Tag Archives: Italian literature

Turin’s Skies, Women’s Bodies, and Foreign Lands: Marina Jarre’s “Distant Fathers,” Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

The centrality of women’s experiences in current Italian fiction has drawn attention to previously neglected works. Although Jarre’s frankness about the body, from childhood to older age, is not shocking after Ferrante, it marked a new contribution to Italian literature in her time.

Natalia Ginzburg

“The Shattered House”: Lynne Sharon Schwartz on Natalia Ginzburg

nstead of by century or by literary movement, writers of fiction might be classified by times of day or slants of light. Tolstoy would fall under the clarity of high noon, Dostoievski  the hysteria of three a.m. Natalia Ginzburg’s pervasive wit and minute details would suggest a morning sensibility, while her repetitions and obsessiveness feel nocturnal. In the end, though, she is crepuscular, like Chekhov.

Global Perspectives, Trauma, and the Global Novel: Ferrante’s Poetics Between Storytelling, Uncanny Realism and Dissolving Margins

Excerpt from: de Rogatis, Tiziana. “Global Perspectives, Trauma, and the Global Novel: Ferrante’s Poetics between Storytelling, Uncanny Realism, and Dissolving Margins.” MLN 136:1 (2021), 6-9. © 2021 Johns Hopkins University Press.  Reprinted with permission of Johns Hopkins University Press. Read the Introduction to “Elena Ferrante in a Global Context,” the special issue of Modern Language […]

Elena Ferrante in a Global Context

This special issue was born out of the interweaving of our personal and professional stories, at the intersection of our different mother tongues and acquired languages, homelands, and disciplinary backgrounds. An Italian-Neapolitan scholar in Italy, a Bulgarian scholar in the United States, and a German scholar in the United Kingdom, we found a common ground through the study of Elena Ferrante and on the pages of a 2016 volume of the Italian scholarly journal Allegoria.

Queering Family Roles and Gender Norms in Natalia Ginzburg’s “Valentino”

By Enrica Maria Ferrara Traditionally, Natalia Ginzburg was seen as a writer who did not take sides with the feminist movement, refused to endorse the cause of women as victims and men as perpetrators, thus conveying a “disinterested view of sexual politics that has inevitably alienated both male chauvinists and militant feminists” (Bullock 1-2). While […]

Unlived Lives in Natalia Ginzburg’s “Valentino” and “Sagittarius,” Translated from Italian by Avril Bardoni

By Eric Gudas One refers, as a commonplace, to “the unlived life”; but fiction excels at dramatizing people’s myriad unlived lives. Natalia Ginzburg’s fiction links stifled hopes and ambitions with suppressed speech. The narrators of Ginzburg’s Valentino and Sagittarius: Two Novellas (1957), which New York Review Books Classics has just reissued in Avril Bardoni’s decades-old […]

The Lying Life of Narrators

It seems hardly coincidental that Ferrante, whose own “true” identity has been the object of intense scrutiny and speculation, chooses to underscore the act of crafting a fiction about oneself.

Innocence Redeemed

By Richard Carvalho The Lying Lives of Adults starts with a misunderstanding: Giovanna, the protagonist, is 12. She is well into puberty, having been menstruating for a year. Her breasts seem to her over-large encumbrances inviting men’s unwelcome interest, and her burgeoning body is a profound source of shame. She hears her father say, prompted […]

The Gospel According to Elena Ferrante

As she probes the association of God with forces of repression and domination, Giovanna condemns the patriarchal nature of her relationship with Andrea.

Alone With Language

By David Kurnick You could tell it like a fairy tale: a malevolent father who curses his daughter with ugliness; a comely prince who, some difficult years later, lifts the curse by praising the girl’s beauty. An enchanted bracelet, invested with mysterious power by the father’s hated and feared sister, who practices the “terrible arts” […]

Elusions and Disillusions

Reading Elena Ferrante’s latest novel from this place of incertitude is consequently a puzzling, if not uncanny experience.

Live on August 31, 2020: Special Issue on Elena Ferrante’s New Novel “The Lying Life of Adults,” Translated by Ann Goldstein

Elena Ferrante and the Question of Gender, Pseudonyms, and Authorship

Mediterranean Crossings: Nadia Terranova’s “Farewell, Ghosts,” Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

A childhood home is an archive and a map. Nadia Terranova’s novel Farewell, Ghosts, in Ann Goldstein’s translation, summons the power of the house in order to dissect the relationship between self and space, memory and reality.

Translators on Books that Should Be Translated: Simona Baldelli’s “Evelina e le fate” (Evelina and the Fairies)

Baldelli’s inventiveness and skillful stylistic prowess are already noticeable in Evelina e le fate, with its vivid language adhering to a world of objects in which the characters come alive through a meddling of voices, each with its own substantive body

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 […]