L'imperialismo spirituale negli esordi della
rivista 'Augustea' (1925-1927)
Artesis University College
Department of Translators and Interpreters
Schildersstraat 41, 2000 Antwerpen (Belgio)
Rosario Gennaro è docente di lingua, letteratura e cultura italiane presso l’Artesis University College di Anversa. Si è occupato principalmente di Ungaretti e di rapporti letterari tra Belgio, Francia e Italia nel Novecento. Negli ultimi anni si è soffermato sui rapporti fra cultura e fascismo. Tra le pubblicazioni: La risposta inattesa. Ungaretti e il Belgio tra politica, arte e letteratura, Firenze-Leuven, Cesati-Leuven University Press, 2002; Le patrie della poesia. Ungaretti, Bergson e altri saggi, Firenze, Cadmo, 2004;‘Moretti et Bruges: parodie d’un mythe’, in: Les villes du symbolisme, M. Quaghebeur (a cura di), Bruxelles, Peter Lang, 2007;‘Bergson, Pirandello e l’umorismo’, in: Le passioni di Pirandello, a cura di B. Van den Bossche e M. Jansen, Firenze, Cesati, 2010; Giuseppe Ungaretti, Jean Lescure, Carteggio, Firenze, Olschki, 2010; ‘I manifesti novecentisti tra politica e letteratura’, in: Bollettino 900, 1-2 (2011).
The study of Fascism’s program of ‘cultural expansion abroad’ (‘espansione culturale all’estero’) must acknowledge the fundamental role played by the journal Augustea, founded in 1925 by Franco Ciarlantini, a prominent editor of the Fascist PNF. Working on the project were, among others, Massimo Bontempelli, Emilio Bodrero, and Arrigo Solmi. The journal combined ‘politics, economics, art’, and advocated the unity and power of an Italy that would finally be cohesive, and, as such, able to impose itself on the world stage. Power meant expansion in many senses: economically, politically, in regards to the military, but especially in terms of the ideal, artistic, and spiritual. According to the magazine, one needed to replace Italy as a leader of nations by highlighting its cultural supremacy, which dated back to Rome and its empire, and that had been preserved in the following centuries. The Italian cultural hegemony, at the service of foreign policy, was in fact seen as the path to empire, which was seen to require the support of intellectuals, artists, and journalists. The agenda in this way bound itself to the totalitarian project of Fascism; on the one hand there was an internal conquest, a Fascistization, of the new Italian identity designed by Mussolini, and on the other hand an external conquest consisting of a spiritual imperialism, positing Italian society as the natural leader among nations. Culture, in this way, was seen as the medium of both aspects of the conquest.