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The Commitment to Truth in the Early Resistance Short Fiction of Beppe FenoglioThis essay considers the Resistance short stories in Beppe Fenoglio’s collection I ventitre giorni della città di Alba, published in 1952. Setting these stories within the historical and culture context of post-war Italy, it investigates their author’s commitment to expressing the “truth” of the experience of the Resistance through fiction. It argues that Fenoglio goes further than his neorealist contemporaries in attempting to do so in the manner in which he depicts a civil war rather than a war of liberation, and in his unsparingly harsh description of certain aspects of partisan behavior. The essay examines the relationship between Fenoglio’s life and his fiction, putting the case that we should draw clear distinctions between the two, without detracting from the truth of the latter. In conclusion, it draws comparsions between the early stories and Fenoglio’s later novel, Il partigiano Johnny, where the author was able to capture the heroic qualties of the Resistance alongside his depiction of all its contradictory aspects.
The Moral Realism of Beppe Fenoglio's Appunti PartigianiAbstract: This essay conducts a reappraisal of Beppe Fenoglio’s Appunti partigiani, a work which has been unjustly neglected. It discusses the relationship of the Appunti to neorealist memorialistica and to Fenoglio’s later fiction such as Il partigiano Johnny, in terms of attitudes to the Resistance, literary technique, and the aesthetic of remaining true to experience without embellishment. The essay demonstrates how Appunti partigiani raises profound moral questions in its depiction of civil war, for example in the story of the execution of a spy, yet without necessarily condemning the Resistance itself. Finally, the essay examines the role of the narrator/protagonist “Beppe” in creating an intimate rapport with the reader, so that we trust him as someone with moral integrity and live through the experience of being a partisan with him. In conclusion, the essay argues that Appunti partigiani offers one of the most revealing accounts of the Resistance.