By John Dickie
Stereotypical representations of the Mezzogiorno are a chronic function of Italian tradition in any respect degrees. In Darkest Italy, John Dickie analyzes those stereotypes within the post-Unification interval, whilst the Mezzogiorno was once extensively obvious as barbaric, violent or irrational, an "Africa" at the ecu continent. even as, this can be the instant while the Mezzogiorno turned a metaphor for the kingdom of the rustic as an entire, the index of Italy’s modernity. Dickie argues that those stereotypes, instead of being a symptom of the flaws of nationwide identification in Italy, have been really necessary to the best way Italy’s bourgeoisie imagined themselves as Italian. Drawing on contemporary theories of Otherness and nationwide id, Dickie brings a brand new gentle to an enormous and well-established zone of Italian history--the courting among the South and the country as a complete.
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Extra info for Darkest Italy: The Nation and Stereotypes of the Mezzogiorno, 1860-1900
40 A lieutenant in the carabinieri, Giuseppe Bourelly, wrote a history of banditry in 1865, which in addition to details of the history, the economy, the class structure, the mores, the hygiene, and housing of the area concerned, includes analyses of the weather, geology, and natural history as background factors in the emergence of the problem. ”41 If everything in this reified South is related to brigandage, then brigandage becomes that through which one may know the South as a whole, the target and vehicle for the surveillance of everyone and everything in wide areas of the country.
66 Outside the parade ground, the firing squad admits of a number of variations on the regulation model. Like many standardized forms of punishment, it requires a minimum of cooperation from the victim in order to function smoothly. In return he is allowed ritual expressions of bravery, contrition, or consent: refusing or taking a blindfold, or giving the order to fire himself. 67 A Word at War 45 Both the proclamation at a parade-ground shooting and the small courtesies of the execution in the field involve a ritual accord between the offender and the law, a minimum demonstration of the victim’s legally recognizable subjective coherence.
The Piedmontese army was therefore to be legitimated and motivated by a monarchistic Italian nationalism rather than by an aristocratic and parochial praetorian ethos, a bourgeois careerism, or a Mazzinian ardor. In the military sphere as elsewhere, the national cause provided the ground on which the interests of Piedmontese dynastic expansion and administrative modernization could be reconciled. 24 For the ideologues of the Piedmontese ruling class, the army found its military and ideological raison d’être in a dynastic vision of the nation to come, as Italy was to find its incarnation and expression in the army.
Darkest Italy: The Nation and Stereotypes of the Mezzogiorno, 1860-1900 by John Dickie