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Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche     
Caviglia F., Cecchini L. A quest for dialogism: looking back at Italian political violence in the 70s. T. Vestergaard, I. Lassen, J. Strunck (eds.). Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University Press, 2009.
 
 
Abstract
(English)
The wave of political violence in the late '70 in Italy is still today an area of divided and conflicting memories. The public opinion is divided between the temptation to forget and the obligation to remember the victim, and between vengeance and forgiveness. Several former terrorists are still serving time in prison, while others are rather vocal on the public scene, often to the outrage of the relatives of their victims. A massive body of material, especially on left-wing terrorism, is available from different sources (former terrorists, judges, journalists, intellectuals and researchers from different traditions) and across several genres and media, from literary and cinematographic fiction to interviews, memories and reports. This paper proposes a selection of fictional and non-fictional documents to highlight the construction of the old choice to commit acts of violence and the construction of a new image of the former terrorists today, in a different historical and existential context. We demonstrate in particular how fiction can provide effective - and sometimes dangerous - frames for understanding: choices and actions, for example, are often represented as "inevitable" according to metaphors and narratives that explain their rationale. As for the possibility of establishing some shared understanding of the period of left-wing terrorism in Italy, we take mono- vs. multi-voicedness as a tentative criterion to differentiate between the documents we consider. We try at the same time - using Lakoff and Todorov as models - to highlight the ethical systems embedded in the different attitudes emerging in the documents.
Subject Political violence in Italy
Terrorism


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