Issue Details: First known date: 2008 2008
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

This paper compares the discursive and experiential valence of the two fullest autobiographical accounts of internment written by Australian Italians, that by Claudio Alcorso in The Wind You Say (1993) and that by Peter Dalseno (1994), both of whom were in Loveday from 1942 to 1944 (while Alcorso had been in Hay from June 1940). Beyond the shock of unmerited deprivation of liberty and the equally unmerited stigma of being defined as "enemy aliens", the experience of, and discourse on, internment of the two turns out very different, despite the relative closeness in age when detained. For Alcorso, a patrician from Rome, the internment experience is one of opening up to and enamourment with the world and with life - the Australian outback, working-class and other Australian Italians, human creativity - and the worst crisis comes with release. For Dalseno's alter ego, Peter Delano, raised in the Ingham area, the initial shock is worst, denying him his hard won Australian identity component, and internment represents an intensification of the sordidness of life outside, while release brings with it reacceptance into the wider Australian society. This study thus shows the diversity of ways in which a common history is experienced and discursively conveyed by individuals. [Author's abstract]

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y FULGOR vol. 3 no. 3 November 2008 Z1901614 2008 periodical issue 2008
  • Appears in:
    y The Bilingual Cockatoo : Writing Italian Australian Lives John Gatt-Rutter , Ormond : Hybrid , 2014 6541831 2014 multi chapter work criticism

    This book is a study of biographies and autobiographies of Italian Australians. It looks at full-length life-writing texts, including accounts of the Italian Australian experience of war-time internment, success stories, narratives of trauma and grievance and life narratives as a form of ethnography. There is a variable zoom focus, ranging from a whole chapter devoted to a single text, to surveys of a dozen or more texts in each of four chapters. A final overview maps out a chronology and typology of Italian Australian life writing relating it to immigrant life writing generally. [from Trove]

    Ormond : Hybrid , 2014
    pg. 30-67
Last amended 8 Dec 2014 10:29:30