MAURIZIO BETTINI

You’re in the Wrong Forest

The Identity Frenzy

“You are not of the tribe. You are in the wrong forest.” These two verses from a sharp quatrain by the poet Giorgio Caproni could be the epigraph for our long-standing obsession with identity in its many forms: cultural, national, regional, culinary, Lombard, Catalan, Serbian… We are consumed by the need to establish who belongs to the tribe and who does not, who must stay in our forest and who ought to leave, who is “us” is who is “them”. The author – who in previous works has brought his critical skills to bear on the myth of roots and highlighted the positive influence of an open and inclusive culture – here reviews the misdeeds stemming from identity-centred zeal in our everyday lives: attitudes towards migrants and Roma, fixation with purity, even the tattoo fad. This book provides both a concerned guide to our forest and a pathway to leaving it.

Maurizio Bettini teaches Ancient Greek and Roman Philology at the University of Siena.

I. Nella tenaglia dell’identità
II. Identitas
III. Alterità e alterazione. L’adulterio del tortellino
IV. Purezza e sacralità
V. L’immigrazione. Incubi e illusioni
VI. Sporcizia e pulizia
VII. Sacralizzazioni
VIII. Una religione dell’identità. Politeismi esclusivi
IX. L’identitario possiede una vera «cultura »?
X. A quanti gradi bolle l’identità?
XI. La giusta distanza
XII. Crisi di identità
XIII. Fuori posto
XIV. Rimettere a posto
XV. Rimettere a posto i Rom
XVI. L’altra «invasione». Turisti e immigrati
XVII. Panico identitario
XVIII. La Grande Sostituzione
XIX. Il potere della Fama
XX. Un universo narrativo
XXI. Pericolo
XXII. Tatuaggi, identità, separazione
XXIII. Disordine e cultura
Epilogo. Come non vorrei scrivere una quarta di copertina
Appendice. Sacralità
Indice dei nomi
series "Intersezioni"
pp. 176, 978-88-15-28635-2
publication year 2020