Mark W. Clark, the Kenneth P. Asbury Professor of History, will lecture on “The Legacy of Fascism and War in the Work of Ignazio Silone” on Wednesday, April 13, at 6:30 in the C. Bascom Slemp Student Center Dogwood Room.
Ignazio Silone’s career as an intellectual began in the early 1930s, as he was withdrawing from active political life within the Italian Communist Party.  During this period, Silone refashioned himself into what the historian Gaetano Salvemini had first seen in him: a writer, first and foremost.  The most important period of Silone’s literary career thus coincided with the triumph of European fascism and World War II.
His first three novels, “Fontamara,” “ Bread and Wine,” and “The Seed Beneath the Snow,” as well as a series of non-fiction works, were published between Mussolini’s rise to power in 1922 and 1942, and were deeply intertwined with the clash of ideological forces that was so central to the coming world conflict.  “A Handful of Blackberries,” published in 1952, more clearly sought to interpret and give meaning to the war, to its attendant atrocities, and more especially, to the deeper cultural crisis which underlay the era.
Bridging themes of regime change, dictatorial legacies, and memory in postwar Europe, Clark will analyze Silone’s role in the transition from fascism to democracy in Italy.  More specifically, he will examine the ways in which Silone participated in the debate over the memory of fascism from 1945-1960.
The public is invited to attend the free lecture, and cultural activity credit is available for UVa-Wise students.