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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Re-writing history in the literature of the Ethiopian diaspora in Italy
Author:Marzagora, Sara
Year:2015
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Volume:13
Issue:3
Pages:211-225
Language:English
Geographic term:Italy
Subjects:novels
Ethiopians
diasporas
Italian language
literary criticism
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2015.1074538
Abstract:The paper offers an overview of the Italian-language literary production by diasporic writers of Ethiopian origin, focusing in particular on Gabriella Ghermandi's 2007 novel 'Regina di fiori e di perle' ('Queen of flowers and pearls'). This output will be contextualized within the field of Italian postcolonial and 'migrant' literature, which emerged in the 1990s but has yet to receive a proper recognition in Italian academic circles. The exploration of themes such as conflicting identities and multiple belongings is grounded, for Italophone postcolonial writers, in Italy's inability to critically process its colonial past, and has therefore a prominent historical dimension. The paper will analyse in particular how 'Regina di fiori e di perle' rewrites the historiography of Italian colonialism in the Horn of Africa, and how it engages with earlier literary representations of this history. Central to Ghermandi's literary project is the attempt to create a historical identity able to preserve difference, and contrast forceful assimilationist attempts, but at the same time also able to accommodate similarities, and fight against an essentialization of that difference. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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