Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi

Afterword: memory and the past: fascism, spectacle, history

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Cultural Studies
  • Classics

Abstract The Afterword addresses the efforts of Italian fascists to build an imaginary fascist community through the mythical appropriation of the past. It argues that fascism epitomized in a peculiarly contradictory and destructive manner the moderns’ reaction to what they perceived as the end of an era. The historical division between memory and history, established in the nineteenth century, engulfed the fascist movement and overlapped with other critical dichotomies that vexed Mussolini and his adepts as they pursued the revitalization of communal roots while simultaneously riding the train of change. The dualisms of community and society, tradition and modernity, and, at a more meta-level, sacred and profane confronted fascism with difficult dilemmas, eliciting responses that, as the contributors to this issue show, ultimately exposed fascism’s cultural incongruities and fallacies.

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