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Racconti personali: modalità d'uso

Numero 10

Primavera 1997- Anno IV

enlightened Racconti personali: modalità d'uso

enlightened Le molte lingue della letteratura americana

enlightened Poe e la critica


Racconti personali: modalità d'uso

Racconti personali: modalità di presentazione e d'uso – pag. 4

Ronald J. Grele

The interviews and analyses included in this issue of “Acoma” present five personal narratives, five possibile individual experiences in America. The form of presentation places the text of the interviews (nearly) in full alongside with the interviewer’s analysis both of the narrative itself, and of its form of creation and of the dialogic interaction between the two subjects. Forms vary according to the theleological focalization of the interviews and to the time and space allowed for the presentation of self. Recognizing the gift of the story and the historians’ role in it is one way in which oral history has for a long time been answering questions of narrative and subjectivity only recently raised by most historians.

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Il morso dell'insetto. Il momento psicoanalitico nella storia orale – pag. 7

Bluma Swerdloff, Mary Marshall Clark

Dr. Bluma Swerdloff, a practicing psychotherapist and the founder of the Psychoanalytic Movement Oral History Project at Columbia University reconstruct with oral historian Mary Marshall her earliest memories of childhood in World Wor I Russia, and how the trauma experienced then and their denial have shaped the personal mythologies around which she organized her own life in the profession, in personal relationships, and in radical politics. Through the oral history process and the auto-analysis it generates, she revises those mythologies and comes to the realization that the organizing factor in her life has been her identity as a woman.

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Non sono riusciti a mettermi paura. Diritti civili nel Mississippi Delta – pag. 19

Mary Tyler Dotson, Kim Lacy Rogers, Owen Brooks

Civil rights activist Mary Tyler Dotson’s narrative describes in rich detail and surprisingly understated tones her memories of growing up in a sharecropping family in the Mississippi Delta, her experiences as a blind child and young woman, and her memories of white terrorism in her childhood and during the 1960s. Her narrative also reveals the “color-blind” ideology of many African-American civil rights activists of the 1960s – particularly those allied with the NAACP. People like Mrs. Dotson and her husband wanted African- Americans to be able to participate fully in America’s political process, yet also wanted to elect the best-qualified candidates to office, regardless of race.

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Non ho mai avuto molto rispetto per l'autorità. La frontiera contemporanea – pag. 29

Mildred Shackleford, Alessandro Portelli

Mildred Shackleford, a zinc miner living and working in Tennessee, speaks of her childhood in Harlan County between pioneer times and modernity, and describes living conditions and cultural experiences in rural and coal-mining Kentucky in the 1950s. Shackleford speaks of learning the memories of earlier struggles, reconstructs her family history dating from Revolutionary War veterans who settled in the area in 1787 (and including an outlaw ancestor, “Devil” Jim Turner), and goes on to discuss her memories of school integration, the controversial impact of the War on Poverty, her involvement in progressive and union struggles, the role of religious, political and cultural “missionaries” to the region, and her confrontation with male workers as a woman miner. The dialogic nature of the interview as inter-subjective encounter is discussed both in the transcribed text and in the interviewer’s side notes.

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Sì, la festa c'è stata. Storie di una donna portoricana fra due fini di secolo – pag. 47

Minerva Ríos, Rina Benmayor

Minerva Ríos migrated from her hometown in Puerto Rico to East Harlem in 1929 at age 24. As she goes back to her memories of the first years of US colonization in the island, Minerva tells the stories of her childhood in Guayanilla, a small town near Ponce. She elaborates on family and social life, her games and feelings as a child, the recently renovated Puerto Rican school system, domestic material culture, and her work in Guayanilla as a skilled seamstress. Mrs. Ríos then goes on to tell of her travel by ship to the mainland, her first impact with New York City, and her job of forty years as unskilled labor in a mechanized laundry of Manhattan. The narrative is constructed along the lines of education and literacy, national history, labor skills and content. In relation to these topics Mrs. Ríos builds up her sense of self as a community historian linking New York to the “there and then” of Puerto Rico. The interview has been conducted in the frame of the educational popular programs of El Barrio.

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Secolare, ebraico, progressista, operaio. Il Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus e la cultura radicale ebraica a New York – pag. 58

Madeline Simon, Robert W. Snyder

Chorus director Madeline Simon weaves in two interviews over a span of fifteen years a web of stories linking the history of the Left from the 1920s to the present; its decline due to McCarthyism and to the changing personal and social circumstances of former activists; the link between Jewish culture and identity, and political radicalism; the history of radical and folk music; contemporary identity and language politics; and the experience of aging in America. From her background in a musical working-class family in the Bronx, Simon grew to become the director of the JPPC and, later, other musical organizations always connected with radical politics or with broad ideals of social justice. She witnessed, and describes, the gradual shift from political to ethnic motivations in the singing of the chorus members. The interview also discusses the problems, and achievements, in reconciling a very particular Jewish Yiddish culture with universal ideals of social justice, and the ways in which this musical and political heritage is being transmitted to the younger generations.

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Testo a fronte

La Longfellow Series in American Languages and Literatures – pag. 71

Longfellow Institute

Lamento italoamericano: Lorenzo Da Ponte – pag. 73

Alide Cagidemetrio
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La critica recente su Edgar Allan Poe negli Stati Uniti – pag. 77

Roberto Cagliero
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Città d'America

Kansas City, White Mills, Red Slaughterhouses, and Freight Trains – pag. 84

Elena Carlini

The Midwest of America is a land of prairie grass, cattle ranches and far away trains; in this area, on the border between Kansas and Missouri, the metropolitan region of Kansas City is growing rapidly. Its increasing sprawl is an interesting case study to understand the tension – which exists in many North American cities – between respect for the landscape, consciousness of the industrial past, and contemporary urban expansion. The diverse cultural and ethnic identities of Kansas City face now a critical transition; the question is if they will fade and disappear in the social, economic and racial homogeneity of suburbia or they will react to preserve the city multiple heritage.

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