and innocence in immediate post war Italy, Lucarelli captures the chaos of adjustment, the stasis of corruption, the indignity of murder, and one policeman's dedication to his profession no matter the cost. De Luca's survived the resistance, now in Via delle Oche, he faces the communists.

    Will his torments never end? Will he never be left in peace to do what he does best? Here he faces ultimate corruption, exquisite beauty and complete decadence, and the brothels. Jan 08, Mauro Artigiani rated it really liked it Shelves: giallo-nero , italia , libriblu. Non si tratta neanche del fatto che gli piaccia indagare e risolvere i crimini. In quel libro gli ultimi giorni della RSI si mescolavano con un torbido caso che De Luca risolveva nonostante le pressioni per distogliere lo sguardo. Vale la pena di sottolineare come il libro fosse un prodotto secondario della tesi di laurea di Lucarelli sulla polizia fascista.

    Indagini che sono aiutate od ostacolate dalle varie componenti della Questura, dai democristiani e dai comunisti, che entrambi vogliono usarle per i propri fini elettorali. Di recente Lucarelli ha pubblicato altri due libri sul commissario, ancora per i tipi dello Struzzo, uno ambientato molto dopo la guerra, ed un altro invece che precede la trilogia originaria.

    Titolo: Via delle Oche. Autore: Carlo Lucarelli. Jun 01, David McGrogan rated it it was ok. The ending to this trilogy is definitely the weakest: a very ordinary and obvious mystery, with by-now familiar tropes of the series growing stale. The saving grace is that at least it's short. Set in Bologna, Commissario De Luca has somehow escaped execution as a fascist in post-war Italy and now he's a detective in the vice squad. Despite being a member of the political police during the war, it's clear that De Luca has no clear political leanings.

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    He's just trying to survive. And for now he has, but it's also clear that he's in danger from warring political factions in t Via delle Oche is the third volume in Lucarelli's Commissario De Luca Trilogy, and my favorite of the three. And for now he has, but it's also clear that he's in danger from warring political factions in the city. The book takes place primarily during four days in April, in the days leading up to a general election; the Communists are hoping to prevail against the Christian Democrats.

    Each chapter opens with headlines from the newspaper, emphasizing that soccer star Gino Bartali may be more popular than any of the political candidates. There's also a murder to solve: a young man named Ermes Ricciotti who works as a bouncer in a brothel has been found hanging in his room. At first it appears to be suicide, but De Luca notices that the young man's feet wouldn't have reached the stool.

    Despite the fact that prostitution is legal in Italy, albeit strictly regulated, no one seems particularly concerned about the young man's murder. Except De Luca, of course. Soon, there's another murder, a photographer named Osvaldo Piras, who has connections to Ermes. As usual in a De Luca mystery, murders that originally seem to have no political motives eventually point in that direction.

    In the end De Luca knows who is responsible for the murder, but must accept that they will not be prosecuted. My favorite aspect of this book was Lucarelli's evocative writing, probably aided by Michael Reynolds's translation, which moves a break-neck speed. I also thoroughly enjoyed the historical detail and sense of place. The reader never learns much about De Luca but in the end that seems fitting. He's a police officer, focused on solving crimes, preferably murders.

    At the very end of the book, we learn that he sleeps in a furnished room and only now, in his late 30s, is he thinking about getting a more comfortable place to live. The action has fast-forwarded from April 18, , to July 14, The Christian Democrats won the election, but Communist Party leader Palmiro Togliotti has been shot, leading to a general strike and fears of revolution.

    Suddenly, survival seems more important to De Luca than comfort. It is , post-war reconstruction has begun in Italy, and free elections are scheduled in July. Italian society is restive, as the post-war power base slips away from the fascists, collaborators, and partisans. Commissario De Luca shows up in Bologna, now a vice cop--a reduced rank for him.

    But he survived the end of the war. His days as a black shirt in Mussolini's political police h It is , post-war reconstruction has begun in Italy, and free elections are scheduled in July. His days as a black shirt in Mussolini's political police haven't caught up with him yet. Via della Oche is a brothel in Bologna where a young man has purportedly committed suicide. At least that's what the people in high places say. The only problem is the victim's feet don't touch the chair which he presumably stood on to pull the noose down over his head.