Category Italian

Voices Without Borders: Laura Imai Messina’s “The Phone Box at the Edge of the World,” Translated from Italian by Lucy Rand

By Claudia Dellacasa Ema are decorated votive wooden plaques left hanging up in Japanese shrines. At a distance, they all look the same. But if one is able to read what is written on them, one can take a glimpse of a fascinating number of stories, destinies, wishes, and hopes which emerge from an ostensible […]

Turin Between Tradition and Translation: The “Extra” Salone del Libro

  By Francesco Chianese Like many other events in recent months, Turin’s Salone del Libro, the most important Italian book fair, was moved online. Although reduced in schedule and deprived of its physical venue, from May 14 to May 17 the Salone still managed to convey to its affectionate followers a sense of its original, […]

The Global Novel and Elena Ferrante’s Uncanny Underground Realism: Tiziana de Rogatis’ “Elena Ferrante’s Key Words,” translated from Italian by Will Schutt

By Isabella Pinto Translated from Italian by Rebecca Walker The long-awaited English language version of Tiziana de Rogatis’ Elena Ferrante’s Keywords, recently published by Europa Editions, has been made possible thanks to the work of translator Will Schutt. The volume is ordered thematically by keyword, and is divided into seven chapters, preceded by a comprehensive […]

Translating the Uncanny: The Eerie Landscape of Giovanni Pascoli’s “Last Dream,” Translated from Italian by Geoff Brock

By Elena Borelli Last Dream is a collection of translations from Giovanni Pascoli’s corpus of poetic works. The choice of poems reflects a personal preference on the part of the translator who handpicked a number of works mostly taken from what he interprets as the pastoral, almost Arcadian side of the Italian poet’s production: lyrics […]

Lightly on this Earth: “Go Tell it to the Emperor” by Pierluigi Cappello, Translated from Italian by Todd Portnowitz

By Frederika Randall The poet Pierluigi Cappello was born in Gemona del Friuli in 1967 and died in 2017 in Cassacco, a town 20 km away. In his fifty years in Italy’s far northeast he never lived beyond a 30 km radius of Gemona, a city whose name still evokes a devastating 1976 earthquake that […]

Framing by Fragmentation: Elena Ferrante’s “Incidental Inventions,” Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

By Stiliana Milkova The timing of Elena Ferrante’s Incidental Inventions is impeccable – it offers us an aperitivo before we can delve into her new novel scheduled to come out in English translation in June 2020. While we wait, we can flip leisurely through the pages of Incidental Inventions, translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein, and already in bookstores. […]

Maelstrom and Mirroring in Edoardo Sanguineti’s “My Life, I Lapped It Up,” translated from Italian by Will Schutt

  By Judith Vollmer All good poems wrestle with acute contradictions.  They sweat and sing the facts and mysteries of living, while simultaneously revealing the scaffoldings and artistic intentions of their surface textures. Sometimes poems sound imitative of traditions they’d rather reject. Sometimes they sound overly self-conscious and merely experimental. But when they’re good—even great—they […]

Thresholds and Mothers: Elsa Morante’s “Arturo’s Island,” Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

By Saskia Elizabeth Ziolkowski Elsa Morante’s Arturo’s Island: A Novel is an enchanting, complex work about a boy, Arturo, growing up on the island Procida. He swims, struggles to understand his father, adores his dog, falls in love, and eventually leaves home. His drama of adolescent feelings is both universally relatable and singular. Since he […]

The Mother of All Questions: Donatella di Pietrantonio’s “A Girl Returned,” translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

By Barbara Halla “Motherhood,” writes Jacqueline Rose in her book Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty, “is … the place in our culture where we lodge, or rather bury, the reality of our conflicts, of what it means to be fully human” (1). More than one century of Italian literature has grappled precisely with […]

Translators on Books that Should be Translated: “Indigo” by Roberto Carretta and Renato Viola

by Stiliana Milkova The reclusive clockmaker Anton Ivanovic has disappeared from his apartment in Turin. His only friend, the erudite professor of mythology Joshua Momigliano, receives a letter which sends him on a quest to find out what happened to Anton. As Joshua asks in the opening pages, “Anton Ivanovic was a reserved, impenetrable man […]