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Feminist Writings$
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Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret A. Simons, and Marybeth Timmermann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039003

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039003.001.0001

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Foreword to History: A Novel

Foreword to History: A Novel

(p.176) Foreword to History: A Novel
Feminist Writings
Marybeth Timmermann
University of Illinois Press

History is the title of the latest novel by Elsa Morante.1 However, don’t expect to find in these pages epic or tragic tales of the dramas that have shaken the world from antiquity to modern times. In Elsa Morante’s eyes, History is not the great collective events told in newspapers, recorded in books, and scrupulously summarized by her at the beginning of each chapter. Rather, it is the obscure repercussion of these events in the hearts and bodies of the individuals who experience them, usually without even understanding them. There are a small number of specialists, such as intellectuals and politicians, who comprehend the unfolding of events and attempt to participate in them lucidly. Some Italian critics have reproached Elsa Morante for not having chosen them for her heroes. For her, every life, even the most humble, is a human adventure that is unique and complete. “All lives, really,” she writes, “have the same end: and two days, in the brief passion of a kid like Useppe, are not worth less than years.”...

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