With "Fire in the Veins": Patriotism and Virility in the Diary of a Young Noncommissioned Officer during the First World War

Author/s Patrizia Gabrielli
Publishing Year 2017 Issue 2017/284 Language Italian
Pages 16 P. 152-167 File size 142 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2017-284009
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The article examines a particularly important source, stored at the Archivio diaristico nazionale in Pieve Santo Stefano, namely the diary Giuseppe Salvemini wrote as a young volunteer in the First World War. Drawing on the most recent historiographical studies about war experiences, the article analyzes the 400 pages written by Salvemini between June 26, 1916 and June 23, 1917. The main themes that emerge are: the enthusiasm of a volunteer, the encounter with military life, the war experience as a transition from adolescence to adulthood, the enthusiasm for the novelty of war, the consequences of the violence for the author’s feelings - this aspect is the object of a gender analysis -, the end of a certain kind of male happiness, the undermining of definite identities, and the ways in which the First World War transformed consolidated gender roles, including sexual practices and gender self-representations.

Keywords: First World War, Memory, Gender, War Experiences

Patrizia Gabrielli, Con "il fuoco nelle vene". Amor di patria e virilità nel diario di un giovane sottufficiale nella Grande guerra in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 284/2017, pp 152-167, DOI: 10.3280/IC2017-284009