Simão Valente
Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa
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Nuovi doveri e comunità in Conversazione in Sicilia di Elio Vittorini
Dedalus 25 (2021), pp. 313-325.
 
Abstract
This article offers a reading on issues of ethics and the literary construction of communities in Elio Vittorini’s Conversazione in Sicilia (1941). The main character and first person narrator, Silvestro, embarks on a journey to his native Sicily in an attempt to deal with the “abstract furors”, as he puts it, that seize him as he reads news of far-off human suffering. His path leads him to find specific and concrete examples of suffering, both in the past and in the present, that help him formulate a community of the “offended humankind”, no longer abstract by the end of the book, yet universal in the individuality of the characters he encounters. In order to achieve this, the novel adopts a circular structure that elevates mundane affairs to the level of myth, especially by bringing the past to the present through the action of recovered memories, both personal and historical.
 
Keywords: Elio Vittorini, Hannah Arendt, Mircea Eliade, Myth, History, Ethics