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Writing Colonisation

Violence, Landscape, and the Act of Naming in Modern Italian and Australian Literature


Sabina Sestigiani

Writing Colonisation: Violence, Landscape, and the Act of Naming in Modern Italian and Australian Literature offers a unique comparative analysis of modern Italian and Australian literature which has never been attempted at such length and depth. The book investigates the relation between language, violence, and colonialism through comparing and contrasting selected texts in the Italian and Australian tradition (Dino Buzzati, Ennio Flaiano, Guido Ceronetti, Patrick White, David Malouf, Randolph Stow, and Barbara Baynton) and submitting them to a close analysis. The literary analysis is complemented by a critical reflection on philosophical discussions of language in continental philosophy, especially in the works of Walter Benjamin, Maurice Blanchot, and Martin Heidegger.
The book provides innovative insights into colonialism, shedding new light and ideas on the works of the authors under analysis. The book argues for a novel reading of Italian and Australian texts and employs this reading to interrogate the ways in which language has been deployed to negotiate the colonial experience – especially in relation to the interface between language and landscape – and relates this experience to Western interpretation of religious texts (e.g., Genesis), which have often been used as a justification of colonial exploitation. The book is an excellent reference for courses on comparative literature and postcolonial literature.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataSestigiani, SabinaWriting Colonisation: Violence, Landscape, and the Act of Naming in Modern Italian and Australian Literature / Sabina Sestigiani.pages cm. — (Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures; Vol. 220)Includes bibliographical references and index.1. Australian literature—20th century—History and criticism. 2. Italian literature—20th century—History and criticism. 3. Landscape in literature. 4. Violence in literature. 5. Colonization in literature. I. Title.PR9605.5.L35S47  820.9’994—dc23  2013032453ISBN 978-1-4331-2398-6 (hardcover)ISBN 978-1-4539-1219-5 (e-book)ISSN 0893-5963Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at

The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council of Library Resources.

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