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Return from Exile: Joyce Lussu's Many Autobiographical Voices


This paper seeks to analyze the ways in which, through autobiographical writing, Joyce Lussu sought to reestablish her complex sense of self after exile and how the works she created narrate and facilitate over the years a series of multiple returns from exile. The texts to be analyzed and compared will be Fronti e frontiere and Portrait, the latter being the most conventionally an autobiography. In all three texts autobiography is integral, but the genre is adopted more flexibly than in a traditional form. In the first, Lussu novelizes her story without, however, fictionalizing it; in the second, while writing a self-proclaimed “anti-autobiografia” Lussu integrates much of the genre into a somewhat more loose interpretation of life story. The flexibility and elasticity with which Lussu uses the genre allows her to mold it to her own ends, and I will argue that through autobiographical writing Lussu is able to return in different ways from the exile she endured for the first quarter of her life and (re)establish a multi-voiced sense of self that had be denied by the Fascist state.

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