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Promoting Italian book publishing throughout the world

Highlights

Insights

  • Classics abroad: the historiography of classical antiquity from Italy to France

    The topic of our relationship with classical antiquity has recently become once more very much at the forefront of public debate, albeit with the occasional exaggeration and the inescapable tendency towards sensationalism. Despite a (feared) marginalisation of “classical” studies in the Western world, the appeal of ancient Greece and Rome continues to exert a certain fascination among the general reading public both inside and outside of Europe.

    Among the contemporary writers of historical novels about classical antiquity, there is quite a large group of Italian authors specialising in this field and making it accessible to general readers. They have succeeded in meeting the tastes and expectations of “newcomers” to the classical period also outside of Italy, especially among French readers.

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  • Italian books on the history of art: some exemplary cases

    Italian has always been the lingua franca of the history of art. It is quite rare to come across non-Italian art historians, in the past especially those specialising in the Renaissance or the Baroque, who do not know and speak Italian fluently, as can easily be imagined in this specific field of specialisation, but it is also recognition of the fact that this prestigious discipline has, historically, had one of its most important and dynamic epicentres in Italy. Perhaps, also for this reason, Italian art history books represent a small, successful enclave within the limited international circulation of Italian works of non-fiction, as the specialists in this sector are able to have direct access, without any great difficulty, to sources in the original language.

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  • Leonardo da Vinci in other languages

    The publication of anthologies of Leonardo’s writings, organised on a thematic basis and/or according to literary genres, often accompanied by a series of illustrations, is still very frequent, following the international standard created by the imposing, pioneering works of Jean Paul Richter (The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci, 1st ed. 1883; 2nd ed. 1939, co-edited by his daughter Irma A. Richter) and Edward Mac Curdy (The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, 1st ed. 1939). 

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  • Interview with Gustav Sjöberg, poet, essayist and translator

    Gustav Sjöberg is a writer and translator who lives in Stockholm. He translates from several languages, including Italian, Latin and German. His most recent books include zu der blühenden allmaterie. über die natur der poesie (Matthes & Seitz, Berlin, 2020) and apud (OEI, Stockholm, 2017). From Latin he has translated Dante Alighieri’s De vulgari eloquentia / Om vältalighet på folkspråket (I Libri di Cartaditalia, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Stockholm, 2012), while his translations from Italian include Andrea Zanzotto’s Gli sguardi i fatti e senhal / Blickarna händelserna och senhal (I Libri di Cartaditalia, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Stockholm, 2012); Giacomo Leopardi’s Moraliska småskrifter (Celanders, Lund, 2015); Giorgio Agamben’s Barndom och historia (OEI, Stockholm, 2018); Giordano Bruno’s Om band i allmänhet (Eskaton, Malmö, 2019); and Gianni Carchia’s Från framträdelse till mysterium. Romanens födelse (h:ström, Umeå, 2020).

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  • Echoes of Trieste in the French publishing world (second part)

    During the difficult post-war period, two novelists were translated into French, often almost immediately after the original works had been published: Pier Antonio Quarantotti Gambini, as early as 1949, with L’onda dell’incrociatore (Les Régates de San Francisco), which was followed by several other novels and collections of poems or prose, occasionally with a foreword by André Pieyre de Mandiargues (La calda vita in 1964, La Vie ardente; Al sole e al vento in 1982, Soleil et Vent); and Renzo Rosso (L’adescamento in 1963, Un été lointain, revealing his city’s open wounds; La dura spina in 1965, L’Écharde; and the collection of short stories Gli uomini chiari in 1989, Les Hommes clairs).

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  • Technique and melancholy. Vasco Graça Moura, translator of Dante

    Anyone looking backwards on the eve of the third millennium would have ended up thinking that, in Portugal, humanists, poets and academics were not at all interested in Dante Alighieri. The few translations that existed of the Commedia were not very good, except perhaps the one produced by three well-known poets – Fernanda Botelho, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Armindo Rodrigues – in the mid-1970s. This deficiency mirrored the difficulties Dante’s works had in entering Portuguese culture – the exact opposite of Petrarch, who has been popular in Portugal since the fifteenth century.

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  • Italian books in Germany and their dissemination

    Taking a close look at Italian fiction and non-fiction translated into German means that you also need to or, rather, must start by taking into consideration the excellent policies promoted in Germany to support literature and the publishing industry. Indeed, here in Germany there are numerous initiatives aimed at promoting literature. These include the two main German book fairs – the Leipzig Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair – and numerous other events aimed at educating and encouraging young children to read, but also the generous funding in support of translations. 

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