Fascism and Literature: Ignazio Silone’s Novel Pane e Vino Explored with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski
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A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.
“How pitiful is an intelligence used only to make excuses to quieten the conscience,” writes Ignazio Silone in his remarkable novel Pane e Vino (Bread and Wine). Written in 1937 and revised in 1955, this central novel of the famous Abruzzo Trilogy (which includes Fontamara and The Seed Beneath the Snow) offers readers a unique view into the clash of values between the political elite and the farmers and peasants in the rural villages of one of Italy’s most desolate, impoverished regions. Understood to be a political fable, Silone’s masterpiece tells the tale of Pietro Spina, an anti-Fascist revolutionary taking refuge amongst the villagers of his homeland as he pretends to be a local priest.
Led by an expert in Italian literature and culture, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D, this interactive seminar will introduce participants to Silone’s view of Italian Fascism through an in-depth discussion of the intellectual, historical, and political contexts central to the novel Pane e Vino. We will introduce readers to the major themes of Pane e Vino against the backdrop of the historical reality of the political and philosophical climate in Fascist Italy in the aim of unraveling the complex mythology surrounding this towering figure of 20th century thought.
Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of Silone’s importance to 20th century Italian literature.
Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean of International Programs and Education Abroad for the College of Arts and Sciences and is also an Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in Italian Language and Literature and has taught Italian language, literature, cinema, history, and culture in both Florence, Italy, and at Kent State. She recently published a chapter entitled "A Divine Comedy for All Time: Dante's Enduring Relevance for the Contemporary Reader" in Italian Pop Culture: Media, Product, Imageries. Rome, Italy: Viella Editrice s.r.. Her current research is focused on Dante, Boccaccio, and the modern poet Clemente Rebora.
Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).