Displacement and Shifting Geographies in the Noir Fiction of Cesare Battisti

in Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities
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Cesare Battisti, an Italian author and ex-member of the ultra-left guerrilla group Armed Proletarians for Communism, which was active in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s, writes his novels and short stories from the vantage point of a ventennial exilic experience in Mexico and France. In his fiction, there is little scope for enthusiasm and joy. His textual world is dominated by broken lives, estrangement, shady deals, violence, betrayal, and the absence of innocence and morality. It is also an all-male world, where female characters are represented either as treacherous, or purely instrumental. There is no escape, only relentless movement. By looking closely at Battisti’s fiction, published in French and Italian, this chapter examines displacement and exile both within a broader context of contemporary exile theory and, more specifically, in the current Italian and European sociopolitical context.

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