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Journal Article

Fantahistorical vs. Fantafascist Epic: “Contemporary” Alternative Italian Colonial Histories

Simone Brioni
Science Fiction Studies
Vol. 42, No. 2, Italian Science Fiction (July 2015), pp. 305-321
Published by: SF-TH Inc
DOI: 10.5621/sciefictstud.42.2.0305
Stable URL:
Page Count: 17
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Fantahistorical vs. Fantafascist Epic: “Contemporary” Alternative Italian Colonial Histories
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This article focuses on Enrico Brizzi's L'inattesa piega degli eventi [The Unexpected Turn of Events, 2008], La nostra guerra [Our War, 2009], and Lorenzo Pellegrini e le donne [Lorenzo Pellegrini and the Women, 2012], a trilogy of alternative history novels that imagine what would have happened to the Italian empire if Italy had not allied with Germany during World War II. Drawing on Giorgio Agamben's reflections on contemporaneity, I analyze how this trilogy represents Fascism and its colonial legacy in relation to the history of politics and soccer in Italy. I also compare Brizzi's trilogy to Mario Farneti's alternative history novels—Occidente [Occident, 2001], Attacco all'Occidente [Attack on the Occident, 2005], and Nuovo impero d'Occidente [New Empire of the Occident, 2006]—which propose a celebratory rather than mocking depiction of Fascism and its imperialist agenda. This reading is useful for understanding Brizzi's interpretation of Italian political history after World War II and his attempt to use sf, a literary genre that was important for the promotion of the Italian colonial enterprise, to decolonize the Italian imagination. I argue that Brizzi's and Farneti's different visions of Italy's alternative past embody what John Foot has termed “Italy's divided memory” and its constitutive ambivalence regarding the legacy of Fascism.

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