Abstract

This article focuses on the relationship between the categories of memory, history, and the literary text in order to ask how and why Eco's La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana might be involved in the project of forgetting fascism. It draws on recent historiographical scholarship concerning the relationship between history and memory—especially that strand focusing on collective memory and national identity—and suggests that the memories reconstructed in this literary text are shaped by the political realities of present-day Italy. The author argues that, contrary to what one might think, Eco's narrative positions the reader to forget fascism more than to remember it or come to terms with its memory. She shows how the erasure of the memory operates through the narrative trope of schizophrenia, and argues that the so-called 'critical reader' may discern the trace of the memory of fascism that remains. On a larger scale, the article presents the idea that this literary text participates in a series of problematic yet culturally dominant narratives about fascism that presently are and historically have been utilized by both the political right and left in Italy, although to differing ends.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0909
Print ISSN
0161-4622
Pages
pp. 105-132
Launched on MUSE
2008-11-09
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2009
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