The myth of Orpheus in the second postwar decade in Italy and Poland – The myth of Orpheus, in the second postwar decade, becomes a paradigmatic tale describing the horror of mourning and separation. Cesare Pavese and Anna Świrszczyńska, in their rewritings, elaborate that mith in a completely original way, tracing a new path of Orpheus’ journey to the underworld.
An unpublished Musical by Pirandello: a polysemic and multicultural kaleidoscope – The fact that Pirandello conceived the idea of writing a Musical was well know, but the recent discovery of the actual text and the musical score, in the archive of Guido Torre Gherson, agent of the writer while he lived in Paris, has shed some light on his final years and writings. The findings are discussed in the context of his late theatrical and fictional works, such as I giganti della montagna.
Notes on Foscolo and the English language (1816–1827) – Foscolo never managed to master his host country’s language during his years of exile in London (1816–1827). The vast production of his English years consists almost entirely of works intended to be translated by other people and thus to be considered as provisional drafts. In this paper, the relationship between Foscolo and the English language is analysed and discussed, focusing in particular on his interactions with his translators and on his linguistic vision.
The Ways of the Diaspora in the narrative of Claudio Magris – One of the themes in the works of Claudio Magris is that of the frontiers between nations which have been divided by arbitrary political decisions. This is the case with Central Europe, which forms a sort of transnational melting pot and which has hosted the Hebrew Diaspora. The theme of the Diaspora plays a key role in many of Magris books, in particular Lontano da dove. In his recent novel, Non luogo a procedere, one of the topics is the slave trade, a sort of African Diaspora.
Mario Puccini between Italy and Argentina – The Italian writer Mario Puccini travelled to Argentina in 1936 to attend the Pen Club Congress. In the essay, the results of Puccini’s stay in Argentina are studied for the first time in Italy: books, stories, articles, translations, correspondences, unrealized projects. Puccini is confirmed as an important cultural mediator in relations between Italy and the Spanish-speaking nations.
Messina in the stories of Polish travelers over the course of centuries: the double face of the city – The article presents Messina’s ‘verbal postcards’ left by Polish participants in the Grand Tour and travelers who visited Sicily in later times. Travelers whose accounts are widely known, such as Anonymous (1595), Michał Borch, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, Chrystian Kamsetzer (XVIII c.), Zygmunt Krasiński (nineteenth century), but also less well-known ones such as writer Zofia Sokołowska, arriving in Sicily in the tragic year of the earthquake (1908), left descriptions from their stays in Messina about the emotional charge they felt, one closely related to the historical moment in which they arrived on the island. This will therefore be a thorough analysis of a fragment of the Sicilian journey concerning Messina left by some Polish travelers, taking into account their professions, areas of interest and the period in which they were in Sicily.
Celebrating patron saints as an element of the Sicilian character: the foreign travelers point of view – This article will look at descriptions of some patronal festivals in Sicily drawn from the works of the most important foreign travelers and will try to show how such celebrations represent a fundamental aspect of Sicilianity.
Characters with split personalities in Nessuno torna indietro by Alba de Céspedes and the German-Polish history of the novel – This paper focuses on the Polish reception of Nessuno torna indietro, a novel by Alba de Céspedes. In Italy the novel was a bestseller between 1938 and the eighties, however it was impossible to publish it in Poland due to the fact that negotiations failed. Nevertheless, the book was translated into Polish on the basis of the German version and published in a newspaper in 1947. The presentation of the Polish history of this novel will be based on archival materials.
Based on theatricality, humour and camp aesthetics, the novel Lubiewo (2005) by the Polish writer Michał Witkowski recounts the tragicomic lives and adventures of Polish queers under Communism. One of the main features of the novel is the meaning-bearing nicknames of the characters, which result from the camp practice of “queer renaming”. This relies on transforming or substituting male proper names with ironic and witty female nicknames. The paper analyses the German, French, English and Czech translations of the novel to explain the strategies used to render such “talking nouns” in new linguistic-cultural contexts.
Bonaventura Tondi’s “La femina origine di ogni male”: a late XVII century misogynous treatise – This article analyses the treatise La femina origine di ogni male. Overo Frine rimproverata, written by Bonaventura Tondi in 1687. The first part of the article presents the architecture of the treatise and the author’s argumentation. The second part focuses on its distinctive features in the context of treatises about women in XVII-century Italy.
Narrative synergies – Christ stopped at Eboli: The writing of Carlo Levi in the view of Francesco Rosi – In Christ Stopped at Eboli, Carlo Levi recounts his confinement in a recondite village of southern Italy, in an archaic world, by which he remains completely fascinated. In 1978, the director Francesco Rosi, adapting the documentary structure to the lyric moments of the literary text, offers us a wonderful film re-creation in which the intense autobiographical story of the anti-fascist writer intersects with geographical space at a historical moment crucial to Italy.
Crossing borders: between literature and science – Italian culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has offered significant examples of renewal through crossing boundaries between different disciplines. Several writers (Levi, Calvino, Gadda, Sinisgalli, Del Giudice, Giordano, Arpaia, Odifreddi) have overcome the dichotomy between the two cultures that was denounced by Charles Snow in 1959. Sixty years after the famous essay by Snow, the paper will show several examples of connections between literature and science, by using the concept of the “four frontier customs”: “the transit”, “the trespass”, “the alliance”, and “the conflict”.
Italian political emigration between the World Wars: the role of LIDU – The essay reconstructs the history of the Italian League for Human Rights (LIDU), an anti-fascist organization in exile that played a meaningful role, between the World Wars, in the field of the legal protection and assistance of Italian political emigration to France and in the consistent condemnation of the repressive, liberticide and bellicist nature of Fascism.
Words and images of the Republic: Italian political propaganda (1946–1948) – The article intends to highlight how the transition from monarchy to republic represents a significant boundary in Italian history not only from the institutional point of view but also from that of national political propaganda, in which words and images – the expression of a harsh ideological confrontation – contributed to the building of a national collective memory of which there are still evident and rooted traces in current political confrontation.
The present paper is a case study of the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series: “The Italian Americans” (2015). It is argued that the series’ authors have aimed to deconstruct the anti-Italian stereotype, widespread in the United States. In exchange, they have proposed a new, positive image of the Italian community in America promoting the accomplishments of its prominent members. The entire PBS project, “The American Experience”, reflects an evolution of U.S. identity patterns from the homogeneous “melting pot” toward the diverse “salad bowl”, and hence – from monologue to polylogue.
Polite talk – The paper aims to analyze the role that books of manners from different historical times assign to language in defining politeness. It also tries to find differences and similarities among them and to explain principles that books of manners share with theoretical models on politeness, notwithstanding the descriptive perspective of the first and the normative point of view of the latter.
Which lexical typology does the Italian language have? A comparative study with French – This paper sets out to show the lexical and typological differences between the French and Italian languages. French is the only Romance language without morphology in words. Italian continues to build words while including morphology. This phenomenon can be explained by the diacronic process of deflexivity, which is more advanced in French. The consequence is that French words are more compact and unanalyzable. French is becoming a “neoisolating” language.
Traces of the idea of verbal valency structure in nineteenth-century grammars – This paper aims to show how K.F. Beckers’s notion of “subjektive” and “objektive Verben” (i.e. those always used with an “ergänzende Objekt”, a ‘completive object’) is a rough forerunner to the modern idea of dependency grammar. In Italy, this theoretical core was assumed by Raffaello Lambruschini in 1840 (and, after him, by the basic school grammar La grammatica del mio Felicino written by Ulisse Poggi, 1865, 18722), but with a huge trivialisation: subjective verbs were identified with intransitive verbs and objective verbs with transitive ones.
“Domani è un altro giorno” (Tomorrow is another day): the translation of “Via col vento” (Gone With the Wind) as an idiomatic channel – Gone With the Wind has contributed to the planet’s collective memory, not only because a great percentage of the world’s population has identified with the characters and the stories within, but also because, on a linguistic level, the novel has set in motion considerable reuse phenomena. One wonders how much and in what way the phraseology within the text has influenced contemporary Italian and how translators have approached the original text when preparing the Italian editions of the novel.
“Questa è parte, che ua incatenando, et ordinando il parlamento”. Conjunctions in Italian grammatography – The present essay examines how conjunctions are discussed in Italian grammatography from the 15th to the 20th Century.
From multi-dialogue to monologue in spoken Italian: the pragmatic/prosodic basis of multi-dialogue and its transformation in narrative and descriptive monologues – The paper summarizes the Language into Act Theory (L-AcT), according to which spoken texts are analysed and aligned per utterance to the acoustic source. Three stretches of spoken Italian taken from the LABLITA Corpus (multi-dialogue, dialogue, monologue) are described according to L-AcT as regards turn-taking, information structure, and illocution. The above texts are then compared to a short literary excerpt showing the different syntactic architecture of the two language varieties.
Gender and representing the feminine in legal and administrative texts in Italy – The paper examines the linguistic treatment of the genre (delimiting the concept to ‘female’, ‘woman’) at various levels of legal communication, through the analysis of legal and administrative texts of different kinds produced in Italy in the 20th and 21st centuries (codes, sentences, regulations, etc). The survey focuses on lexical aspects and is supported by lexicographical research.
Successful slogans in Italian political discourse – This paper aims to describe the notion of ‘sloganisation’, with special regard to the fortune and circulation of certain slogans in Italian public discourse. An analysis of their forms, contexts of occurrence (political propaganda, advertising, football supporters) and means of diffusion (street talk, electoral manifestos, traditional and new media) shows an increasing desemantisation of this kind of message. Slogans are routinely used by political parties and are widely quoted, regardless of their ideological content, merely in order to create identification or to increase the polemical attitude of their leader.
Notes about a handbook of Italian grammar by a Croatian philologist Dragutin Antun Parčić – A handbook of Italian grammar, written in Croatian by Croatian philologist Parčić, confirms that in the past educated Croatian-speaking people were bilingual and at the same time it proves that lower classes aimed to study Italian as well. The paper analyses the functionality and appropriateness of topics presented in the Parčić manuscript because it is obvious that the author was keen to help his Croatian-speaking students in the acquisition of Italian.
In search of the invariant semantics of the preposition “da”: a cognitive analysis of the predicative context – The purpose of this article is to verify whether the semantic invariant of the preposition da [starting point allowing physical or mental movement] in the nominal context remains valid in the context of the verb. The analysis of the content of predicates that link to the preposition da will help to answer the question of the extent to which the choice of a preposition is determined by the knowledge of the experienced activities and/or the predicate itself (its selective features) or if it is the result of convention.
A silent language: imagining the dialect in Ferrante’s novels – Elena Ferrante’s novels are not examples of plurilingual literature; in fact they do not mix diatopic varieties of Italian and dialect, even if, above all in the stories in My Brilliant Friend, Italian readers can perceive the sounds of the Neapolitan dialect. To achieve this effect, Elena Ferrante uses metalinguistic glosses, which alert the reader when the characters pass from one language to another. The essay examines the features of the glosses, which are cleverly inserted, do not hinder reading, and manage to transport the reader to among the houses and the sounds of Naples.
“How come you’re not shipping them??? They’re canon”: a look at the language of Italian fandom – The aim of this article is to examine a relatively recent phenomenon in the language of fandom, i.e. various communities of fans that form around a cultural event or artifact, such as a book, a TV show, a movie, etc. This research is located within fan studies, however, it mainly investigates the linguistic aspects of being a fan in Italian. The distinctive feature of the language of fandom as a specific variety, associated with a particular topic and activity and mediated by Internet communication tools, is a specialist lexicon, understandable only to community members. The article concentrates on loanwords from English which in the case of Italian primarily comprise the vocabulary of fandom.
LABLITA-Suite. Resources for the acquisition of Italian as a second language – LABLITA-suite provides technology-enhanced learning resources for the acquisition of Italian L2. IMAGACT allows for mastering the semantic properties of action verbs in the early phases of language acquisition. The LABLITA corpus of Spoken Italian can be used for training learners for face to face conversations. RIDIRE and CORDIC provide corpus linguistic tools for accessing Italian phraseology, which is useful for enhancing writing capabilities in the various domains of language usage.
Post-truth and parody in old and new media – This paper presents a description of a few issues of the satirical magazine Il Male, published in Italy in the second half of the 1970s. These special issues – somewhat parodies – copied the typographic format of the main Italian newspapers of that period and were filled with odd and invented news. In some respects these publications anticipate parody and falsification in the digital era. In particular, some Internet sites that play on the slight distinction between false and true reports, and make us reflect upon the reliability of the information, can be considered as heirs to this experiment.
Based upon the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, according to which language influences thought, we may affirm how social stereotypes remain bound by stereotyped usages of language. Hence, speaking is never neutral as it is underpinned by a way of thinking, of communicating, of being. The sexist usage of language encapsulates a function of emphasis at the semantic level and an obscuring function in morphological terms. We thus question what sexism in language means in order to inquire as to how the ways we make use of language may influence our ways of thinking and, consequently, our ways of acting.
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