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Interni americani

Numero 20

Autunno 2000 - Anno VII

enlightened Interni americani: Olaudah Equiano, Poe, Sam Shepard e altro

enlightened Politica e cultura della guerra fredda

enlightened Interviste: Gloria Anzaldúa, Philip Levine

enlightened La Columbiad di Joel Barlow: una contro-epica



Abitiamo in un microonde: interni americani – p. 4

Redazione di Acoma
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La nave negriera – p. 7

Olaudah Equiano
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Attica: un anniversario di morte – p. 12

Bruce Jackson

On September 9, 1971, the inmates of New York’s Attica prison rebelled to protest brutal conditions of environment. Negotiations went on for the next three days. Then, on Monday, September 13, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller sent in state police to retake the prison. The police, accompanied by many unauthorized prison and law enforcement officers, assaulted the prisoners and their hostages with gunfire from shotguns, machine guns, rifles and pistols. They shot to death 29 prisoners and 10 hostages. At first they blamed the hostage deaths on prisoners with knives, but then a medical examiner revealed the truth: all the dead men in Attica’s D yard had been killed by police gunfire. For several days after the retaking of the prison, guards and prison officials tortured inmates they thought had organized or led the rebellion. New York State set up several commissions, all designed to make the stain of Attica disappear; none were successful. The prisoners sued the State in federal court, claiming that the indiscriminate shooting and calculated torture violated their civil rights. Despite powerful forces arrayed against them and a judge who seemingly did everything to destroy their case, they finally prevailed. In the Summer of 2000, 29 years after the violence in Attica prison, the case finally ended.

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Architetture morali: riforma e istituzioni penitenziarie e benefiche negli Stati Uniti del primo Ottocento – p. 25

Sonia Di Loreto

Of all the numerous reform movements that animated the cultural debate of the 1830s and 1840s, the prison reform was one of the most interesting. White middle class women who were considered – and considered themselves – the tutelary deities of morality in the US took upon themselves the responsibility to change and improve the material and spiritual conditions of female convicts. This article aims at unveiling the ambiguities inherent in the use of sentimental modes, challenged in Margaret Fuller’s journalistic writings. While the lower classes were blamed for not caring enough about domestic qualities such as privacy and demureness, the middle classes allowed themselves an astonishing degree of invasion of other people’s private space through the sentimental practice of “feeling” and sympathy.

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Poe in interni: il tema dell’usurpazione in The Cask of Amontillado – pag. 34

Roberto Cagliero

Poe’s obsession with interiors can be traced to his essay Philosophy of Furniture. Based upon the concept of “house” in that text, and in The Fall of the House of Usher, the essay assumes the presence of Gothic, metaphysical, and ornamental interiors in Poe’s stories. The Cask of Amontillado plays metaphysical and ornamental interiors against Gothic ones, thus showing Poe’s insistence upon America’s need to create a literature of its own. The story’s revenge motive derives from usurpation in Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, but Poe hides reference to the Gothic novel behind ingenious word-play. But what is at stake is not usurpation of a family title. Poe exposes the imitation of European literary models in America, an injury to be redressed by the development of a truly national literature.

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Un luogo che si chiama desiderio: interni teatrali in Ed Graczyk, David Rabe e Sam Shepard – p. 39

Alessandro Clericuzio

Analyzing three American plays, this essay focuses on the way in which performed theatre as a specific literary medium uses the “inside” setting. Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, Ed Graczyk’s Come Back to the “5 & Dime” Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and David Rabe’s Streamers enclose in their stage interiors strong tensions which mirror psychological and social mappings of the American experience. The myth of the United States as an open territory is undermined by the persistence of characters in interior spaces, where all is acted out, especially gender roles. The interaction of such roles gives structure to the three plays.

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Mettere insieme Coyolxauqui. Intervista con Gloria Anzaldúa – p. 50

Paola Zaccaria
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La carriera di un poeta americano: intervista a Philip Levine – p. 57

Paola Loreto
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Testo a fronte

Quattro poesie di Philip Levine – p. 65

Philip Levine
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Una contro-epica americana? Guerra e pace nella Columbiad di Joel Barlow – p. 69

Giorgio Mariani

To what extent can Joel Barlow’s Columbiad be read as a counter-epic, or, more specifically, an epic celebration of peace? The article provides a two-part answer to this question. Barlow is not only aware of, but openly challenges, the epic genre’s intrinsic relation to the discourse of war. At the same time, when addressing such issues as the American Revolution or White-Indian relations, for the most part Barlow falls back on the very epic, and hence warlike models he bitterly attacks in the preface of his long poem. Barlow, nevertheless, tries to resist endorsing a narrow nationalistic vision and shares with Kant a sincere commitment to peace and universal progress.

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Politica e cultura della guerra fredda: McCarthy, Murrow e la televisione – p. 79

Bruno Cartosio

In this essay an effort is made to show the connections between Edward Murrow’s television broadcast of March 9, 1954, A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the cold war ideology that had in the same McCarthy one of its most aggressive proponents. The main contention in the essay, supported by a rhetorical analysis of the Report, is that the attack levelled by Murrow against McCarthy, far from being also an attack on the cold war, happened entirely within its ideological boundaries and may have contributed to reinforce cold war ideology, by reinforcing the anti-Joseph McCarthy trend which was already developing in American politics and public opinion in the early months of 1954.

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