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The return of this Saint Cecilia's Day finds me in better health than has been usual with me in these last six months. But I am not yet engaged in any work that makes a higher life for me - a life that is young and grows, though in my other life I am getting old and decaying.
George Eliot, Diary, November 22, 1868
Most overviews of postcolonial cultures in Africa focus overwhelmingly on Anglophone or Francophone literary production; this article seeks to provide a much-needed corrective by discussing a corpus of works that emerged starting with the 1990s mainly as a result of successive waves of migration from the African continent to Italy. They represent a new perspective not only within a literary tradition where postcolonial approaches have arrived late to the table, but also within larger decolonial discourses.
With roots that lay deep in the complex political and social situation of eighteenth-century Ireland, and in the political developments in the American colonies and in France, the rebellion was the bloodiest domestic event on either island of the last two hundred years. The article sheds light and comments on some of these complexities, leading to a finer understanding of crucial political settlements such as the Act of Union that absorbed Ireland fully into the United Kingdom in 1801.
As the article argues, “the libertine phenomenon … corresponds to the moment when the Western world started to see the body as the receptacle of the self’s deepest secrets, and night as the space-time when such secrets would reveal themselves”. A new understanding of human nature in the Age of Enlightenment was emerging, and this influential trend in 18th century French fiction provided a channel for the expression of daring and emancipated ideals within an aesthetic framework that was at once flirtatious and liberating.
The essay provides a wide-ranging overview of three overlapping domains in which literary theory was articulated, contested, and redefined over the Middle Ages – education, philosophy and literary making. It illuminates some of the tendencies later developed in the Renaissance and contributes to a better understanding of medieval culture in general.
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