Category Italian

From “La Straniera” to “Strangers I know”: Claudia Durastanti’s Journey through Languages, Cultures, Genres, and Genders

The ambivalence of Durastanti’s approach to memory acquires a further shade of ambiguity in the English title, which prompts us to question how much it is possible to know about strangers, but also to investigate the limits of our knowledge of the people we think we know and to what extent they remain foreign to us.

Finding the Father: Marta Barone’s “Sunken City,” Translated from Italian by Julia MacGibbon

Confronted with the absence of her father, Marta Barone does not give up her quest but interrogates, with determination and resilience, objects, places, streets, pictures that once crossed L.B.’s path. Aware of knowing a “poorer version,” simplified and bare, of her father’s story, the narrator wanders around the cities of Milan and Turin, lets the places speak to her and recomposes, trace after trace, the identity of her parent as it emerges also from photographs, accounts of friends and enemies, militants of Prima Linea, Servire il Popolo, and other extreme left-wing organizations.

Pains, Pens, and Poets: Elena Ferrante’s “In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing,” translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

Part of what makes Ferrante’s work daring is her pursuit of a “female language,” nourished and emboldened by a female literary tradition, and capable of describing women’s experiences with truth and authenticity.

Gerda Taro’s Elusive Afterlives: Helena Janeczek’s “The Girl with the Leica,” Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

Pohorylle’s story is the inspiration for Helena Janeczek’s “The Girl with the Leica,” a complex, multivocal historical novel that is less a portrait of Gerda Taro than of her entire milieu: young, antifascist, bohemian, refugee, free-thinking, emancipated, and rife with short-lived romantic entanglements.

In Conspiracy with Dante: Maria Massucco Interviews Translator Mary Jo Bang

To mark the occasion of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, Stanford Professor Robert Pogue Harrison and graduate student Donatella D’Aguanno orchestrated a panel that brought poet and translator Mary Jo Bang together in conversation with Emeritus Professor Marjorie Perloff. I saw the occasion as an opportunity to ask this most creative and skilled wordsmith a few questions about her process, her relationship to Dante, and her place in a long line of Dante translators.

Time Out of Joint: Sandro Veronesi’s “The Hummingbird,” Translated from Italian by Elena Pala

In Sandro Veronesi’s second Strega Prize-winning work of fiction, we follow the protagonist, Dr Marco Carrera, a Florentine ophthalmologist, as he stumbles through a life strewn with miscommunications, misjudgements, and misfortunes.

A Phone Call, and A Revelation: Sasha Naspini’s “Nives,” Translated by Clarissa Botsford

By Olivia Soule In Sacha Naspini’s Nives, translated from the Italian by Clarissa Botsford, the significance of the long phone call that lasts almost the entire novel creeps up on you. Towards the beginning, the elderly, eponymous widow calls the local veterinarian when one of her chickens has become frozen in place; this everyday conversation […]

On Being the Middle Voice: Maria Massucco Interviews Translator Clarissa Botsford

I find Botsford’s engaged and voice-driven translation style wonderfully refreshing and the diversity of her collaborations intriguing, so I was thrilled by the chance to talk with her about her recent work, her take on the Italian-English market, and her approach to the craft.

The Alphabet of “Via Gemito”: A Photo Essay by Silvio Perrella

One day, a few years ago, Domenico Starnone himself came to my house for a visit. He brought his Via Gemito to my Via Luigia Sanfelice, so to say.

“Literature is the Sudden Disintegration of the Verbal Fabric of Everyday Life”: Domenico Starnone in Conversation with Enrica Maria Ferrara and Stiliana Milkova

I love the idea that the city we have left behind enshrines the ghost of the person we could have become, for better or worse, had we stayed there. And I am very fond of the idea that the ghost, which we consider part of us and therefore a friend, may turn out to be frightening or hostile.

The Three Lives of Domenico Starnone

Here I am, you may object, waxing lyrical about an author we publish at Europa Editions. Hypocrite éditeur! However, I write, I swear, not only, and not primarily, as Domenico Starnone’s American publisher, rather as a long-time and ardent admirer of his work. My admiration began with Denti—it was love at first bite. 

A Close Encounter with Domenico Starnone

By Andrew Martino Beneath the shadow of the golden dome of the Massachusetts State House on Boston’s Beacon Hill, the Boston Athenaeum sits quietly on a shaded street. To the casual passerby, the building sticks out for its striking architecture in a city increasingly dominated by steel and glass. Inside, some of the most profound […]

“Via Gemito”: Domenico Starnone’s Ur-Text

From the very beginning, readers are confronted with an exhausting tension between father and son, their antithetic visions threatening at every step to converge and become enmeshed into the furious flow of Mimi’s narrative which, despite his alleged commitment to a serene composure, is far from tidy or calming. That prose is, after all, the exhibition of a carefully performed identity, constructed through repetition of linguistic and paralinguistic gestures, reminding us of Butler’s idea that subjects are the effect of signifying practices and social discourse (Butler 1999).

On Bonds and Baggage: Domenico Starnone’s “Ties”

Starnone captures and dissects a vast array of concerns in a slim volume, neatly structured and tightly plotted, yet at the same time open-ended, without definitive answers or solutions. “Ties,” in other words, packs a lot of baggage into a small container while also leaving the container ajar, like Pandora’s box.

Three Stories from Domenico Starnone’s “Fuori Registro”: “The Empty Classroom,” “Once Again,” “Dandelion” 

A few minutes passed, and I felt ill at ease. Then I recited a poem and commented on it, in that loo: “The pensive father with his goatish hair…”