The Italian fascists under Benito Mussolini appropriated many aspects of the country's Catholic religious heritage to exploit the mystique and power of the sacred. One concept that the regime deployed as a core strategy was that of "sacrifice." In this book, Chiara Ferrari interrogates how the rhetoric of sacrifice was used by the Italian fascist regime throughout the interwar years to support its totalitarian project and its vision of an all-encompassing bond between the people and the state. The Rhetoric of Violence and Sacrifice in Fascist Italy focuses on speeches by Benito Mussolini and key literary works by prominent writers Carlo Emilio Gadda and Elio Vittorini. Through this investigation, Ferrari demonstrates how sacrifice functioned in relation to other elements of fascist rhetoric, such as the frequent reiterations of an impending national crisis, the need for collaboration among social classes, and the forging of social contact between the leader and the people.
Acknowledgments Introduction * Discursive Ritual and Sacrificial Presentation: The Rhetoric of Crisis and Resolution in Fascist Italy * Sacrificial Turns and Their Rhetorical Echoes * Gadda's Sacrificial Topographies * The Redemption of Vittorini's New Man Conclusion Appendix Notes Abbreviations Bibliography Index