Contrary to the usual depiction of fascism as a centralized and monolithic form of disciplinary control, the regime actually allowed for more flexible and nomadic space of affirmation for the fascist self, one that produces the externality of exile without its traditional geographically ordained limits. By analyzing the proto-fascist and fascist work of Italian author Giovanni Papini, this essay studies a relatively unexplored option in migrant studies: how the subversiveness of the marginal as nongeographical exile can be distorted and used for totalitarian purposes. In particular, framing the thought of Gilles Deleuze from a psychoanalytic feminist perspective, this paper examines the savage ontology fabricated by Papini in the first part of his career. I argue that the set of archaisms he constructs, such as a ruralist, savage identity, functioned as a social device to construct cultural otherness, and thus an eccentric position in Italian society through consolidation of political hegemony. This kind of totalitarian vitalism, best embodied by the notion of the savage man (omo salvaggio), offers the fascist individual a device for entering a zone of coextension with the displacing nature of life itself.

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