CFP: ‘Traditions in Fragments: the Classical Legacy in Italian Literature’, University of Oxford, 20 June

Seen on the Classicists list:

Traditions in Fragments: the Classical Legacy in Italian 20th-Century Literature

Study Day, 20th June 2014

Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford

  Classical tradition, as a conceptual cluster in which aesthetic, anthropological and political ideas converge, is central to the study of 20th-century Italian literature. The Classics and their legacy are unavoidable forces in the literary discourse of the last century. Whether reinstating, questioning or establishing a new tradition, the Novecento helped to shape the notion of classical tradition itself. In different forms we find Ancient Greek and Latin classics in both poetry and prose, from the work of Pascoli and D’Annunzio, to the Hermetic translations of Quasimodo, down to the Fascist appropriations of classical antiquity, the essays of Calvino, and the trans-genre adaptations of Pasolini and Dallapiccola (not to mention the reinterpretations of Pavese, Sanguineti, Bemporad, or Zanzotto). Yet this widespread presence is still, for the most part, taken for granted. The few available studies are confined to monographic appreciations of individual authors. Generally these enquiries have remained isolated and fragmentary.

This Study Day proposes to begin mapping and interrogating the presence of the classical legacy in the Novecento. Topics of discussion will include, but are not limited to: dynamics of reprisal or rejection of the Classics and their legacy by modern authors, the concept of â€˜origins’ and archetype in 20th-century literary culture in Italy and abroad, genre and form, the Classics in relation to academic and popular culture in Italy, the relationship between translation and the classical legacy, and the reception of the Classics before, during and after Fascism. Gathering different scholarly contributions, we hope that this Study Day will provide a useful starting point for further research. The symposium setting will highlight similarities and differences between individual modes of engagement with the classical legacy. This may offer a new perspective on several aspects of Italian literature and culture in the 20th century, not least the role of literary traditions within the construction of cultural, authorial and national identities.

Call for Papers

Papers will investigate the presence of the Classics and their legacy in Italian literature of the 20th century. Possible topics of discussion include: 

Adaptations and appropriations of Ancient Greek and Latin works by 20th-century authors

Translations of ancient Greek and Latin works by 20th-century writers, including theory and practice

The reception of the Classics during Fascism

The role of the classical legacy in 20th-century poetics

The role of the classics and classical legacy in shaping authorial and national identity 

 Contributions in English and Italian are welcome. Please send an abstract of 250-300 words, a short biographical note, the speaker’s academic affiliation and any audio-visual equipment needed to Cecilia Piantanida at traditionsinfragments AT gmail.com by 25 April 2014.

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