Tag Archives: Italian literature

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.

Join Us! Domenico Starnone in Conversation with Enrica Maria Ferrara and Stiliana Milkova

To celebrate both special issue “Reading Domenico Starnone” and the publication of Starnone’s latest novel in English, “Trust” (Europa Editions) translated by Pulitzer prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, the Italian Cultural Institute in Dublin is hosting an online conversation with Domenico Starnone (in Italian with English translation), on 26 October 2021 at 6pm GMT (7pm in Italy), moderated by the editors of Reading Domenico Starnone.

“The Drinkers”: An Excerpt from Domenico Starnone’s “Via Gemito”

My position is all wrong. The water will forever spill onto the tomatoes, the plate, the cloth. My father placed me in a position where, even with Luigi reaching as far as he can, I will never be able to pour the water into his glass.

“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.

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…” 

Love, Death, and Language in Starnone’s “Vita mortale e immortale della bambina di Milano”

On the surface, “Vita mortale e immortale della bambina di Milano” (“Mortal and Immortal Life of the Girl from Milan”), Domenico Starnone’s latest literary gem (Einaudi, October 2021), has a deceptively simple plot. It relays the wondrous deeds of a young boy, Mimì (short for Domenico) who has a morbid curiosity towards death and is also the protagonist of three tragicomic love affairs.

On the Language and Style of Domenico Starnone’s Novels

By Chiara De Caprio Translated from Italian by Rebecca Falkoff Considering the novels and short stories of Domenico Starnone from a linguistic perspective means to bring out the double-edged quality and the internal stratification of their linguistic composition. A reasonable pace and feverish emotional sequences intersect in his works. His style alternates between solitary self-reflection, […]

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 […]