Elsa Morante’s L’isola di Arturo and Aracoeli:
Remembering and Reconciling with the Fascist Past
With her novels L’isola di Arturo (1957) and Aracoeli (1982), Elsa Morante grapples with the legacy of Italian Fascism, penning her only novels in which first-person narrators recall their childhoods during the Fascist era. This analysis aims to contrast these novels’ use of similar protagonists to chart Morante’s sustained interest in Italy’s Fascist past and how she ‘works through’ it. Morante’s writing supports Roberto Ventresca’s contention that «Italians have indeed known how to come to terms with their Fascist past, albeit in varied, contradictory and ambiguous ways».