Mutazioni del lavoro, comunità e pensiero meridiano: Antonio Pascale e Fabrizia Ramondino

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This article compares two novels, Pascale’s Passa la bellezza (2005) and Ramondino’s La Via (2008), on the issues of Southern identity in relation to work, community, development, sustainability and care (of people and place). Both novels are examples of a recent trend in Italian narrative to provide political, sociological, and anthropological analyses of contemporary Italy.
I test the usefulness of Franco Cassano’s ‘Meridian’ philosophy as an interpretative tool for these two novels on the grounds that they underscore the cultural specificity of the Southern Italian area in which they are set. In particular, I engage with ‘slowness’ (thus with time and by implication space) and ‘measure’, two of Cassano’s traditional Mediterranean values which, having been suppressed, must be reconstructed, to counter the capitalist values of excessive production and accumulation of wealth.
Cassano’s philosophy enables me to bring to light the texts’ engagement with postmodern issues of travel, migration, uprooting, precarious or lost identities, threat of loss or absence of community, danger of disconnection or a de facto disconnection between people and place. While they do not offer explicit solutions to the problems of work in postindustrial societies and do not propose alternative models of life, both authors appear to suggest that any politics of work must necessarily keep these issues in mind and be guided by the will to care for people, place, environment and tradition, in the hope of repairing the damages brought about by modernity and the attempts to ‘modernize’ the South.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-187
Number of pages13
JournalNarrativa: Letteratura e azienda. Rappresentazioni letterarie dell’economia e del lavoro
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


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