Linguistic Encounters Now and Then: Amara Lakhous and Tahar Lamri Engage in the Debate on (Dis)United Italy
- Author(s): Mari, Lorenzo
- Shvanyukova, Polina
- et al.
This essay investigates the use of Italian dialects in two novels written by contemporary Italophone writers, Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous and I sessanta nomi dell'amore written by Tahar Lamri, both published in 2006. These two texts can be positioned, in the first place, within the ongoing cultural debate on old and new multiculturalisms in today's Italy. Secondly, they are clearly influenced by the discussion on the renewed questione della lingua, so central in the history of (dis)united Italy.
The essay seeks to illustrate the different approaches to the use of dialects adopted by these Algerian-born writers and the outcomes achieved. The main focus here is to establish the extent to which literary, cultural and political potential of dialectal use is unlocked in order to challenge the dominant, canonical culture.
The essay will also highlight the different ways in which the two authors attempt to question the ideas of Italianness and monolithic national culture in the context of rapidly changing cultural dynamics of contemporary Italy.