No country(side) for young queers

Three contemporary Italian urban-rural narratives




queer anti-urbanism, queer phenomenology, queer Italian studies, contemporary Italian literature, homonormativity


The paper presents an overview of three Italian takes on the queer rural-to-urban flight, by analysing Generations of Love (1999) by Matteo B. Bianchi, La Generazione (‘Generations,’ 2015) by Flavia Biondi, and Febbre (‘Fever,’ 2019) by Jonathan Bazzi. In most LGBTQ+ narratives moving to a big city is central, as it is associated with finding an accepting ‘chosen’ family. However, the move has recently acquired homonormative connotations: it is embedded into narratives of economic success and the individuals moving are usually white, cisgender, non-disabled, gay men. In the texts, the main characters correspond to the type. However, by analysing their relationships to their hometowns and their biological families, this paper argues that the characters find ways of challenging the homonormative paradigm through a spatial in-betweenness and non-conjugal bonds not reflected by laws. The main theoretical frameworks are the homonormativity definition by Lisa Duggan, the work on Italian queerness by Antonia Anna Ferrante, and the study on queer orientations by Sara Ahmed. This paper is inscribed into a larger trend of studies around the rural-to-urban move but sheds light on the Italian landscape.






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