Architecture and the Novel under the Italian Fascist Regime discusses the relationship between the novel and architecture during the Fascist period in Italy (1922-1943). By looking at two profoundly diverse aesthetic phenomena within the context of the creation of a Fascist State art, Billiani and Pennacchietti argue that an effort of construction, or reconstruction, was the main driving force behind both projects: the advocated "revolution" of the novel form (realism) and that of architecture (rationalism). The book is divided into seven chapters, which in turn analyze the interconnections between the novel and architecture in theory and in practice. The first six chapters cover debates on State art, on the novel and on architecture, as well as their historical development and their unfolding in key journals of the period. The last chapter offers a detailed analysis of some important novels and buildings, which have in practice realized some of the key principles articulated in the theoretical disputes.
Francesca Billiani is Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies and Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts and Languages at the University of Manchester, UK.
Laura Pennacchietti is Research Associate in Italian Studies at the University of Manchester, UK.
1. Introduction: National Novel and New Architecture2. The Regime and the Creation of an Arte di Stato3. Constructing the Novel4. Fascism and Architecture5. 900 and Quadrante: Theorizing an Interdisciplinary Aesthetic Model6. State Art, the Novel, and Architecture: Intersections7. Novels and Buildings8. Conclusion