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California Italian Studies Journal
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ISSN (Print) 2155-7926
Published by eScholarship Homepage  [73 journals]
  • Cambio della guardia

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      Authors: Fogu; Claudio
      Abstract: Cambio della guardia
      PubDate: Mon, 16 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +000
       
  • “Molteplicità del possible”: Italo Calvino’s Memos Between the Old
           and the New Millennium

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      Authors: Botta; Anna , Re, Lucia
      Abstract: “Molteplicità del possible”: Italo Calvino’s Memos Between the Old and the New Millennium
      PubDate: Thu, 12 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +000
       
  • Disponibilità/Availability: Italo Calvino, Aldo Rossi and Theater

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      Authors: Snyder; Jon
      Abstract: Disponibilità/Availability: Italo Calvino, Aldo Rossi and Theater
      PubDate: Thu, 7 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Listening to Calvino/Calvino Listening

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      Authors: Chiesa; Laura
      Abstract: This article studies Italo Calvino and Luciano Berio’s collaboration for the opera Un re in ascolto (A King Listens), for which Calvino took Roland Barthes’s entry “Listening” as a starting point. My specific access to the collaboration is given by the notion of expanded music and extended voice. Rather than applying these concepts to the work of one complete opera, I use them to capture several springing, moving parts of the collaboration. I show how these mobile parts emerge and resound as convergences as well as divergences, and are hence always engaged in experiments amidst novel acoustic spaces and scenarios within and beyond the classical stage. Calvino first wrote a libretto as a fairytale about a king that merges with a favola dell’ascolto; in the introductory part of my article, I touch briefly on this libretto and the ways that it is marked by an expansive potential acoustic, and acousmatic dimensions of listening reference. In...
      PubDate: Wed, 30 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +000
       
  • Calvino and Cinema: Revisiting a Difficult Love, in Dialogue with Duccio
           Chiarini about his Documentary, Italo Calvino, lo scrittore sugli alberi

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      Authors: Di Bianco; Laura
      Abstract: Rightfully deemed one the most cinematic of all Italian writers, Italo Calvino has been an endless source of inspiration for contemporary directors and visual artists. Calvino, however, had an ambiguous relationship with the world of cinema. Despite being an avid moviegoer for most of his life, he displayed both a fascination with and a certain disdain for film. While cinematic adaptations of his literary works have been rare, and not always successful, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, many artists are seeking to bring his life and work to the screen. This essay revisits Calvino’s “difficult love” for cinema and engages in a critical conversation with director Duccio Chiarini about the making of a documentary film on Calvino conceived for a wide, public distribution. The interview discusses the challenges of creating a portrait of a polyhedric writer while balancing creative impulses, material conditions, production demands, and other contingencies that shape...
      PubDate: Fri, 18 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +000
       
  • Calvino Makes The Shell

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      Authors: Scarpa; Domenico
      Abstract: In 1965 Calvino wrote “The Spiral” and positioned it as the final story of his Cosmicomics. Both the story and its title-word seemed to him a landing point for his corpus, and, during the years that followed, he never changed his mind. “The Spiral” also marks the exact midpoint of his journey because Calvino made his debut as a writer in 1945, with the war just ended, and his death came unexpectedly forty years later in 1985. In turn, the essay “Calvino makes the shell” presented here is the central chapter of, and has given its title to, my new book on Calvino (Calvino fa la conchiglia, 2023, pp. 366-385). The aim of this book is to consider Calvino’s whole self-construction as a writer: his texts, his life, his encounters, his places, his travels, his readings, his ideas—in a word, the development of a style unique in the world of literature. In this essay, “spiral” is a key word and image in a key story. “The Spiral” is, in fact, autobiographical,...
      PubDate: Fri, 7 Jul 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Inhabiting Zenobia

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      Authors: Ferrini; Costanza
      Abstract: On November 3, 2022 a video projection entitled Inhabiting Zenobia, created and edited by Costanza Ferrini, took place as part of Light Year, a series of monthly projections of video art and experimental film on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge. Begun in June 2015, this series offers, on the first Thursday of every month, free projections with thousands of viewers in attendance in loco and many more worldwide following these events via live streaming online. The aim of Light Year is to build bridges by bringing together artists and spectators from all over the world, creating synergies between various forms of public art, video art and experimental cinema. Inhabiting Zenobia (Light Year #91) consisted of multiple large-scale video projections on one of the anchor walls of the Manhattan Bridge and, simultaneously, in the Drey Gallery (East York, Toronto) and the Scope BLN Gallery (Berlin).  Through the video works or fragments...
      PubDate: Thu, 6 Jul 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Molteplicità e ritratto: sovrapposizioni autoriali fra Italo Calvino
           e Giulio Paolini

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      Authors: Viva; Denis
      Abstract: In 1996, the Italian artist Giulio Paolini was invited to design the cover of the book L'occhio di Calvino by Marco Belpoliti. The book was one of the first to study the role of images in Italo Calvino's production, becoming an ideal background for Paolini's cover: a collage portrait of the writer while he was proofreading one of his texts. This image raised one of the major questions which was already addressed twenty years before, when Calvino and Paolini first collaborated: the crisis of authorship and the multiplicity of the self, which Calvino will also stresses in his Six Memos for the Next Millenium. This article tries to explore the specificity, the limits and the legacy of their theory of authorship by analizing the portraits of Giulio Paolini in comparison with Belpoliti's and Calvino's texts.
      PubDate: Thu, 16 Feb 2023 00:00:00 +000
       
  • A Jazz Cosmicomics: Geometry, Perversion, Resonance

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      Authors: Rushing; Robert Allen
      Abstract: Italo Calvino has a widely recognized and significant position in Italian literature and culture as one of the masters of twentieth-century Italian letters, recognized for his intensely visual imagination and geometric formalism. This position, however, might actually understate Calvino’s significance, because his influence has been at least as significant outside of Italy as inside, and larger outside of literature than inside (Invisible Cities, in particular, has had an enormous influence in art, architecture, urban planning, design, and even social services offered in urban spaces). A useful model for thinking about transcultural and transmedial influence might be the notion of resonance, in which a sound (Calvino’s writing in this case) reverberates in an increasingly large and complex cultural space — such a model might be particularly attractive when it comes to Calvino, since it has the potential to reframe the attention to the visual and the...
      PubDate: Mon, 30 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +000
       
  • Le Norton Lectures di Calvino. Il racconto inedito di una biblioteca di
           apocrifi

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      Authors: Di Nicola; Laura
      Abstract: When Calvino died, he was at work on the Harvard lectures, which remained incomplete. This incompleteness leads one to realize that  Lezioni americane is in fact a work in Italian that Calvino never really imagined, nor actually wrote. An apocryphal book of sorts, of which only an original nucleus is left that tells us about his idea of literature as reflected in his library of similarly apocryphal books; hidden books that preside over and inspire the process of writing. What remains of the planned lectures are various layers of sunken work, an underground archive of notebooks, handwritten notes, typescripts sent out to be translated only to be written over and reworked. There are also traces of previous stages of Calvino’s study of the books he utilized, annotated and commented, and reused to write the lectures.This is, however, the first time that Calvino takes the measure of his entire mental library in order to recount his idea of literature and offer...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Men and Machines, One Heartbeat' Technological Bodies in
           Fascism’s Empire Cinema

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      Authors: Negri; Sabrina
      Abstract: Even though Mussolini’s famous definition of cinema as “the strongest weapon” implies a common ground between filmmaking, propaganda, technology, and warfare, a casual viewer of Fascist-era films would be hard-pressed to find explicit references to this interconnectedness. In fact, narrative films made at the time hardly ever dealt with the realities of the regime, to the point that in 1979 Carlo Lizzani spoke of Fascist cinema by calling it “an absence.” Nonetheless, the Fascist obsession with modernity and technological innovations emerges in different ways from most films produced during the Ventennio. Despite their surface-level optimism and faith in the process of modernization, many of these films betray the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty that accompanied the shift from tradition to modernity, reflecting the complexity of the regime’s own attitude towards these cultural modes. In particular, films shot on location in the colonial territories of Eastern Africa display...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Italo Calvino, Communist

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      Authors: Pedullà; Gabriele
      Abstract: Italo Calvino, Communist
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • “‘The scope of an epigram’: Quickness, Magic, and Marcovaldo’s
           Environmental Eye.”

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      Authors: Woods; Gioia
      Abstract: Quickness, the second lecture collected in Six Memoes for the New Millenium, is an essential value linking the old and new millennium.  In this essay, I examine how "quickness" is deployed in Italo Calvino’s celebrated Marcolvaldo stories, giving special attention to the primary elements of quickness: enchantment and attachment. Herein I suggest how quickness communicates impending cultural and environmental catastrophe and the slow violence wrought by consumer capitalism.  Positioned as he was during the Great Acceleration-the post-war period of rapid growth during which human action overtook other earth systems as the main governing factor in global processes-Calvino’s recommendation for quickness has special urgency for us as we move further into the Anthropocene.
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Molteplicità potenziale e creatività al tempo del computer: un
           matematico del 2000 legge Calvino

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      Authors: Lolli; Gabriele
      Abstract: Taking into consideration Calvino's 1967 lecture "Cibernetica e  fantasmi," the article discusses wheter the similarities between mathematics and literature previously noticed when reading Calvino's Six Memos for the Next  Millennium (Lezioni americane) may be extended to include both central characteristics of 21st century mathematics and the mechanization of formal proofs.
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Visualizing the Intersection in Kym Ragusa’s The Skin Between Us

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      Authors: Russian; Elisa
      Abstract: As a metaphor, the intersection features in several contemporary autobiographical narratives that explore the social complexities of identity formation. Foregrounding both cultural hybridity and mechanisms of marginalization, this image captures the lived experiences of individuals who live across multiple communities. In my analysis of Kym Ragusa’s The Skin Between Us (2006), I bridge the study of life-writing and social theory to demonstrate how the author uses spatial forms of representation, including the crossroads and the map, to critique preconceived notions of race and belonging. Ragusa’s memoir confronts the several types of violence that occur at the junction between social structures, as it points to their ability to reproduce over time. By placing Ragusa’s understanding of identity as social position in relation with her interest in geo-historical stratifications, my reading suggests that her poetics of location opens onto a theory of implication, whereby...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Canzoniere italiano and the People Without
           History

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      Authors: Love; Rachel E.
      Abstract: This article examines Pier Paolo Pasolini’s anthology of popular poetry, Canzoniere italiano (1955). Deeply connected to its author’s well-known passion for dialects and regional, lower-class cultures first evidenced in his Friulian poetry, Canzoniere represents a key moment in Pasolini's thought. The collection exemplifies his theorization of language and power, the role of the popular in national culture before the ravages of neocapitalistic growth, and the aesthetic significance of dialect traditions. This project, intended to preserve dialect traditions after the fall of Fascism, also echoes the work of the nineteenth-century folklorists who sought document and disseminate folk cultures as a testament to national popular traditions of a newly-unified Italy. Pasolini’s methodological approach, especially, connects him to these previous folklorists. His dependence on written anthologies rather than ethnographic research, his valorization of popular poetry as a literary tradition,...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Description and the Future of Literature. Italo Calvino at Mount Holyoke
           College

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      Authors: Frau; Ombretta
      Abstract: Less than a year before his untimely death, Italo Calvino received an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College. In his acceptance remarks, Calvino spoke about the importance of what he perceived as a lost skill, the art of description. Reflecting on different types of description, Calvino selected several readings from his own works: “The Button,” Invisible Cities, and Mr. Palomar. Calvino’s choice of readings invites a comparison with his posthumous Six Memos for the Next Millennium, recalling, in particular, his chapters on “Exactitude” and “Visibility.” Calvino’s 1984 recommendation to revive the art of description goes hand in hand with his invitation to reflect on the shades and nuances of language, on precision and rigor as solutions to rescue language and literature from ambiguity and vagueness. He found this rigor and precision in the writings of several authors (from Leopardi to Valéry), as well as in art, in Domenico...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • 'Il perché del gioco': Chess and Medievalism in Calvino's Le città
           invisibili and Lezioni americane

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      Authors: Kumar; Akash
      Abstract: This essay considers chess as a particular mode of exchange in Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili that draws upon the game’s global nature and long history of representing cross-cultural exchange, as seen in the 13th century world that Calvino evokes in the framing of his work as an exchange between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. This focus lends itself to both an examination of Calvino’s overarching medievalism in his late novel and a look to his self-reflection in the essay on Exactitude in his Lezioni americane, where the evocation of chess in his earlier novel takes on heightened significance in Calvino’s defining of his own writerly identity. I will argue that the representation of the game is essential in analyzing not only Calvino’s thoughts on language and systems of communication and control in this late period, but also his look to the cultural other that vacillates between essentializing and the forging of global affinities.
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • “‘A Calvinian character’: Bruno Munari’s Six Memos for this
           Millennium”.

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      Authors: Antonello; Pierpaolo
      Abstract: Starting from Umberto Eco’s suggestion that sees Bruno Munari as a “personaggio calviniano,” this essay discusses Calvino’s Six Memos as a way to map Munari’s work and the theoretical intentions expressed in his books. This is not an arbitrary choice, for it is based on the belief that in his extraordinarily diverse and multidisciplinary work and experimentation with–among other media, genres, practices and artforms–painting, sculpture, illustration, graphic and industrial design, advertising, publishing, architecture, performance, experimental cinema, creative and essayistic writing, and art pedagogy, Munari embodies the six virtues extolled by Calvino like no other artist in the Italian 20th century. Like Calvino’s, Munari’s lessons may in fact be seen to constitute, in their own original way, an invaluable template for this millennium that is as of yet unrecognized outside the field of design.
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Epic Halves, Epic Doubles: Calvino, Tasso, and the Self-Reflecting Enemy

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      Authors: Cantor; Sarah
      Abstract: Italo Calvino’s avowed preference for the Orlando furioso does not preclude him from relying on the Gerusalemme liberata to bolster the epic features of his trilogy I nostri antenati, particularly in the novella Il visconte dimezzato (1952). This paper will not establish this intertextual relationship with an eye to exploring how the 16th-century author has influenced Calvino, but will instead follow Lucia Re’s line of thought in her article “Ariosto and Calvino: the Adventures of a Reader” by looking backward to see what Calvino’s novella reveals about Tasso’s poem.[1] Elements of Il visconte dimezzato can indeed serve as an interpretive key to the question of the early modern author’s politico-religious ideology.Calvino parodies epic conflict in the central narrative of his novella by physically splitting his protagonist’s body into a good half and an evil half. Each becomes an autonomous...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Italo Calvino “teorico” della fiaba (e del fantastico)

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      Authors: Puglia; Ezio
      Abstract: This article discusses Calvino’s idea of the fairy tale through the analysis of his theoretical works. On the one hand, such a discussion is crucial for the understanding of Six Memos for the Next Millennium, where the fairy tale is a central concern; on the other hand, it fills a patent gap. Despite Calvino’s thorough knowledge of the main trends in fairy-tale studies of his time, in fact, the leading scholars of this field have rarely discussed his views. I compare fairy tale and fantastic fiction, showing that according to Calvino the fairy tale is strikingly different, on a theoretical level, from the fantastic genre. Whereas the fantastic is conceived as a fully historical narrative typology, the fairy tale is something more than just a literary genre among others. The fairy tale is indeed very close to the most remote source of storytelling, and provides decisive evidence of the combinatory nature of fiction itself. This idea of the fairy tale raised for...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • “Io son venuto in America per cercar mia madre”: Emigration and Nation
           in De Amicis’ American Writings

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      Authors: Gemme; Paola
      Abstract: In 1884, Edmondo De Amicis joined a group of over 1,500 emigrants travelling from Genoa to Buenos Aires on the ship Nord America. Based on the transoceanic crossing and the two months he spent in Argentina, De Amicis produced several texts: a long account of the transatlantic journey, Sull’Oceano, published in 1889; a short story, “Dagli Appennini alle Ande,” included in his 1886 best-seller, Cuore; and a lecture, “I nostri contadini in America,” delivered three times in 1887. Collectively, these texts describe Italian emigration to South America in its different stages, from departure to settlement and, for some, return.This essay explores how De Amicis, a renowned literary promoter of national consciousness and national cohesion, addresses the blatant failure in the nation building project represented by the exodus from the nation of the poorest among its new citizens. Sull’Oceano identifies class discord as the primary motor of the Italian...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • The Petriverse of Italo Calvino

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      Authors: Harris; Paul
      Abstract: This essay considers Calvino’s Six Memos and other works in the context of the ‘geologic turn’ in contemporary environmental humanities. The introductory section shows how Calvino anticipated key notions now becoming prevalent in this work, including an ontology and ethics that respects “the unity of all things, animate or inanimate” (Memos). The next section, “Worlds Composed of Rocks,” rereads Calvino texts through a geologic lens—it treats “Lightness” through the lens of what Gaston Bachelard calls “the Medusa Complex,” examines geologic elements in the three retellings of the Orpheus myth in The Complete Cosmicomics, and briefly compares Calvino’s “The Stone Sky” to N.K. Jemisin’s recent geo-fiction The Stone Sky. The final section, Words Composed of Rocks, takes up Calvino’s semiotics as expressed in the Six Memos, Cosmicomics, and essays in Collection of Sand. Calvino’s interest in giving voice to natural...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Dentro e oltre il Sessantotto. Per una genealogia della sinistra
           rivoluzionaria italiana nella stagione della conflittualità diffusa

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      Authors: Francescangeli; Eros
      Abstract: The article is a reflection on the genealogy of the organizations of the Italian revolutionary left of the 1970s and on the relationship of this multifaceted topic within the context of "Sixty-eight", understood not so much as "the long sixty-eight", but rather as a student and youth protest in the phase of welding with other forms of social and political antagonism (that is the period from 1967 to 1969, with its antecedents and aftermath). The aim is to understand whether there is a “parental relationship” between the far-left and 1968 and, if so, what kind of bond might be conceivable. Are we facing a revolutionary left of the seventies born from the student and workers movements of the sixties, or is this event-process, instead, a consequence of the diffusion of the political culture of the revolutionary left in the previous decade'
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Lightness and the Future of Antiquity in Lezioni americane

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      Authors: Jansen; Laura I
      Abstract: This article considers Calvino’s memo on lightness in relation to his vision of antiquity as part of the literatures of the future. It sets out to explore this question from the perspective of speculative fiction and, crucially, the memo’s closural appeal to Kafka’s “The Bucket Rider” (1917), a short story that also ends with a forward-movement into an unknown future. The core of the discussion draws attention to the ways Calvino stages classical lightness as a form of avenir, or “things to come,” a process that mobilizes the Greco-Roman past at the time of writing, as he establishes its projection onto the future. Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura, on atomic motion and combination, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, on the myth-history of change from Chaos to the power of Augustan Rome, are key models in Calvino’s reading; and not only in Six Memos. In Invisible Cities (1972), lightness, or the “removal of weight,” is...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Italo Calvino’s Earliest Translations into English by Rome-Based African
           American Translator and Editor Ben Johnson

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      Authors: Sherazi; Melanie Masterton
      Abstract: This “Notes from the Field” contribution draws on print cultural records to call attention to African American translator Ben Johnson’s early translations of Italo Calvino’s short stories, including his English-language debut, “Last Comes the Raven” in Paris Review. Though information about Johnson’s career and time in Rome remains skeletal, these notes present readers with a working knowledge of his move to Rome following his wartime service in Italy, where he translated a great number of Italian modernist literary texts into English.
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Crossing the Borders and Expanding the Boundaries of White Feminism in
           Italy: Situated Rearticulations of Difference and the Impact of
           Intersectional and Decolonial Feminisms

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      Authors: Di Martino; Loredana
      Abstract: This article investigates how some white Italian feminists have begun to reckon with the colorblindness of their theories, as well the ethnocentrism of hegemonic feminist traditions in the Global North, and are contributing to the development of a critical white feminism. An examination of key feminist texts from the 1970s will be followed by an investigation into more recent iterations of difference feminism that have critically reengaged and redefined both Marxist theories of social reproduction and cultural practices of female intersubjectivity. In addition to addressing the existence of differently situated gender positionalities and their diverging struggles, this critical white Italian feminism is also attempting to meaningfully incorporate and center feminist perspectives that have been traditionally marginalized. The article will stress the key role that both international antiracist feminism (intersectional and decolonial) and local transnational feminisms which had...
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
  • Tuning In: On Retranslating Quotations

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      Authors: Brock; Geoffrey
      Abstract: This essay draws on the author's personal experiences in translating two quotation-heavy volumes, Italo Calvino's Six Memos for the Next Millennium and Roberto Calasso's K., in order to raise and examine theoretical questions about context, intertextuality, and retranslation. Brock asks why a translator might choose to retranslate quoted passages that already exist in other translations and demonstrates that new contexts can justify retranslation.
      PubDate: Sun, 1 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000
       
 
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