References for Mussolini’s Maiden, Mothers, and ‘Manly Men’: Gender Politics in Fascist Italy



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References for Mussolini’s Maiden, Mothers, and ‘Manly Men’: Gender Politics in Fascist Italy:

Historical references:

Mussolini, Laura Fermi

Italy Under Mussolini, Christopher Leeds

Mussolini, Denis Mack Smith

How Fascism Ruled Women, 1922-1945, Victoria de Grazia

Liberazione della donna: Feminism in Italy, Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum

Films Cited or Recommended in Class:
The Leopard (Il gattopardo), Luchino Visconti, 1966 (historical fiction following the lives of the Sicilian aristocracy during their decline in the time of Italian Unification, starring Burt Lancaster)
1900, Bernardo Bertolucci, 1977 (epic tale of two brothers growing up in Italy during the first half of the twentieth century)
Mediterraneo, Gabriele Salvatores, 1988 (Italian soldiers stranded on a Greek island during WWII begin to make something of a home there)
Life is Beautiful (La vita e’ bella), Roberto Benigni, 1994 (a Jewish man in Florence courts his future wife, then keeps their son alive in a concentration camp by hiding the truth about the Nazis from him)
A Special Day (Una giornata particolare), Ettore Scola, 1977 (a lonely housewife and isolated journalist in Rome connect over the course of one day in 1938 while everyone else attends a Fascist rally, starring Sofia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni)
Two Women (La Ciociara), Vittorio de Sica, 1961 (Sofia Loren stars as a single mother who struggles to survive with her daughter in war-torn Rome)
Rome, Open City (Roma, Citta’ aperta), Roberto Rosselini, 1945 (first Neorealist film depicts the story of a partisan, his wife, and the priest who helps the cause; starring Anna Magnani)

Novels Cited or Recommended in Class:
The Leopard (Il gattopardo), Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, 1958 (historical fiction following the lives of the Sicilian aristocracy during their decline in the time of Italian Unification)
Ashes (Cenere), Grazia Delleda, 1904 (a single mother struggles to decide if it would be best for her child to give him up; Deledda won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1926)
A Woman (Una donna), Sibilla Aleramo, 1904 (memoir of the writer, who describes the events leading up to her decision to leave her abusive husband—and young son—in order to save herself)
Men and Not Men (Uomini e no), Elio Vittorini, 1945 (story of a partisan during WWII)
The Path to the Spider’s Nest (Il Sentiero del Nido dei Ragni), Italo Calvino, 1947 (the coming of age story of a child partisan set during WWII)
The Moon and the Bonfires, Cesare Pavese, 1949 (an Italian partisan recalls WWII in post-war America)
War in Val d’Orcia, Iris Origo, 1947 (British ex-pat in Tuscany who runs large estate of 57 farms that took in refugees from Allied bombings and partisans alike)
Dalla parte di lei (The Best of Husbands), Alba de Cespedes, 1949 (fictive “memoir” written from jail of the protagonist Alessandra, who recounts her fairytale courtship followed by an unhappy marriage; the second third of this lengthy novel describes Alessandra’s activities as a female partisan. The author herself, Alba de Cespedes, was active in the Resistance)

Recommened Short Story Collection:

Unspeakable Women: Selected Short Stories Written by Italian Women During Fascism, ed. Robin Pickering-Iazzi

Also, the book by local resident George Custodi that collects excerpts from the wartime diaries of three Italians is called Tre Testimoni/Three Witnesses (2014) and is available on Amazon.
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