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Amatissime: Grace Paley, Leslie Silko, Toni Morrison
Estate/Autunno 1995 - Anno II
Raymond Carver: Poesie
Amatissime: Grace Paley, Leslie Silko, Toni Morrison
Il colore dell'altro: confini, religione, identità in mutamento tra gli italiani di Harlem – pag. 5
The meaning of “Italian-American” as a community designation and a personal identity took shape from the “in between” people on the unstable borders of urban ghettos. The encounter with Puerto Ricans and Haitians shows two different approaches to the proximate “dark-skinned other.” Contact is mediated by conscious narratives and unconscious issues. Urban street religion, and the festa of the Madonna of 115 Street in particular are both the place of racist exclusion and solidarity and community, where the dilemmas of inbetweenness are encountered and narrated.
Emigranti italiani e movimenti operai negli Stati Uniti. Una riflessione personale su etnicità e classe sociale – pag. 13
The locus of much interesting work in the fields of immigration and labor history lies at the intersection of class and ethnicity. The article draws on the author’s experience as a working-class Italian American and as a historian of the Italian American working class to show that, rather than mutually exclusive, the concepts of class and ethnicity both influence the making of individual and collective identities. The author summarizes the rediscovery of the history of Italian- American radicalism, a history to a large extent suppressed and is “forgotten” and censored in the immigrant community and by Italian American historians (while it has received more attention from scholars immigrants to America, and the way they developed in the U.S. context.
L'America critica e fantapolitica di Italo Calvino – pag. 23
Italo Calvino’s writings on the United States, although partially neglected by critics, form an impressive body of work. Following a sixmonth stay in the States in 1959-60, Calvino’s articles and diaries are a clear sign of a vivid encounter with characters, problems, situations which seem to him peculiarly American. This essay critically examines these pages, written during the bleakest period of the Cold War. Their ideological and political message, although in line with a rich Italian tradition of books on American society, seems today often too imaginative and contrived; nevertheless their openness and variety, their ability in detecting influential episodes and personalities, show us Calvino at his best as a reporter and a journalist.
Testo a fronte
Raymond Carver: tre poesie – pag. 32
Teatro americano contemporaneo – pag. 40
Responsabilità e felicità: conversazioni con Grace Paley – pag. 46
Personal involvement in the life of the world and artistic responsibility are related though distinct attitudes. Unease and danger are essential motivations for writing, while hope generates open stories that never leave characters and readers without alternatives or possibilities. In political action and in writing, the struggle is to open and defend spaces of expression. Women’s voices are essential to possibility and involvement, therefore “it is the responsibility of the poet to be a woman.” Those who try to open spaces for the multiplicity of voices heard in today’s world (especially in the receptive English language and in the United States) are accused of “political correctness”: an attempt to silence the expression of opposition and to impose a conservative ideological conformity.
Grace Paley: la difficoltà di ascoltare e l'impossibilità di tacere – pag. 52
The essay explores the different modes and connotations of speaking and silence, as an inextricable and contradictory combination of listening, speaking up, and being listened to in the works of Grace Paley. As a storyteller, Paley wishes to tell other people’s stories in their own voice, yet voicing their differences. “The artist [...] will be the listener in the story of the stories”. But even the artist’s task is not an easy art, for everything she says silences something else.
Almanac of the Dead di Leslie Silko: un intrattenimento rivoluzionario – pag. 58
Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel, Almanac of the Dead (1991), premised on pre-Conquest almanac predictions of European invasion and subsequent decline which is to be accompanied by indigenous resurgence, portrays a contemporary America in which European hegemony is collapsing under the pressure of its own decadence and is being challenged by myriad nonviolent and armed struggles led or supported by dispossessed and indigenous populations. Despite appearances to the contrary, Silko’s narrative style has become more rigorously Pueblo: she refuses to impose a hierarchy on her over 70 principal characters and she will not close off narrative strands. Both her comic digressions and her expansiveness support the ancient prophecy even as they diffuse the Marxist analysis and apocalyptic rage that undergird the novel.
La nostra amatissima: intervista con Tony Morrison – pag. 67
In a wide-ranging interview with Bruno Cartosio and Alessandro Portelli, Toni Morrison discusses her position as a representative member of the African American community; the diverse ways in which her writings engage the problem of representing class, gender, and, especially, race; the difficulty of “writing the voice”; the relationship between teaching literature and literary practice; motherhood and male identity in contemporary society; her views on the current social and political developments in the United States.
Figlie e padri, scritura e assenza in Beloved di Toni Morrison – pag. 72
A father-daughter sub-plot runs underneath the more visible and recognized mother-daughter plot in Beloved, and helps define its meaning. While the Sethe-Beloved relationship is identified with fusion, presence, and orality, Denver’s relationship with her missing father stands for absence, distinction, and writing. On the one hand, the identification of fatherhood and absence helps Morrison criticize patriarchal definitions of manhood (while suggesting through Paul D possible alternatives). On the other, Denver’s recognition of absence and separation is essential to her reconstruction of herself (as represented by her relationship with writing).
Città d'acciaio. Ascesa e caduta di Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – pag. 85
Pittsburgh was a mill town for over a century; a plain, raw place thet derived its character and soul from the mills along its rivers and from the people who worked in them. Originally inhabited by the Huron tribe, appropriated by the French, taken by the British during the Seven Years’ War, Pittsburgh became the nation’s largest producer of steel by the end of the 18th Century. Southern and European immigrants brought in a multitude of tongues and life styles that also generated ethnic conflict and racism. Two major strikes – the railroad strike of 1877 and the Homestead strike of 1892 – are among the city’s most dramatic memories. Recently, after the mills have closed down, the air and the buildings are clean, but the city as it used to be no longer exists.