Journal Article

Fossilized Lies: A Reflection on Alessandro Portelli's <i>The Order Has Been Carried Out</i>

David W. Blight

in The Oral History Review

Published on behalf of Oral History Association

Volume 32, issue 1, pages 5-9
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0094-0798
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1533-8592 | DOI:
Fossilized Lies: A Reflection on Alessandro Portelli's The Order Has Been Carried Out

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The Order Has Been Carried Out is a sobering, probing, moving, and deeply-researched study of an “open wound” in the Italian memory. Individuals and societies need memory, but it also is part of the agony of the human condition to live with it. Portelli and his narrators probe the memory of the “fossilized lies” of the Fosse Ardeatine, and establish a record of what happened, examine the history of the event's memory, and seek to understand the trauma of the event, the ethics of armed resistance, and the nature of memorialization. The account invites comparison to the American phenomenon after the Civil War in which reconciliation took hold of American culture and memory at the expense of racial justice, creating a narrative in which everyone who fought valiantly was right, and no one was wrong.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Oral History

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