Taking into account the re-emergence of the «idea of a nation» on the political and the intellectual scenes, the author explores the meaning of this new «longing for a fatherland». Within the context of a return of the question of "italianness", contrasted as it may be, he stresses the fact that, for at least the last fifteen years (with something like a discrepancy between political time and intellectual time), we have witnessed the appearance of a new interest for the question of Italian "literary identity" among the literary critics and historians. Relying on the analysis of a number of books which lie at the core of what might be called l’italianologia letteraria, he tries to understand how the questioning relative to national identity seems to be spreading, as if by contamination, to the field of literary criticism. He focuses on how we have come to reexamine the fundamental characteristics of Italian literary historiography in a sometimes highly critical manner toward the "risorgimental" paradigms elaborated at the inception of the "literary nation".
Keywords: Literatury, italianology, memory, identity, Risorgimento, nation