Keywords: Italian colonialism, Italian Colonial Novel, Racism, Men studies, Fascism.
This essay deals with four Italian colonial novels published between 1925 and 1934. It aims at highlighting the degree of interconnection between race-based and gender-based narratives in the Italian cultural experience of the Overseas. The main focus is on the colonial novel as an archive of models of masculinity and whiteness; not a coherent archive, but a complex and contradictory one. After a brief overview of the editorial history of the phenomenon of colonial novel in general, I will argue that the
four models of virility that can be found in these novels are utterly incompatible and, at the same time, that they are built around a coherent core (the undoubted supremacy of the white man) and deployed through the same narrative structure (a racialized set of narrative functions).