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By Katia Pizzi

Poised among the Mediterranean and the Mitteleuropa, crossroads of civilizations and seat of bright cultural and literary lifestyles, Trieste is now said as having fun with unrivalled cultural prestige among Italian towns. This quantity, the 1st entire research of Triestine literature in English, initially reassesses Trieste+?s literary identification, paying specific recognition to the interval among 1918 and 1954 whilst neighborhood writing turned intensely conscious of its neighborhood specificity and a few of its imperative motifs got here prominently to the fore. Trieste+?s singular border identification, reflected in a variegated literary output, emerges right here as weighted down with complexities and ambiguities, resembling the arguable concept of triestinita, the ambiguous relation with nationalism, particularly in its Fascist inflection, and the anxieties generated via repeated re-definitions of the area+?s historic borders.

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As discussed above, in providing the foundation stone for the formation of a critical discourse on Triestine literature, the 'myth of Trieste' proved to be inescapable for local authors. 35 This latter aspect in particular determined the success of this 'myth' in the 1930s, when a reactionary officialdom that had claimed the monopoly on pre-war patriotic and nationalistic discourses was able to respond quite naturally to a nostalgic search for an all-Italian Trieste d'antan. The currency of the Trieste myth increased after the Second World War, with a growing commercial exploitation of Trieste's imperial past and particularly rich literary culture.

Embalmed in repetition, petrified by the backward-looking gaze of a local Medusa, 11. My double focus is analogous, though necessarily narrower in scope, to the one employed by F. Moretti mAtlante del romanzo europeo 1800-1900 (Turin: Einaudi, 1997), p. 5, 'studio dello spazio nella letteratura; oppure della letteratura nello spazio\ INTRODUCTION 33 triestinita cannot but turn Trieste into a locus mentalis', a mental landscape, a papier-mache countryside. Trieste is not Leopardi's Recanati, a 'natio borgo selvaggio' to be shunned in search of more appropriate cultural centres.

For the 'toscanita vociana', see Walter L. Adamson, Avant-Garde Florence: From Modernism to Fascism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993). On the other hand, Giorgio Voghera disputed the notion that La Voce and Triestine culture had anything in common; see Anni di Trieste, p. 92: 'Non so dawero come si faccia a non accorgersi prima facie che la "civilta" triestina [... ] differisce dalla civilta vociana forse altrettanto che da quella azteca. ' On the Triestine idealization of Italian culture see also Chapter 3.

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