Book Presentation on Zoom
In collaboration with
NYU Department of Italian Studies
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by 3pm on October 21
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Charles Leavitt's Italian Neorealism: A Cultural History (University of Toronto Press, 2020) redefines neorealism as a cultural exchange and a field of discourse that shifted the confines of creativity and revised the terms of artistic expression in postwar Italy. The book studies how neorealist texts reflected and performed the contentious conditions of their creation, not just in their narrative but also in their form, language, structure. Moving away from essentialist readings, Leavitt explores neorealism through the interaction, even the contamination of discourses — "una confusione di linguaggio fra poesia e politica," in the words of Natalia Ginzburg. Neorealist texts, the book argues, cannot be divorced from their contextual debates — more than anything, neorealism was a vast cultural conversation.