There Is No Map: The New Italian(s)
What is migration? The word itself immediately brings up a concatenation of issues: immigration, emigration, flights both voluntary and forced. Can one even draw a distinction between migrants and refugees? Our mass media often lump these ideas together. Luckily, the world of literature is more nuanced, and necessarily embraces complexity. Add to this the fact that the Italian peninsula is a skinny strip of land jutting out into the Mediterranean—a body of water the ancient Romans revealingly called mare nostrum, “our sea”—dotted with islands conquered so many times that they’ve developed their own ideas of safety and sovereignty. So, just how might we best explore this mobile concept, blending diaspora and influx, as it has influenced contemporary Italian literature? With great care.