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Making the Italians

Poetics and Politics of Italian Children’s Fantasy

Lindsay Myers

Italian children’s literature has a diverse and unusual tradition of fantasy. With the exception of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio, however, it has remained almost entirely unknown outside of Italy. Why is it that Italian children’s fantasy has remained such a well-kept secret? How ‘international’ is the term ‘fantasy’, and to what extent has its development been influenced by local as well as global factors? Cross-cultural and cross-linguistic research into this neglected area is essential if we are to enrich our understanding of this important literary genre.
This book charts the history and evolution of Italian children’s fantasy, from its first appearance in the 1870s to the present day. It traces the structural and thematic progression of the genre in Italy and situates this development against the changing backdrop of Italian culture, society and politics. The author argues that ever since the foundation of Italy as a nation-state the Italian people have been actively involved in an ongoing process of identity formation and that the development of children’s fantasy texts has been inextricably intertwined with sociopolitical and cultural imperatives.

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allegory 14, 100, 106–10, 168 Andersen, Hans Christian 68, 76 anti-fascism 138–43, 140–3, 162–6, 167, 173–6, 184 anthropomorphism 3, 24, 54, 182, 189–90 Argilli, Marcello 187, 195, 199 Atomino 188–203 Le avventure di Chiodino 188–203 Art Nouveau 136–7 avant-garde 130–8, 140–3 Baccini, Ida 21–3, 26–7, 37 Memorie di un pulcino 22–30, 34–6, 38–42 Barrie, J.M. 77 Bedulli, Franco see Ponchiroli, Daniele Berlusconi, Silvio 206, 219–21 Bertelli, Luigi (Vamba) 73–4 Ciondolino 71–6 Bertinetti, Giovanni 16–163 I pugni di Meo 149–66 Le orecchie di Meo 48–9, 55–64 Bontempelli, Massimo 140–3 La scacchiera davanti allo spec- chio 117–30, 133–4, 137–43 Buzzati, Dino: La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia 169–84 capitalism 199–200, 215–17, 219–20 caricature 14, 108–9, 221 Carroll, Lewis 121 Alice’s Adventures in Wonder- land 121–4, 126 Through the Looking-Glass 121, 124–7 Catani, Tommaso 225 Cattermole Mancini, Eva (Contessa Lara) Una famiglia di topi 24–5, 28, 36, 38–42 Il romanzo della bambola 24–5, 28, 32–3, 37–42 censorship 139–43, 145–9 Collodi see Lorenzini, Carlo communism 167–8, 172, 186 community fantasy 16–17, 167–84 examples of 169 structure of 169–70 cultural, social and political context of 170–84 compensatory fantasy 16–17, 205–21 examples of 208–9 structure of 209–12 cultural, social and political context of 217–21...

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