Il passato ritorna sempre più forte e in forme originali. Negli ultimi anni si è moltiplicato il numero di programmi dei media tradizionali, la produzione di materiali sui social e su internet, l’attività di appassionati di storie locali e regionali, l’impegno di cultori di ricostruzioni storiche. Un fenomeno spinto da tendenze e obiettivi diversi, se non opposti, sempre mosso dalla ricerca, all’interno dei processi storici, di miti ed eroi, momenti gloriosi o primati, episodi importanti o semplicemente fatti colorati dal fascino dell’antico. Negli anni ottanta e soprattutto nei novanta, il fenomeno è diventato visibile in grandi dimensioni, stimolato dal declino delle appartenenze ideologiche della guerra fredda e dalla rivoluzione della comunicazione e del digitale, che ha moltiplicato la forza narrativa e di spettacolarizzazione del passato. Lo spazio pubblico è invaso dal recupero, o dallo scontro, sulla memoria. Le cause perdute sono una forma di queste rielaborazioni del passato. Molte società, stati, gruppi politici hanno conosciuto situazioni drammatiche o fratture radicali che hanno segnato la distruzione o la sconfitta irrimediabile di alcuni attori. Per sopravvivere a questa disgrazia, un settore della società reagisce generando strategie di sopravvivenza simbolica che producono una cultura dei vinti e, in maniera più o meno efficace, identità collettive centrate su un trauma fondante. Questo fenomeno complesso di correnti culturali e intellettuali forgia e rielabora immagini e interpretazioni del passato. Prendono così forma le cause perdute: disegni fatidici e aspirazioni frustrate che captano l’immaginazione, accendono le passioni, suscitano simpatie e sviluppano identità collettive. Questo numero si concentra su casi che hanno prodotto strutture retoriche di questo tipo, focalizzando l’attenzione in particolare sulle relazioni tra alcune cause perdute e le guerre civili, vale a dire su esperienze nelle quali la conclusione dei conflitti ha segnato la formazione degli stati moderni, o la loro rifondazione. Queste cause perdute mischiano il presente e la memoria, ma ne offrono una versione originale e accattivante, perché figlia di fratture radicali come le guerre civili ottocentesche o le vicende dei bianchi russi o dei nazionalisti cinesi nel Novecento. Drammatiche sconfitte mai ribaltate, rese affascinanti proprio dai colori della tragedia epica, che riemergono con minore o maggiore successo in forma di rivincita del passato. Possono riapparire da un tempo secolare, come nel caso delle origini del borbonismo napoletano, o limitarsi ad analisi intellettuali, come in quello dei socialisti rivoluzionari russi dopo la sconfitta nella rivoluzione. Ancora possono ritrovare le radici in una lunga storia di rielaborazione romantica patriottica, come nel caso del catalanismo, o giusti carsi in una originale esperienza di riconciliazione nazionale, come in quello dei confederati. Si tratta anche di vicende tra loro diverse, ma capaci di durare fino al XX secolo inoltrato, come nel caso dei carlisti spagnoli o in quello dei fascisti italiani. Una causa perduta, in quanto esito di una sconfitta drammatica e irreversibile, genera un risentimento collettivo e un ripensamento radicale, producendo repertori ideologici e culturali in grado di persistere nella memoria, o di venire recuperati in particolari congiunture.
Cause perdute. Memorie, rappresentazioni e miti dei vinti
Eduardo González Calleja e Carmine Pinto
The lost causes. Memories, Representations and Myths of the Defeated
The lost causes are a complex phenomenon of cultural and intellectual currents: fateful designs and frustrating aspirations that continue capturing imagination, igniting passions, stir sympathies, and develop collective identities after the original forces have disappeared. Systematically defeated, they survive the winners and defeats, inspiring hopes, idealism and irrepressible romance. This number of «Meridiana» focuses on cases that produce effective rhetorical structures. In order to maintain a pro le of organicity among the proposed cases, but also for the close links between some lost causes and civil wars, it suggests an examination of experiences where the conclusion of con icts has a close relationship with the formation of modern states.
Keywords: Lost Causes; Cultures of Defeats; Civil Wars; Memory and History.
La causa perduta come racconto politico: il carlismo
Pedro Rújula Lopez
Lost cause as a Political Narrative: Carlism
Since its very beginnings, Carlism was a lost cause. Its origins lay in Infant Carlos’ rejection of the succession of Isabel II to the Spanish Throne, unleashing a Civil War in order to assert his rights. The key cause of war was indeed usurpation. As victims they justi ed their uprising and as such they kept up their ght long after the war’s end. Moreover, they also experienced a deep sense of loss of their core values such as the fueros or the religion. To sum up, the narrative of the lost cause allowed the Carlist to present themselves as the champions of lost causes of modernity. As standard-bearer of the tradition against the liberal threaten, they keep ghting until the civil war of 1936 when they seemingly put an end to more than a century of struggle for their lost cause. However it would not last longer. They soon felt betrayed by the Francoism, recovering their lost cause rhetoric.
Key words: Carlism; Legitimism; Reactionary; Traditionalism; Civil war.
All’origine delle cause perdute: la lost cause confederata e le sue riletture
Eduardo González Calleja
In the Origin of the lost causes: Confederate lost cause and its Re-Readings
«Lost cause» is the particular version of collective memory of the South of the United States related to its defeat in the Civil War (1861-1865), speci cally post bellum writings and civic activities aimed to the perpetuation of the Confederate memory. With this purpose, Civil War was interpreted as a struggle for the sovereignty of the secessionist states, an alleged pre- war racial harmony was exalted, and the inevitability of defeat face to immensely superior forces was recognized. These millenarian, victimizing and conspiratorial ingredients contributed by the end of the 19th century to the becoming of «lost cause» as the «New South Creed», based on nostalgia and the cult of heroes and fallen. From the beginning of the 20th century, a falsely reconciling version of «lost cause» allowed the consolidation of racism with new segregationist laws. The «lost cause» experienced an ephemeral revitalization during the struggle for Civil Rights, and since the 1980s there has been a neoconfederalism close to groups of Christian identity, that have recovered the «lost cause» in its most belligerent version.
Keywords: Lost Cause; Confederate; Civil War; Rebellion; Myth of Dixie.
The Lasts Bourbons. Narratives and Myths of the Lost Duosicilian Nation (1867-1911)
The Bourbon lost cause was a product of the generation of the defeated. The Bourbon rebels and the Catholic partisans mitigated a resistance that had political, ideological aspects in the case of brigandage and above all criminal, but never created against territorial powers (as for confederates), controlled areas (such as carlists) or great traditions ideological (such as French legitimists). Thus, even though they produced myths and symbols in a narrow circuit of southern society, it was easy for Italian nationalist units to exclude them from the of cial nation but to recognize political dignity as well. The Bourbons, like the Austrians and the Papal recited the part of the retreat and oppressive foes in the development of the narrations that consolidated the liberal Risorgimento state, but were also incapable of affecting the beginning of the confrontation on the Southern question. At the same time, the symbolic practices, the rituals, the texts proposed to the public discourse by the generations of the borbonians, dense with regrets, accusations against the winners and the new state, created a basin of memories and useful materials still today a kind of critique of unitary experience.
Keywords: Bourbon Lost Cause; Mezzogiorno Post Unitary; Bourbonism; Legitimate Catholicism; War and Memory.
From Defeat to Final Victory: Nationalism, Symbols and Traditions Invented in Catalonia
Nationalism is a building and the nation is a nationalist building. Before the 20th century there was no nation called Catalonia. They were the nationalists who, starting from the nineties of the nineteenth century, launched the project of building a nation and nationalizing the Catalans, trying to make them aware of being part of a Catalan nation. At that time, there has witnessed a fruitful invention and recompense of supposed traditions. Then, properly placed in history and endowed with undisputed national content, the true and sacred symbols of Catalonia, in particular the ag with the four stripes, the Sardinian assorted to Catalan national dance, the hymn Els segadors and the Diada or day of the homeland, on September 11th. The «lost cause» of 1714 came, therefore, with force in the 20th century, culturally structured and well endowed with symbolic survival strategies.
Keywords: Nationalism; Nationalization; Lost Cause; Catalonia; Symbols; Invented Traditions.
L’impossibile sconfitta dei socialisti-rivoluzionari russi
Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries’ Impossible Defeat
Representing the average peasantry, the Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries (PS-R) were the largest political force in 1917 Russia. Revolution brought them to power, but as a result of their deep internal dissensions, they soon lost it, which they took for an inconceivable phenomenon, a real impossible defeat. Socialist-Revolutionaries went on denying this reality even in the 1920s, when they saw the Nep as a Soviet acknowledgement of the defeat of the whole Leninist political project, and the turning point which paved the way for the re-emergence of peasant traditions in a society free of the great capitalist production. The Soviet politics of komnarodničestvo (the «communist populism» of 1925-26) seemed to con rm that the socialist-revolutionary defeat had only been apparent, and at the end of the decade only Stalinist violence put an end to the intellectual experience of the PS-R.
Keywords: Russian History; 1917; Revolution; Russian Socialist- Revolutionaries; Russian peasant traditions; Communist populism.
Fascism is not a lost cause. Memory and Repression in the Defeated of Italian Social Republic
The essay deals the ways in which the «defeated» of the Social Republic have been told in the decades following their defeat. In particular, it analyzes the narrative strategies and the readings of the past through which the heirs of Republican fascism have tried to rebuild their historical legitimacy into a political system that had accepted their presence, but had assigned them – in the name of Anti-Fascism – a completely marginal place.
Keywords: Fascism; Civil War; Italian Social republic; Italian Historiography.
Traumatic Art. Gibellina and Re-Semanticization of its Ruins
In January 1968, the town of Gibellina, in Sicily, was hit by a violent earthquake. The resulting devastation was so severe that central government authorities prohibited the inhabitants of Gibellina from returning to their homes, forcing them to move «en masse» to a different location. In attempting to reconstruct the different aspects of this event, including both the symbolic and physical aspects, it is interesting to note how the scene of the disaster has come to be considered. In the aftermath of an earthquake, the ruins generally embody not only a shared sense of loss, but also individual and collective memories that nd articulation in and around the devastated spaces, helping to regenerate memory. In this case study, a double subtraction is incorporated in Burri’s Cretto, which physically and symbolically replaces the old town of Gibellina, with all the evocative and semantic power of a monumental artwork. And it has had a decisive effect on the ways in which this disastrous event has become part of the history of the community and, consequently, of their collective memory. The work collectively stops the clock at the very moment of the destruction, which it reiterates «ad in nitum». This process of external re-semanticization has serious repercussions on the way in which the people involved attempt to build up an image of their identity: they appear to be and talk about themselves as being «trapped» by the identifying moment of the earthquake, in exactly the same way as the remnants of their old town.
Keywords: Collective Trauma; Disaster; Collective Memory; Gibellina; Cretto.
Migranti e pastoralismo. Il caso dei servi pastori romeni nelle campagne sarde
Domenica Farinella e Sebastiano Mannia
Migrants and Pastoralism: The Case of the Romanian Salaried Shepherds in the Sardinian Countryside
Over the past decade, research into the role of migrants in agriculture within global capitalism increased. Several studies analyze the exploitation of migrants in the intensive agricultural system as a negative effect of market price competition. Within the context, this article focuses on a case- study which so far has received little scholarly attention, that of Romanian salaried shepherds in Sardinia (Italy). Historically, being a salaried shepherd represented a common step in the moral career of the local shepherds: the young people started as «salaried»; during the years of training they became experts and earned enough money to become autonomous. At the beginning of the nineties, the role of the «salaried» shepherd has shifted from the local young people to Romanians and other foreign workers, who are now willing to accept working conditions and salaries usually rejected by the local people. The use of Romanian cheap workforce re ects the structural problems of the Sardinian sheep dairy system, as well as the dif culty of recruiting local people who may want to live and work in the countryside. This article is based on a qualitative research with ethnographic observation and in depth interviews conducted among local shepherds as well as Romanian across Sardinia to offer a comprehensive view of the role of Romanian salaried shepherds in the local breeding activities and practices.
Keywords: Pastoralism; Romanian Salaried Shepherds; Migrant Workers; Sardinia.
The House of Tasso in Sorrento: Monumentality and Imagery of the French Decade and Bourbon Restoration
In the history of Western Tourism the town of Sorrento is identi ed as «Homeland of Tasso». The article traces the construction of this identity, which dates back to the early nineteenth century. In that period, in Europe, the pre-Romantic culture has revalue Torquato Tasso; French governments in Naples (1806-15) had interest in producing monumentality to strengthen political consensus and local identity; the culture of leisure travel (later tourism) was eager for new attractions; the artistic and gurative culture discovered the coastal landscape. The research also documents the weakness of awareness of the defence the collective cultural heritage in the small south- central than the force of French nationalism. The research primary sources are guide books, iconography, local historians and archival sources of the early nineteenth century. The interpretation is based on the historiography on the Napoleonic era and the Restoration, in tourism, in identity processes, iconography and landscape.
Keywords: History of Tourism; Cultural Identity; Torquato Tasso; Sorrento.
Oltre lo stereotipo. Alla ricerca della Napoli reale
Beyond the Stereotype. Researching Real Naples
In this article Gabriella Corona reviews Paolo Frascani’s book titled Napoli. Viaggio nella città reale (Laterza, 2017) and underlines the originality of the approach by which the author looks at the city. In fact, he analyses the history of Naples during the last decades deconstructing the great stereotypes by which Naples is usually represented in public debate (policy, media, docu- ction): «Gomorra», «dual» Naples divided between nobility and plebs, «lazy» city. For this reason the book represents a methodological proposal to do «present history» overstepping the common and generalised vision of a criminal and parasitic Southern Italy. Frascani dedicates this book to describe the character of the middle class, the growth of the important productive and manufacturing system in the periphery, the rise of a large network of associations directed to promote the artistic and cultural heritage. It isn’t an ingenuous analysis because the author doesn’t show only positive aspects but also limits and vulnerabilities. The nal part of the book is dedicated to study the transformations of the complex and con icting relationships between Naples and his hinterland composed by 92 municipalities. The future of the city, Paolo Frascani concludes, depends on the way by which the new powers of Metropolitan City, established during 2015, will be able to manage and solve their problems and give homogeneity (infrastructures, public services, political delegation etc.) to this territory as a whole.
Keywords: History of Present; Stereotypes; Naples.