The Role of Early Textual Production in the Development of a Canon of Italian American Literature

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Abstract

Having missed out on many of the developments spurred by the ethnic revival of the 1960s, Italian American literary studies only began in the late 1980s and did not take off as a movement until the late 1990s. However, the predominant focus of this work has been on authors of the 1930s and 1940s such as John Fante, Pietro Di Donato, Jerre Mangione and those who came after, almost completely leaving out the vast literary output in Italian from the 1880s to the 1920s. Especially important, in my view, is the fiction which was serialized in newspapers and other periodicals of the day which not only illuminates the early experiences of immigrants in America and the specific dynamics at work within these early Italian American communities, but also sheds light on the process of forming an Italian American ethnic identity: its mechanisms and dynamics, the external forces impinging upon it, the group’s own concerns with self-representation, both individually and collectively.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)90-95
Numero di pagine6
RivistaRSA JOURNAL
Volume21/22
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2011

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