Collective Identities in the Contemporary Italian Historical Novel
VII. Bitter milk of the holy cow: Contemporarycritique of modernity
189 VII. Bitter milk of the holy cow: Contemporary critique of modernity 1. Debasing the Renaissance Periodisation of European historical epochs posterior to the Middle Ages is even more complex than that of the preceding centuries, and depends on the point of view, from which they are analysed. Alternately, one may employ the overarch- ing term “modernity” pertaining to the socio-economic changes, distinguish be- tween such subcategories as Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, etc., which connote the European socio-cultural transformations, or describe the sub- sequent periods in the terms of consequent political structures, such as Absolut- ism, the Age of Revolutions, the Age of Empires, and so forth. My classification of the post-medieval historical epochs (cf. Part IV) fea- tures the Renaissance, il Seicento, the 18th century, and the Risorgimento, all of which formerly played a distinct and important role in the patriotic discourse on Italian history and national identity. Yet the analysis of the novels set in these four periods of national self-perception has shown that, in contemporary histori- cal fiction, the Renaissance per se is hardly thematised at all. This appears dou- bly surprising. Firstly, the Renaissance as one of the main cultural periods in Eu- ropean history, which originated in Italy, can truly be considered as a moment of Italian international glory. Secondly, it was not restricted to Italy alone but, ra- ther, comprised various manifestations of humanist artistic spirit and new cul- tural sensibility across Europe, – a circumstance that would have an especially strong appeal today inasmuch as...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.