Quel Tramonto Gentile: Validating the Tribulations of Girlhood in Lidia Ravera & Marco Lombardo Radice's PORCI CON LE ALI



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A jarring and underappreciated book, Lidia Ravera and Marco Lombardo Radice’s 1976 novel Porci con le ali: Diario Sessuo-Politico di Due Adolescenti narrates the relationship of two Roman highschoolers, Rocco and Antonia. Originally published under the collective pseudonym of the two protagonists, this story gives voice to the difficulties of navigating the choppy waters of youth against the backdrop of Italy’s politically treacherous Lead Years (gli Anni di Piombo) and the unspoken societal norms that impacted Rocco and Antonia’s everyday decisions. Despite there existing very little scholarship dedicated to this book, Porci con le ali garnered much attention upon its publication due to the vulgar language the characters use to communicate with each other and the nature of their erotic relations. While Rocco and Antonia are both average teenagers, it is Antonia who leads this story—and their relationship—with a stronger sense of self following the blatant disrespect and disregard for her bodily autonomy that she receives from her Rocco. My thesis seeks to defend the crudeness with which Antonia’s adolescence is handled as the story progresses. Because this novel is written in the journal format, it gives the audience a comprehensive window into the emotional turmoil she experiences in addition to appealing to a sense of nostalgia. With her own internal struggles of identity, Antonia alternates between bouts of maturity and childishness as she grapples with the notion that the only person who cares about what she has to say is herself. Through an in-depth character analysis of both characters, Antonia’s colorful use of language, and an exploration of how her sexual encounters further distance her from contemporary expectations, my work aims to circulate Lombardo Radice and Ravera’s novel back into modern feminist conversation due to its depiction of female adolescence.


Please consider the heavy content of the novel before proceeding with reading my thesis, as there are some difficult topics of discussion! Thank you for checking it out, and I hope you like it.


Girlhood, Adolescence, 1970s, Italian Literature, Second-Wave Feminism, Dear Diary, Sexual Violence, Overcoming Hardships, Gli Anni di Piombo