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Los Angeles: A new English translation of The Betrothed

On 18 May 2023, 5.30 p.m., at the Mosher Hall Boardroom of the University of California Santa Barbara, Michael F. Moore, will present The Betrothed, his new translation of I Promessi sposi, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Alessandro Manzoni’s death.

Since Manzoni began to write I promessi sposi (The Betrothed) in 1821, the novel has acquired almost biblical status in Italy. Required reading in school, to the despair of many students, and copiously annotated by some of the country’s great philologists and literary scholars, the novel has acquired a thick crust of erudition and reverence that obscure its best qualities. Manzoni states it quite simply in his introduction, “It was as a story, although the reader might disagree, that I found beautiful, quite beautiful.” Michael F. Moore, in conversation with Michael Subialka, will discuss how his new translation of The Betrothed into modern American English restores the popular appeal of the novel. Using illustrations from the original 1840-42 edition and excerpts from his own translation, he will highlight how Manzoni’s constant interjections, hybrid style, and compelling storytelling make him a thoroughly modern writer.

This event is organised by the Department of French and Italian at UCSB, with the support of the Network of Italian Cultural Institutes in North America, the contribution of the Leonardo da Vinci Society San Francisco and the collaboration of the Italian Transnational Studies Programme and the Comparative Literature Programme.