The article analyses, for the first time, published memoirs by police officers following the unification of Italy. It argues that these memoirs are best considered as cultural artefacts, forming part of the popular literature of the period. That said, they developed into a distinct literary sub-genre. It is in fact a literary genre which developed as an editorial product in the wake of the nascent literature of investigation. Periodically, the memoir succeeded in arousing public interest, while never establishing itself as a stable genre in Italian publishing — something due to a lack of robust professional pride within the Italian police, which in turn provoked a lack of interest in the representation of their function and therefore an inability to enthuse the public. However, these memoirs contain stimulating pointers to the history of the social motivations, professional culture and ethics of police officers and officials, especially with reference to the history of the perception of crime and deviance in popular literature.

Testimonies to the History of Crime: The Italian Police Memoir, 1861-2014 / M. Soresina. - In: CRIME, HISTOIRE & SOCIÉTÉS. - ISSN 1422-0857. - 25:1(2021), pp. 111-133. [10.4000/chs.2909]

Testimonies to the History of Crime: The Italian Police Memoir, 1861-2014

M. Soresina
2021

Abstract

The article analyses, for the first time, published memoirs by police officers following the unification of Italy. It argues that these memoirs are best considered as cultural artefacts, forming part of the popular literature of the period. That said, they developed into a distinct literary sub-genre. It is in fact a literary genre which developed as an editorial product in the wake of the nascent literature of investigation. Periodically, the memoir succeeded in arousing public interest, while never establishing itself as a stable genre in Italian publishing — something due to a lack of robust professional pride within the Italian police, which in turn provoked a lack of interest in the representation of their function and therefore an inability to enthuse the public. However, these memoirs contain stimulating pointers to the history of the social motivations, professional culture and ethics of police officers and officials, especially with reference to the history of the perception of crime and deviance in popular literature.
L’article analyse, pour la première fois, les mémoires publiés par des officiers de police après l’unification de l’Italie. Ces mémoires doivent être pris en compte comme des productions culturelles, faisant partie de la littérature populaire de l’époque. Il s’agit en effet d’un genre littéraire qui s’est développé comme un produit éditorial dans le sillage de la littérature d’enquête alors naissante. Périodiquement, les mémoires ont réussi à susciter l’intérêt du public, sans jamais s’imposer comme un genre stabilisé dans l’édition italienne. Cela s’explique par l’absence d’une fierté professionnelle établie au sein de la police italienne, cause d’un manque d’appétence pour la représentation de leur fonction et, en retour, de difficultés à susciter l’intérêt du public. Ces mémoires contiennent cependant des indications stimulantes sur l’histoire des motivations sociales, de la culture professionnelle et de l’éthique des officiers et des fonctionnaires de police, en particulier en regard des représentations du crime et de la déviance dans la littérature populaire.
Police memoir, history of crime;
Settore M-STO/04 - Storia Contemporanea
https://journals.openedition.org/chs/2909
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/864595
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