Anger as Misshapen Fear: Fascism, Literature, and the Emotional Body

in Emotions: History, Culture, Society
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Abstract

The article analyses two literary texts by the Italian writer Carlo Emilio Gadda: the anti-fascist satire Eros e Priapo, written between 1944 and 1945; and the novel Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana, first published in 1946. The deformed descriptions of the human figure in these texts are contextualised alongside a collection of anti-fascist caricatures from the same period, Enrico Gianeri’s Il Cesare di cartapesta (1945), and read as emotional symptoms of ongoing social conflicts. In fascist Italy, the representation of the body becomes the battlefield where a few resisting emotional communities contrast the strict management of public sentiment performed by the regime. In this context, deformations of the image of Mussolini and fascist society can be interpreted as performances of anger that deconstruct the official emotional regime and reveal the regime of fear on which fascism built its power.

Anger as Misshapen Fear: Fascism, Literature, and the Emotional Body

in Emotions: History, Culture, Society

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Figures

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    Caricatures of Mussolini, from GEC (Enrico Gianeri), Il Cesare di cartapesta. Mussolini nella caricatura (Turin: Grandi Edizioni Vega, 1945)
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    Abel Faivre, ‘Capitol Hill She-Wolf’, Codino Rosso, 1924, from GEC (Enrico Gianeri), Il Cesare di cartapesta. Mussolini nella caricatura (Turin: Grandi Edizioni Vega, 1945)
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    Rata Langa (Gabriele Galantara), ‘HIM’, L’Asino 21, 1924, from GEC (Enrico Gianeri), Il Cesare di cartapesta. Mussolini nella caricatura (Turin: Grandi Edizioni Vega, 1945)
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    Girus, ‘All Fascists are Good-Looking’, Il Monocolo, from GEC (Enrico Gianeri), Il Cesare di cartapesta. Mussolini nella caricatura (Turin: Grandi Edizioni Vega, 1945)
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    Jouenne, ‘Fascist Women’, Le Rire, from GEC (Enrico Gianeri), Il Cesare di cartapesta. Mussolini nella caricatura (Turin: Grandi Edizioni Vega, 1945)
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    Anger, ‘Matteotti’, Lachen Links, 1926, from GEC (Enrico Gianeri), Il Cesare di cartapesta. Mussolini nella caricatura (Turin: Grandi Edizioni Vega, 1945)
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    Roger Chancel, ‘Butler’s Speech’, Becco Giallo 72, 1929, from GEC (Enrico Gianeri), Il Cesare di cartapesta. Mussolini nella caricatura (Turin: Grandi Edizioni Vega, 1945)
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    Hahn Jr, ‘Someone is Knocking’, Notenkraker, from GEC (Enrico Gianeri), Il Cesare di cartapesta. Mussolini nella caricatura (Turin: Grandi Edizioni Vega, 1945)

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