The Center for Italian Studies

The Department of Romance Languages

at the University of Pennsylvania


present the

Spring Research Seminar Series:



You Can Never Go Home Again:

Myth and Identity Loss in Cesare Pavese's La luna e i falò

Juliet Nusbaum

Columbia University



Monday, March 2

5:30 pm

Cherpack Lounge

543 Williams Hall

University of Pennsylvania


Juliet writes: “My dissertation, entitled Un paese di bastardi: Myth, Identity and Rootlessness in Cesare Pavese's Works and Context, situates careful analysis of Pavese’s writing within a cultural studies framework.  It explores how themes of myth and rootlessness in his writing relate to the creation of a national Italian identity from the 1930s–1950. My research analyzes how Pavese uses these themes as a way to explore Italian identity, themes whose meaning was intensified by the use of myth and landscape in Fascism’s rhetoric of italianità.  I also explore how the problems of loss and rootlessness influence his treatment of American literature and the image of America. In my presentation, I focus on the fourth and final chapter of my dissertation; it follows the threads of myth and identity in Pavese’s work to explore a single case in depth: La luna e i falò.”