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Numero 02 ITALY

Issue 02 – Italy

Num°02 ITALY

NEED FOR ITALY

(translated by Silvia Benso)

The current issue of Spaziofilosofico (May 2011) has Italy for its theme. It is our way of saying “Happy Birthday, Italy!” on her 150th anniversary.

We have tried to offer a phenomenology of Italy; we have tried, as it were, to catch as if by surprise the essence (if there is one) of Italy in a scene, a fragment, a situation, an image, a landscape, a book, a concept… Leggi tutto »

 

Country Code (/Prefix): Re-

Num°02 ITALY

The essence of Italy, if there is one, perhaps lies in a grammatical prefix. When one tries to answer the synthetic question “Who are we?” (given that such a question may have a meaning when applied to a historical collective entity in continuous flux such as a nation), one may attempt an analytical formulation: what we are might be expressed in the prefix “re-“ or “ri-.” Leggi tutto »

 

Cartographies of Italy

Num°02 ITALY

In a provocative manner, I compare two cartographic representations of Italy: the one by the Northern League’s Minister Calderoli, which was circulated last Christmas as a holiday card, and the one by Al-Idrisi, a genial cartographer and scientist at the court of the Normand King Roger II. They share the unusual perspective of an upside down Italy; that is, with Sicily in the North. Leggi tutto »

 

Manzoni: Revolution and Risorgimento

Num°02 ITALY

The author unfolds, in its philosophical ground, the theme of Manzoni’s idea of revolution that is applied to the French and the Italian revolution. The idea of revolution Manzoni opposes, criticizing Roberspierre, is the Jacobin idea of “total revolution.” This is not, however, the only meaning Manzoni reserves to the idea of revolution. He speaks of revolutions that are irreducible to such a model: Leggi tutto »

 

The Evasion of the Evasion of Reality

Num°02 ITALY

The paper evaluates the combination between a politics of fear and terror, and an ethics of paradox and farce, in the workings of Italian democracy and international relations. On the background of two major geopolitical events, the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the financial havoc produced by the Great Recession, the author argues that terror and farce feed on each other to produce not only a diversion, or evasion, from the real challenges of the moment, but more perversely, Leggi tutto »

 

Delightful Blackmail

Num°02 ITALY

During a trip through the countryside of Southern Italy, someone casually observes that when you stop your car, suddenly unable resist eating a succulent watermelon that you have spotted in a field, then you realize that Italy leaves under the constant threat of pleasure, which explains why not much can change in that part of the world.  The author uses this example, found in the work of a contemporary Italian author, as a starting point to investigate the paradoxical nature of this pleasure threat. Leggi tutto »

 

Short notes on being Italian

Num°02 ITALY

The author of this essay compares the theories of the ideologue of the Northern League, Professor Miglio, with some documents dating back to the Risorgimento [resurgence]. Miglio writes: “The civil world lies in the temperate area. If we to go where it is very cold, we run into the idiot slavic peoples. If we move Southward, we come across peoples who are dazed because of the heat, a bit like those Mexicans who doze off under their sombreros.” Leggi tutto »

 

Berlusconi and Mussolini

Num°02 ITALY

Is it possible to draw a parallelism between Berlusconi and Mussolini? Between their characters, their respective populism and their respective foreign policy? Some say the comparison is a nonsense. Yet, a “cenacle” of selected Italian historians gathered in an abbey during a long afternoon to take part in a sort of literary contest: who will find the most striking episodes or quotations regarding the two “parallel lives”? With a final thought drawn from Plato.

 

Oratory and the Public Sphere

Num°02 ITALY

In this essay I argue that the performance genre known as narrative theater conceives of an engaged Italian public in contrast to the portrayal of Italians as passive pawns at the mercy of a tightly controlled media. By examining the role of oratory and how it sustains a dialogic practice between performer and spectator, I analyze the potential for the type of rational and rigorous public sphere that Habermas envisioned for the pre-industrial bourgeoisie. Leggi tutto »

 
 
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