Corpo, Spazio, Memoria: Il Mito del Ritorno da Levi a Scego
Aguilar, Zachary Penati
In a multicultural world where group and individual identities are becoming ever more plural and diverse, “home” can no longer be simply defined. While much research has focused on the struggles of immigrant and second-generation communities in their host countries, what this thesis will seek to explore is how the return to one’s home – ancestral or otherwise - raises even more questions about belonging and identity. The present study will analyze these questions through four autobiographical Italian novels: La tregua by Primo Levi, La luna e i falò by Cesare Pavese, Bagheria by Dacia Maraini, and La mia casa è dove sono by Igiaba Scego. These literary works, narrating diverse stories that span the 20th and 21st century, all converge around a single theme: the difficulty, disappointment, and sometimes impossibility of returning home. While the novels diverge in their particulars, the fil rouge that connects them is the conception of a return that is full of hopes and expectations, which then reveals itself to be only a myth. This analysis deconstructs the myth of the return using a variety of theoretical lenses focusing on three elements of human experience: the body, space, and memory. Through their return narratives, the four authors show the difficulty in orienting oneself in the chaos and confusion of migration, and the false promises of stability that the idea of home creates.
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