Friday, September 23, 2016

Luigi Pirandello Selected Poems

We’re happy to announce the publication of George Hochfield’s new translation and dual-language edition of Luigi Pirandello Selected Poems.
Luigi Pirandello, an author best known for his plays, novels, and short stories, was also a life-long poet. At the age of twenty- two, he published his first collection, Mal giocondo (1889, Troubled Joy), followed quickly by three further volumes, Pasqua in Gea (1891, Easter in Gea), Elegie renane (1895, Rhenish Elegies) and Zampogna(1901, Bagpipes). In 1912 he published his final volume of poetry, Fuori di chiave (Offkey), but he continued to publish poetry in literary journals and anthologies, until his death in 1936. 
In a literary career that spans the turning of the twentieth century, his poetry reflected many of the currents of his time: modernism and relativism, the tension between faith and science and the place of the individual in a world devoid of coherence. He writes movingly of nature — silent, indifferent, unconscious, enduring — as the very antithesis of chaotic human activity. He writes of life and death, children and coffee, of love, earth and dreams. His style might seem traditional — more traditional than would be expected of an author whose work for theater surpassed mere innovation — and while his forms might be conservative, his ideas matched the spirit of his age.
As the translator George Hochfield writes in his introduction, “These poems reveal a somber and sensitive man, the dramatist, who, when the play is over and the curtain is drawn, comes to the front of the stage and addresses the audience directly.”
This dual-language edition presents for the first time in English translation a selection of work from the entire range of Pirandello’s poetic output. George Hochfield offers a sensitive and wise interpretation of that poetry. 
Appendices include a selection from Arte e coscienza d’oggi (1893, Art and Consciousness in Our Time) and from Pirandello’s Biographical Letter of 1914.
Italica Press has also published new editions of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author and his Henry IV.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Catalog 53, Summer 2016, published.

Our new  Catalog 53, Summer 2016, is now available for free download. Here are some of our offerings.
Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels have lately taken the literary world by storm. We are pleased to remind our readers that Italica Press published the first English translation of Ferrante’s work in 2004, in our anthology After the Waredited by Martha King. From that collection we now offer readers a digital version of Ferrante’s short story, “Delia’s Elevator.” Ferrante’s short story, translated by Adria Frizzi, offers early and important insights into both the author and the subject matter of the Neapolitan novels.  
Next is The Complete Literary Works of Lorenzo de’ Medici, edited and translated by Guido A. Guarino. This volume presents, for the first time, the entire corpus of Lorenzo’s literary achievement in English translation. This edition provides a fresh opportunity for a thorough re-evaluation of Lorenzo’s endeavors in the light of contemporary scholarship and new critical methodologies.   
The third is Luigi Pirandello’s Henry IVtranslated by Martha Witt and Mary Ann Frese Witt, with an introduction by Mary Ann Frese Witt. Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Pirandello plays with the theme of madness — or the pretense of madness — involving a consummate theatricality. The Witts’ edition includes the one-act play The License (La Patente), which offers an earlier version of this theme.  
Our fourth offering this season is Gianna Manzini’s Threshold. First published in 1973, this short novel still packs an immediacy of emotion and personal subjectivity unique in experimental fiction. We follow the first-person narrator on a trip not quite like others from a train station not quite of this world. Threshold captures the conflicting emotions and the closeness of loved ones through the intimacy of material objects. It joins Game Plan for a Novel (2008) and Full-Length Portrait (2011), two other novels by this highly original Italian writer published by Italica Press.  
Forthcoming titles for this Summer and Fall include Selected Poems of Luigi Pirandello, dual-language edition translated, with an introduction and notes, by George Hochfield; Torquato Tasso, Rinaldo, dual-language edition with an English verse translation, introduction and notes by Max Wickert; and Annibal Caro, The Ragged Brothers: A Prose Comedy (Gli Straccioni: The Scruffy Scoundrels), a new, dual-language edition translated with introduction and notes by Donald Beecher and Massimo Ciavolella. 
Recently published titles include Patronage, Gender & the Arts in Early Modern Italy: Essays in Honor of Carolyn Valone, edited by Katherine A. McIver and Cynthia Stollhans; The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpinedited and translated by Kevin R. Poole from Book IV of the Liber Sancti Jacobi(Codex Calixtinus); The Holy Land in the Middle Ages: Six Travelers’ Accounts. Digital Edition;Pseudo-Petrarch’s The Lives of the Popes and Emperors, translated by Aldo S. Bernardo and Reta A. Bernardo, with an introduction by Tania Zampini; and Kiril Petkov’s edition and translation of The Deeds of Commander Pietro Mocenigo by Coriolano Cippico.    
Our Catalog 53 offers all our hardcover, paperback and a variety of digital editions, including searchable PDF downloads and Kindle versions.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Threshold by Gianna Manzini

We’re happy to announce that this Spring will see the publication of Threshold  (Sulla soglia)Gianna Manzini’s third novel with Italica Press. Manzini (1896–1974) is considered one of the most accomplished writers in Italy, praised by important literary critics and writers, and widely known by Italian readers. Her fiction has been compared closely to that of Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann and Paul Valéry. 

Manzini’s Threshold was first published in 1973. It still packs an immediacy of emotion and personal subjectivity unique in experimental fiction. This short novel takes an introspective look at a daughter’s relationship to her mother’s last days. We follow the first-person narrator on a trip not quite like others from a train station not quite of this world. Threshold captures the conflicting emotions and the closeness of loved ones through the intimacy of material objects. By highlighting the power of materiality, Manzini develops a storyline that frames her reflections on the relationship between parent and child.

Manzini skillfully constructs a virtual reality through a language that leads her readers to imagine other possibilities. The dreamlike quality of her writing moves the reader across the border of the real to the imagined and back again. The novel’s evocative and slippery use of symbolism self-consciously confuses temporality and the blurry boundaries between space and perspective. Threshold joins Game Plan for a Novel (2008) and Full-Length Portrait (2011), two other novels by this highly original Italian writer published by Italica Press.

“With this astutely presented and translated novella, Threshold, Laura E. Ruberto and Irena Stanic Rasin give readers a rare opportunity to experience Gianna Manzini’s art of storytelling, among Italy’s finest. The first lines sweep us into a suspenseful journey on the verge of life beyond life, amidst sights, sounds, and sensations as traces of meanings for understanding the mysteries of love, disease, the power of memory and writing, and death.”
— Robin Pickering-Iazzi, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Monday, December 28, 2015

New titles, December 2015

The end of 2015 sees the publication of two new titles. The first is Guido A. Guarino’s first English translation of The Complete Literary Works of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Lorenzo de’ Medici (January 1, 1449–April 9, 1492), known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, was the scion of the powerful and wealthy Medici family. A diplomat, politician, patron and friend of artists and humanists, he was also ruler of Florence from December 2, 1469 until his death. Although he died at the age of forty-three and ruled for only twenty-three years, he was well recognized for his importance to the Florentine High Renaissance, and his death coincided with the end of its golden age and with the onset of renewed strife among the Italian city-states.

Lorenzo was also an author and particularly a poet. He wrote in a variety of forms, from sonnets to short stories and from eclogues to ballads. His material included love poems, comic works and devotional and philosophical discourses. His reputation as a writer has been the subject of substantial critical work, especially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

In this volume, Guido A. Guarino presents, for the first time, the entire corpus of Lorenzo’s literary achievement in English translation. This edition provides a fresh opportunity for a thorough re-evaluation of Lorenzo’s endeavors in the light of contemporary scholarship and new critical methodologies.


The second is Luigi Pirandello’s Henry IV in a new English translation by Mary Ann Witt and Martha Witt. The play opened less than a year after Pirandello’s revolutionary theatrical achievement, Six Characters in Search of an Author. The title of the later play suggests a historical drama, recalling Shakespeare’s great history plays. Yet Henry IV is instead anti-historical in that it “plays with” history, presenting historical events not as sequential and true, but as simultaneous and as an imaginary refuge. Henry IV (whose real name is not given) lives in a fake medieval castle where everyone must wear the costume of a historical figure. He is a twentieth-century Italian aristocrat whose madness traps him in the role of the Holy Roman Emperor, the German Henry IV, who reigned from 1056 until 1105. 

Numerous comparisons have been made between Pirandello’s Henry IV and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The affinities between their protagonists include madness, along with the pretense of madness, involving a consummate theatricality. Like other “mad” Pirandello characters, the man consumed by the role of Emperor Henry IV has been judged to be insane by a society that he judges to be insane. Madness, for Pirandello, can reveal a particular lucidity that gives access to truths not evident to “normal” people.

Pirandello’s one-act play The License (La Patente, 1918), presents an earlier version of this theme. Its main character, Rosario Chiarchiaro, may be mad or pretending to be mad as he also dons a costume and prepares to play a role for the rest of his life, the role of a purveyor of the “evil eye” — his means of self-defense against a society consumed by hypocrisy and superstition.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Patronage, Gender & the Arts Published

We are happy to announce that Italica Press has just published Patronage, Gender & the Arts in Early Modern Italy: Essays in Honor of Carolyn Valone, edited by Katherine A. McIver and Cynthia Stollhans.
The articles in this volume celebrate the work and legacy of Carolyn Valone, professor of Art History,  teacher, mentor and friend to many. Valone’s publications on “matrons as patrons” and “pie donne” became influential, ground-breaking work in the 1990s. Her continuing research on women as patrons of art and architecture has pioneered a methodological approach that many scholars have followed. Contributions include:
Katherine A. McIver & Cynthia Stollhans, Introduction. Brenda Preyer, The “Wife’s Room” in Florentine Palaces of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. Katherine A. McIver, Locating Power: Women in the Urban Fabric of Sixteenth-Century Rome. Kimberly L. Dennis, A Palace Built by a Princess? Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj and the Construction of Palazzo Pamphilj in Piazza Navona. Lisa Passaglia Bauman, The Rhetoric of Power: Della Rovere Palaces and Processional Routes in Late Fifteenth-Century Rome. Sheila ffolliott, Artemisia Conquers Rhodes: Problems in the Representation of Female Heroics in the Age of Catherine de’ Medici. Anne Jacobson Schutte, Elite Matrons as Founders of Religious Institutions: Ludovica Torelli and Eleonora Ramirez Montalvo. Marilyn Dunn, Nuns, Agents and Agency: Art Patronage in the Post–Tridentine Convent. Kimberlyn Montford, Musical Marketing in the Female Monasteries of Early Modern Rome. Suzanne B. Butters, A Monster’s Plea. Meghan Callahan, Preaching in a Poor Space: Savonarolan Influence at Sister Domenica’s Convent of la Crocetta in Renaissance Florence. Cynthia Stollhans, The Pious Act of an Impious Woman: The Courtesan Fiammetta as Art Patron in Renaissance Rome. Elizabeth S. Cohen, More Trials for Artemisia Gentileschi: Her Life, Love and Letters in 1620. Michael Sherberg, Mr. Cellini Goes to Rome. Craig A. Monson, “Un Monsignore troppo abbondo contro le monache”:  Alfonso Paleotti Meets His Match. Gretchen E. Meyers, Suis manibus fecerat: Queen Dido as a Producer of Ceremonial Textiles. Elissa Weaver, What to Wear in the Decameron and Why It Matters.
Includes a Bibliography of Carolyn Valone’s Works and a complete index.
The volume in the latest in our series, Italica Studies in Art & History.