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Northeast Modern Language Association - Department of English -University at Buffalo


This essay considers the question of how “coming to writing” describes the creative process, how mourning becomes language, and how the emptiness of silence turns into word, in relation to the life and literary work of Italian Jewish writer Ebe Cagli Seidenberg. In other words, how did Cagli’s exile to the U.S. facilitate her voice? And how did language become, for her, nothing less than a form of “country”? In examining her journey to testimonial writing, I contend that visual imagery—a combination of visual artifacts and visual memories—plays a major role in getting past the wall of silence, overcoming the impasse of oral communication, and fashioning powerful narratives of displacement and sense of foreignness abroad, but also discrimination and disengagement within Italy.


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