Potency/Impotence of the National Imagination
Fortunato M. Cacciatore

Reading works published in the last few decades which are considered “classics” with regard to the concepts of “nation” and of “nationalism”, it is difficult to be indifferent to the widespread use, especially in the titles, of the terms “imagination” and “image”. A good example of this is Imagined Communities by B. Anderson. In this essay, I would like to analyze, at least preliminarily, how some tasks which are traditionally assigned to imagination – most of all, that of making present that which is the absent – are, explicitly or implicitly, involved in studying “national communities”, their “establishment”, the genealogies, the filiations which legitimize their “potency” or justify their “impotence”.