The experience of exile and the flight to Italy
This chapter links the classical and Christian lineage of exile with the actuality of banishment under different political regimes in England from the Civil War to the post-Waterloo period, noting the ironies of the two-way traffic of exile between England and Italy. The extent to which it is possible to desynonymize exile and other forms of what might be called ‘reluctant travel’ in the 19th century is discussed with a consideration of exile in definitions of Romanticism, Modernism, and Postmodernism. Looking at the peculiar linguistic sensitivity of writers who continue to publish in their mother tongue from abroad, the chapter introduces the concept of a poetics of exile as it affects Italians in England and the English in Italy. The chapter also introduces the exilic inflection in key forms and motifs: metaphors of distance, attention to things, epistolary and conversational modes, and hybrid forms of lyric, drama, and narrative
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