Tag: Italy

Is freedom of expression at stake in Italy?

In May 2019, the Italian government approved an anti-immigration “decreto sicurezza” (or  security decree). Among other nationalist policies, the new law foresees a fine against anyone who is found transporting a migrant into the country. In response, the students of Sicilian high school teacher Rosa Maria dell’Aria produced a short video that compared the decree,… Continue reading “Is freedom of expression at stake in Italy?”

Matteo Salvini – Italy’s salvation?

Is it entirely unreasonable to expect that Italy’s populists in power, though unavoidable, will end up like many governments before them – mugged by harsh reality? One of the most famous clichés in Italian contemporary political historiography is the phrase, lifted from Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa’s novel Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), “For everything to stay… Continue reading “Matteo Salvini – Italy’s salvation?”

Book Review: Catherine Paul’s (2016) ‘Fascist Directive: Ezra Pound and Italian Cultural Nationalism’ – June 2018

Two Latin scholars made unusual headlines in summer 2016. Hans Lamers and Bettina Reitz-Joosse had just published The Codex Fori Mussolini: A Latin Text of Italian Fascism: a translation and extended annotation of the 1,220-word Latin inscription praising ‘the Boss’. Reconstructed from several Roman libraries, the original text remains at the bottom of a 300-tonne modernist… Continue reading “Book Review: Catherine Paul’s (2016) ‘Fascist Directive: Ezra Pound and Italian Cultural Nationalism’ – June 2018”

Trump and Mussolini

A number of observers were so distressed by Donald Trump’s election to the American presidency they attached the label ‘fascist’ to the New York real estate developer and began to compare him to Benito Mussolini. What should we make of these comparisons? To begin, the circumstances under which they came to power were vastly different.… Continue reading “Trump and Mussolini”

The Fascist in the Classroom: Teaching Pound, Race and Radical Right Politics

I teach modern literature, and I try and teach it with an eye to the political and social environments out of which it emerges. Two years ago, I introduced some extracts from Ezra Pound’s Radio Rome broadcasts into a university seminar discussion of modernist literature and politics. Students were, in turn, shocked, embarrassed and aghast… Continue reading “The Fascist in the Classroom: Teaching Pound, Race and Radical Right Politics”

The Legacy of Italian Fascism: Not Coming to Terms with the Past

Italy’s myths about fascism are not just widespread, but dangerously wrong. Forlì is an ordinary kind of town, well off the tourist track, in the Emilia-Romagna region of northeast Italy. Its streets are quiet, and it boasts few of the architectural gems that characterize Italian cities. It is overshadowed by Ravenna to the south and… Continue reading “The Legacy of Italian Fascism: Not Coming to Terms with the Past”