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Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Conceptually organized around this figure, The Tigress in the Snow provides a wealth of information and reflections on a very specific yet wide-ranging topic, and thoroughly engages with the question of what it means to be a mother, or to write about mothers, in Italy.


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Even though this paradox is hardly surprising to all those who are acquainted with the Italian traditional ideology of motherhood and womanhood, it is nonetheless extremely interesting to discover the narrative trajectories that Benedetti draws in the five chapters of her book.

Each chapter is organized around a historical and ideological overview of the subject of motherhood in Italy at a specific epoch. This overview is complemented and contrasted with representations of motherhood in literary texts fiction and essays.

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The ambition to cover a wide-ranging selection of texts limits the depth of the analyses, but Benedetti succeeds in evoking the heterogeneity of an epoch her discussion of the reception of these texts, Una donna in particular, is fascinating while outlining the guiding trends in its gender politics. It also demonstrates that, in the case of such writers as Vivanti, motherhood was a springboard for exploring other controversial themes, such as notions of racial hybridization.

Benedetti gives ample room to the feminist movement of the sixties and seventies, and to the centrality that motherhood has in the reflections of these years. The century-long parable that Benedetti describes is one in which the emergence of a feminine subject is directly tied to the evolving negotiation of its relationship with the mother, its identification or refusal to identify with a subject that is often not considered as such.

How do these writers overcome the tigress in the snow syndrome?

Possibly more references to the philosophical work being done in recent years on this and similar themes would provide an apt platform to ground the future. Publication Timeline. Most widely held works by Laura Benedetti.

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The tigress in the snow : motherhood and literature in twentieth-century Italy by Laura Benedetti 16 editions published between and in English and held by 1, WorldCat member libraries worldwide "The Tigress in the Snow explores how literature was influenced by and helped to shape notions of motherhood in twentieth-century Italy. From late-nineteenth century religious iconography, to the Fascist regime's campaign to boost Italy's birthrate, to more recent feminist challenges to traditional gender roles, this study demonstrates that concepts of motherhood and the social status associated with mothers were subject to constant negotiation.


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  • Examining how this negotiation came to be represented in literature, Laura Benedetti looks at four generations of women writers, stressing their similarities and differences, as well as their complex interactions with their male counterparts and their reactions to changes in Italian society. An intriguing look at the changing nature of the maternal role in a culture that has always put strong emphasis on the institution of motherhood, this volume goes further to show how literature investigates, shapes, and envisions social models for the present and future.

    Gendered contexts : new perspectives in Italian cultural studies by Laura Benedetti 13 editions published between and in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide "This volume, made up of the selected proceedings of two conferences held at The Johns Hopkins University in and , is a fine example of the varied scholarly voices that are contributing today to what can be called 'gender-aware' literary studies.

    Neither strictly feminist nor post-feminist, neither rigidly theory-bound nor philological, and inclusive of men and women scholars, professors and graduate students alike, the collection speaks many critical idioms and ranges over the riches of many centuries of Italian literary culture, with the result that traditional boundaries are invigoratingly crossed, and a new community affirmed. The gendered context in which this community resides fortifies and expands Italian literary studies, and opens wide new vistas on canonical and non-canonical texts and topics.

    This is a most welcome addition to the growing body of work that is currently transforming Italian Studies in the United States into tomorrow's new Italian Studies. La sconfitta di Diana : un percorso per la "Gerusalemme liberata" by Laura Benedetti Book 11 editions published between and in Italian and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Exhortations to women and to others if they please by Lucrezia Marinella Book 2 editions published in in English and held by 65 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

    Discorso dei romanzi by Giambattista Cinzio Giraldi Book 8 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by 40 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

    Dr Adalgisa Giorgio

    Speaking truth to power from medieval to modern Italy Book 2 editions published in in English and held by 24 WorldCat member libraries worldwide "Twenty essays on literary and historical texts, from medieval to modern Italy, in which authors or characters challenge the established power of the state at the risk of their livelihood or their very lives"--www. Un paese di carta by Laura Benedetti Book 4 editions published between and in Italian and held by 18 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

    Exhortations to women and to others if they please by Lucrezia Marinella 2 editions published in in English and held by 15 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.