The Rhetoric of Violence and Sacrifice in Fascist Italy: Mussolini, Gadda, Vittorini
Published: July 2013© 2013
288 Pages, 6.03 x 9.01 x 0.59 in
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The Italian fascists under Benito Mussolini appropriated many aspects of the country’s Catholic religious heritage to exploit the mystique and power of the sacred. One concept that the regime deployed as a core strategy was that of “sacrifice.” In this book, Chiara Ferrari interrogates how the rhetoric of sacrifice was used by the Italian fascist regime throughout the interwar years to support its totalitarian project and its vision of an all-encompassing bond between the people and the state.
The Rhetoric of Violence and Sacrifice in Fascist Italy focuses on speeches by Benito Mussolini and key literary works by prominent writers Carlo Emilio Gadda and Elio Vittorini. Through this investigation, Ferrari demonstrates how sacrifice functioned in relation to other elements of fascist rhetoric, such as the frequent reiterations of an impending national crisis, the need for collaboration among social classes, and the forging of social contact between the leader and the people.
- Discursive Ritual and Sacrificial Presentation: The Rhetoric of Crisis and Resolution in Fascist Italy
- Sacrificial Turns and Their Rhetorical Echoes
- Gadda’s Sacrificial Topographies
- The Redemption of Vittorini’s New Man
‘In this study, Chiara Ferrari uncovers some of the most intriguing ways in which language of Fascism was intended to act on the intellect and imagination of Italians… Its clarity and sophistication are such that it reveals not only how the rhetoric worked, but how it could be unmasked and resisted in the writings of two of Italy’s most renowned authors. Ferrari’s study allows us to see the effectiveness of literature as a form of political commentary. It deserves to be widely read.’Charles Burdett, Times Literary Supplement October 2014
‘This is a book that deserves to be read, discussed, and built upon.’Christopher John Ferguson, Modern Language Review vol 110:04:2015
‘Ferrari’s study explores a neglected but significant aspect of Fascist discourse… This book presents new readings of familiar texts and opens new areas of investigation.’Pieri Garofalo, Italica vol 92:02:2015
“I read The Rhetoric of Violence and Sacrifice in Fascist Italy with great interest: it is such a fascinating project and one of great importance to the field of fascism studies. Chiara Ferrari makes significant observations that advance the field, providing exciting, useful ways of thinking about violence and the fascist body.”Elizabeth Leake, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor, Department of Italian, Columbia University