The Reinvention of Ignazio Silone

By Elizabeth Leake

© 2003

In 1996, Ignazio Silone, one of the most beloved folk heroes of the Italian Left, a novelist and a high-ranking Communist Party member, was unmasked as a secret supporter of the Fascist movement. The discovery sparked a highly emotional response among scholars and the press in Italy and beyond, with reactions ranging from debate to disbelief.

Elizabeth Leake's fascinating study provides a new analysis of Silone's fiction based on the discovery of his double life. Drawing on a psychoanalytic approach, the author re-reads Silone's novels in the light of his inevitable struggle with his own duplicity. Enriched by extensive and original archival research, The Reinvention of Ignazio Silone also raises complex theoretical issues about authorship and audiences and about the relationship between text and context.

Beautifully written and passionately argued, this work will appeal to a wide readership, including those interested in the history of the left and in literary criticism, as well as scholars of Italian history, literature and politics.

Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies, presented by the Modern Language Association of America.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.8in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP002103

  • PUBLISHED NOV 2003

    From: $55.50

    Regular Price: $74.00

    ISBN 9780802087676
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2003

    From: $65.25

    Regular Price: $87.00

Quick Overview

The Reinvention of Ignazio Silone raises complex theoretical issues about authorship and audiences and about the relationship between text and context.

The Reinvention of Ignazio Silone

By Elizabeth Leake

© 2003

In 1996, Ignazio Silone, one of the most beloved folk heroes of the Italian Left, a novelist and a high-ranking Communist Party member, was unmasked as a secret supporter of the Fascist movement. The discovery sparked a highly emotional response among scholars and the press in Italy and beyond, with reactions ranging from debate to disbelief.

Elizabeth Leake's fascinating study provides a new analysis of Silone's fiction based on the discovery of his double life. Drawing on a psychoanalytic approach, the author re-reads Silone's novels in the light of his inevitable struggle with his own duplicity. Enriched by extensive and original archival research, The Reinvention of Ignazio Silone also raises complex theoretical issues about authorship and audiences and about the relationship between text and context.

Beautifully written and passionately argued, this work will appeal to a wide readership, including those interested in the history of the left and in literary criticism, as well as scholars of Italian history, literature and politics.

Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies, presented by the Modern Language Association of America.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.8in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    'The Reinvention of Ignazio Silone is quite simply a brilliant work of literary scholarship. The writing is extremely clear, the tone thoughtful, wise, and witty, and the scholarship impeccable - the author combines archival research with literary analysis and detective work in a superb manner. I believe that Leake's study will stand as the most complete and sophisticated work on Silone's literary works, and the only one that fully takes on the ramifications of Silone's double existence for his literary career. Any future critics of Silone will have to reckon with the findings of this book.'


    Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Department of Italian Studies, New York University

    'Leake's book is a subtle, thorough and accessible exploration of a delicate and much-contested subject. It is the first scholarly book to raise - with a rare mixture of realism, compassion, and sophistication - the many historical, literary, and theoretical issues obscured by the scandalous appeal of the "caso Silone."'


    Laura Wittman, Department of French and Italian, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Author Information

    Elizabeth Leake is an associate professor in the Department of Italian at Rutgers University.

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