Maria Bonaria Urban, “Narrare il fascismo nell’era digitale: storia, memoria, e transmedialit√† in M. Il figlio del secolo”

Abstract: M. Il figlio del secolo (2018) by Antonio Scurati represents an emblematic case study to question the processes of construction of cultural memory and, in particular, how the novel can generate a collective imagination of fascism in an increasingly mediatized and global social space. After placing the work in the context of contemporary narrative and publishing industry, the essay identifies in M. Il figlio del secolo an example of “transmedia storytelling” (Jenkins) since the story has been mediated in numerous communicative practices and cultures and the phenomenon is still evolving. It is also hypothesized that the novel was able to generate a participatory criticism of fascism because the story of the past was interpreted in a futuristic way, that is, as a compass for orienting oneself in the contemporary political scenario. Finally, the essay demonstrates that the fulcrum of the process of memorialization of fascism resulting from the text is Scurati himself: the writer, in fact, with his multimedia interventionism, has fueled the mediation of storytelling and directed the reception, thus claiming the ethical role of the intellectual and the civil function of literature in the digital age.
Key Words: fascism, memory studies, romanzo storico, transmediality, Antonio Scurati, M. Figlio del secolo, Walter Benjamin, engagement, participatory criticism, aesthetic engineering.