From forgotten literature to queer theory in Italy. A possible way for a new definition?
The aim of this paper is to give a new perspective on queer theory in the Italian studies panorama. This research will take as reference some Italian narrative texts of the 70s, such as Educatore autorizzato (1971) by Armando Rossini and La maschia. La prima storia da una comune gay (1979) by Vittorio Pescatori. For these texts, literary criticism has so far shown little to no interest. The first part will highlight how queer studies in Italy (at least in the literary field) have become established late without being considered an autonomous and crucial disciplinary area. The effects of this delay can be seen in the scarce establishment of university courses specifically dedicated to this topic. Indeed, the most important critical results in the field have been achieved either by English scholars or Italianists who work outside Italy. Italianists working in Italy have shown low interest, although there have been some exceptions. The second part consists of a cultural and linguistic analysis of the forementioned literary works from Rossini and Pescatori. This analysis aims to promote some primary development lines to strengthen, enrich, or question the critical and theoretical debate so far conducted in Italy which is mainly based on the Anglophone and French queer theory. This study, therefore, relies not only on the most consolidated queer theory as an interpretative key, but it is carried out and tailored specifically for the Italian cultural area. Finally, on a historical level, the analysis is potentially productive because it interests Rossini and Pescatori. In their texts, they propose social and cultural paradigms that put forward the queer subject as the engine of political change in the framework of committed literature that invites, in turn, to question the current idea of the contemporary literary canon.