"Hard, Stoic, Isolate and Killer": i miti della violenza nella letteratura e cultura anglo-americana

Giulio Segato

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

Since the birth of the United States of America, violence has been a means of survival necessary to realize the “American Dream”. The beginning of the New World was made possible by conquering a hostile territory, by de- feating the Natives and by fighting against Great Britain. Subsequently, the preservation of the newly conquered freedom required a long and bloody Civil War. Therefore in Anglo-American history violence has always played a “foundational” role. The narrative scheme that places the pro-tagonist in a situation where violence becomes a moral necessity has be-come a topos of American literature and cinema. In classic works as J.F. Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, violence plays a central role. In his work, Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860, historian Richard Slotkin gives a path-breaking account of the pervasive role of violence in American culture. According to Slotkin, the key to understanding the peculiarities of the American character can be found in the mythology that the country has created since the very beginning of New World colonization. Slotkin highlights how early Puritan settlers saw, in the overseas territories, a place where a spiritual, economic and political new life was possible. Violence played a crucial role in this perspective. It became the “structuring metaphor” of the Anglo-Saxon colonization of America: the “Americans” never questioned this violence, but saw it as the successful implementation of Manifest Destiny. The central myth identified by Slotkin is Regeneration through Violence. This myth has given birth to secondary myths that describe both classic and popular Ameican literary works. Among these secondary myths and fig- ures, we find the hard-boiled hero and his code, and the “vigilante avenger”.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] "Hard, Stoic, Isolate and Killer": the myths of violence in Anglo-American literature and culture
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteSTORIA, MITO, LOGOS DOTTORATO DI RICERCA IN LETTERATURE COMPARATE EURO-AMERICANE GIORNATE DI STUDI 2009, 2010, 2011
Pagine429-441
Numero di pagine13
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013
EventoMito, magia, logos: fra letteratura e realtà - Genova
Durata: 15 dic 201116 dic 2011

Workshop

WorkshopMito, magia, logos: fra letteratura e realtà
CittàGenova
Periodo15/12/1116/12/11

Keywords

  • American History
  • American Literature
  • Literature of Violence
  • Popular Fiction

Fingerprint Entra nei temi di ricerca di '"Hard, Stoic, Isolate and Killer": i miti della violenza nella letteratura e cultura anglo-americana'. Insieme formano una fingerprint unica.

Cita questo