Elena Papadia

Above the Fray? Intellectuals' Neutrality and the Case of Aldo Palazzeschi

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


The essay describes the arguments made by those few Italian intellectuals who sided in favor of neutrality; not only because they did not support Italy's participation in the conflict, but also because they refused to enlist their intelligence in the service of the "bourrage des crânes" the war had generated. After carefully looking at the "Italia nostra", a group caught between Germanophilism and a conscious defense of cultural freedom, the essay outlines the position of Benedetto Croce, the theorist of the limits of patriotic obligation; it then goes on to discuss Aldo Palazzeschi, the only intellectual in the Italian avant-garde (and one of the few in the European avant-garde) who rejected the claims that art and culture should be subject to the demands of "total war" .

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