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Tales of Trauma, Identity, and God: The Memoirs of Mafia Boss Michele Greco and Leonardo Vitale. / Merlino, R.

In: European Review of Organised Crime, Vol. 1, No. 2, 01.12.2014, p. 49-75.

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Merlino, R 2014, 'Tales of Trauma, Identity, and God: The Memoirs of Mafia Boss Michele Greco and Leonardo Vitale', European Review of Organised Crime, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 49-75.

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Merlino, R. / Tales of Trauma, Identity, and God: The Memoirs of Mafia Boss Michele Greco and Leonardo Vitale. In: European Review of Organised Crime. 2014 ; Vol. 1, No. 2. pp. 49-75.

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Tales of Trauma, Identity, and God: The Memoirs of Mafia Boss Michele Greco and Leonardo Vitale

AU - Merlino, R.

PY - 2014/12/1

Y1 - 2014/12/1

N2 - In the la st decade, the uncovering of a “ mafia system of communication ” based on written messages ( pizzini ) and other forms of writing has significantly challenged the long-held view that the Sicilian mafia was a criminal organisation largely based on an oral tradition. In particular, the discovery and emergence of memoirs and letters written by former mafiosi (who held different roles of responsibility within the organisation) raises new questions about the role of writing in the process of disengagement from mafia organisations. This article analyses the memoirs of mafia boss Michele Greco and mafia member Leonardo Vitale to investigate the dynamics at play when dealing with the trauma of leaving Cosa Nostra and the resulting loss of a powerful collective identity. While the acquisition of a mafia identity has been the object of numerous studies, less attention has been given to what losing mafia status entails and the specific role of writing in this process. The article draws upon theories of representation of identity in self-narratives as a basis for our interpretation. The data analysed is from judicial papers, police reports and the relevant secondary literature on the subject. A previously unknown memoir written by boss Michele Greco in 1994 is also presented in this study for the first time.

AB - In the la st decade, the uncovering of a “ mafia system of communication ” based on written messages ( pizzini ) and other forms of writing has significantly challenged the long-held view that the Sicilian mafia was a criminal organisation largely based on an oral tradition. In particular, the discovery and emergence of memoirs and letters written by former mafiosi (who held different roles of responsibility within the organisation) raises new questions about the role of writing in the process of disengagement from mafia organisations. This article analyses the memoirs of mafia boss Michele Greco and mafia member Leonardo Vitale to investigate the dynamics at play when dealing with the trauma of leaving Cosa Nostra and the resulting loss of a powerful collective identity. While the acquisition of a mafia identity has been the object of numerous studies, less attention has been given to what losing mafia status entails and the specific role of writing in this process. The article draws upon theories of representation of identity in self-narratives as a basis for our interpretation. The data analysed is from judicial papers, police reports and the relevant secondary literature on the subject. A previously unknown memoir written by boss Michele Greco in 1994 is also presented in this study for the first time.

M3 - Article

VL - 1

SP - 49

EP - 75

JO - European Review of Organised Crime

T2 - European Review of Organised Crime

JF - European Review of Organised Crime

SN - 2312-1653

IS - 2

ER -