Dr Sestigiani on Writing Colonisation, June 11, 6.30pm

Cover18This paper will focus on Ennio Flaiano’s novel Tempo di uccidere (A Time to Kill), which was published in 1947. The novel is set in Ethiopia, in the late 1930s, at the time of the Italian Fascist colonial empire. The paper will discuss the novel’s depiction of the African landscape and indigenous people and will investigate the significance of violence in the colonial environment. The reading of the landscape through the European eyes is loaded with Christian projections which violate the landscape and its inhabitants. Flaiano’s biblical references, announced in the title of the book itself, drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes, will be explored. The paper will argue that Flaiano’s portrayal of Italian colonialism is redolent of Orientalist devices of colonial representation: colonies are treated as a stage where Europeans can cast their anxieties and fears.
(The paper is drawn from S. Sestigiani’s monograph Writing Colonisation: Violence, Landscape and the Act of Naming in Italian and Australian Literature, NY: Peter Lang, 2014)