Darkest Italy: The Nation and Stereotypes of the by John Dickie (auth.)

By John Dickie (auth.)

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Sample text

46 For the author of the report, Giuseppe Massari, the language of violence comes purportedly from outside the imaginary space occupied by the state, from outside the social body, but it is a language the state is forced to mimic. Brigandage, as the antithesis of the law, draws the forces repressing it into a borderline area where they can remain legitimate only by claiming to be replying in kind to the reviled methods of banditry. 40 Darkest Italy The sense of having to go beyond the law in order to protect it permeates the reflections of many officers in the South.

The Piedmontese army was therefore to be legitimated and motivated by a monarchistic Italian nationalism rather than by an aristocratic and parochial praetorian ethos, a bourgeois careerism, or a Mazzinian ardor. In the military sphere as elsewhere, the national cause provided the ground on which the interests of Piedmontese dynastic expansion and administrative modernization could be reconciled. 24 For the ideologues of the Piedmontese ruling class, the army found its military and ideological raison d’être in a dynastic vision of the nation to come, as Italy was to find its incarnation and expression in the army.

Twelve rifles fired at Pinnolo and Bellusci’s backs. . Some surly characters could not understand why the people ran to collect the bullets, and thought they were doing it in the hope of gain. This is not true. 68 Some of the differences between this execution and the regulation model merit exploration: the denial of the usual expressions of repentance, for example. Such features can tell us a great deal about the symbolic role played by the bandit and the way the army’s practices were influenced by imaginary constructions.

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