Mario Caciagli

Molta memoria dei luoghi e pochi luoghi della memoria

  • Abstract

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"Places of memory", as the subtitles of the three volumes edited by Mario Isnenghi remind us, are structures and events, personalities and dates, symbols and myths upon which a community - in this case, Italy since its unification - is organised and endures. Unfortunately, only a part of the 74 entries offered by Isnenghi satisfy these requirements: most of the entries deal with memories of places rather than places of memory. In other words, they are merely descriptive profiles, almost always well written and rich in scholarship, which reconstruct the origin and the traits of their objects, but not their function in Italians' collective imagination. The exclusively historiographical approach, devoid of any investigative support which the social sciences could have provided as regards the actual existence of memories, prevents most of the essays from achieving the editor's good intentions.

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