Emanuela Scarpellini

«M il figlio del secolo» by Antonio Scurati. A dispute between history and fiction

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: History; Fiction; Antonio Scurati; Hayden White; Mussolini.

This article is about the editorial fortune of the book by Antonio Scurati (M: The son of the Century), a fictionalized biography of Benito Mussolini presented by the author as an important book for understanding fascism, beyond history books. The book has long appeared among the leading best sellers in Italy but has been accused of reporting many mistakes regarding dates and characters. After examining the structure of the work and the numerous articles in newspapers and television about it, the article recalls the results of the debate started by Hayden White on history and fiction and its subsequent developments. The structure of the novel and the different narrative and stylistic mechanisms used to create a story are subsequently examined. Equally, the pedagogical and political aspects present in Scurati's work are considered, in comparison with historical methodology and deontology. In conclusion, the article excludes a direct comparison between products that appear intrinsically different, for purpose, structure, and narrative forms.

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