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A Semiotic Analysis

the individual, as the symbolic epicentre of the possibilities of self-determination and growth. Italian contemporary literature on labour (and the homology with law remains relevant) highlights the traumatic and disaggregating nature of modern labour when its active, creative and formative component becomes secondary: when the ambiguous and contradictory nature of labour – as a means of realization and social recognition on the one hand, or dehumanizing activity on the other (see supra ) – is resolved by the second meaning.

Culture (2001), Zygmunt Baranski and Rebecca West pioneered a broader cultural history of Italy’s transition to moder- nity, from unification to the twenty-first century, including essays on fash- ion, media, religion, folk music, and design. In Italian Modernism (2004), Mario Moroni and Luca Somigli opened a new field of investigation in Introduction 5 the literary studies of the period by tracing the visible connections of Italian contemporary literature to the European modernist experience and reconfiguring as an applicable literary category the term modernism

retrieval of works by Italian women writers for a possible taxonomy of their contributions – an effort of which Santoro’s two anthologies are emblematic – systematizing their work seems problematic even in recent times. In his otherwise bril- liant survey of Italian contemporary literature An Introduction to Twentieth- Century Italian Literature,13 even my enlightened colleague Robert S. Gordon falls prey to stereotypes about women writers, hopping between Sibilla Aleramo, Anna Banti, and Natalia Ginzburg, between Anna Maria Ortese and Oriana Fallaci. He fails to provide

and a new literature - our critical problem consists precisely in measuring the influ- ence exerted by the war and the Resistenza ... upon the tendencies already active within Italian contemporary literature.') Ibid., 550. 162 Notes to pages 8-10 20 See Maria Stone, 'Staging Fascism: The Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution,' in Journal of Contemporary History 28 (1993): 215-43. 21 See, e.g., Emilio Gentile, II culto del littorio (Bari: Laterza, 1995); Mario Isnenghi, L'ltalia delfascio (Florence: Giunti, 1996); and Zunino 1985- 22 See Diane Ghirardo, 'City and