Saturday, October 24, 2020

Federico De Roberto’s “Agony” to be published in English, January 1, 2021

Italica Press is happy to announce the forthcoming publication (January 1, 2021) of the first English translation of Federico De Roberto’s classic detective novel, Agony (Spasimo), translated, with an introduction, by Andrew Edwards.

The beautiful, young Countess Fiorenza d’Arda has died dramatically at her villa near Lake Geneva. Judge François Ferpierre, the senior magistrate assigned to Lausanne’s central court, arrives to investigate whether it was murder  or suicide. In either case, who is responsible? A diverse set of characters — including two Russian anarchists and a melancholy young poet, each struggling with their own complex moral, political and artistic dilemmas — all become suspects. Ferpierre works on shifting ground as each new revelation uncovers another aspect of the case, another quandary shedding new light on intertwining motivations. 

Agony is the first English-language translation of Federico De Roberto’s Spasimo, a psychological-detective novel. Here, for the first time, a Sicilian author has written a detective procedural. De Roberto, a master of verismo, is celebrated today for his acute political, social, and psychological insights.  His work was held in high esteem by Leonardo Sciascia, who deemed De Roberto’s I Viceré the greatest Italian novel after Alessandro Manzoni’s I promessi sposi.

“If we are who we are today, we owe it in part to characters just like those portrayed in the novels of De Roberto.” 
Stefania Auci, author of I Leoni di SiciliaLa Repubblica

“In entering the ‘human abyss’ … chasing clues even in the most inaccessible recesses of the psyche … giving an account of all this, De Roberto as usual is a true master.”
Salvatore Ferlita, La Repubblica

Please have a look, here.

Irving Lavin’s Art of Commemoration Published

We are happy to announce the publication of Irving Lavin’s The Art of Commemoration in the Renaissance. 

In the early 1980s, Irving Lavin was invited to deliver The Slade Lectures at Oxford University, and he took it as an opportunity to develop an idea he had long considered but never articulated: that the Italian fifteenth-century revival of ancient art was an outward sign of fundamental changes in humanity’s perception of the inner self. The change started when the individual emerged from the Middle Ages and began to exhibit a previously unknown awareness of the past as opposed to the present. The individual became a person who could make choices about existence on the basis of a new internal consciousness.

What the Renaissance called the “new man” chose what he saw in the classical world as of a higher culture and, having absorbed and transformed it, adopted it. The new mode of being not only transformed human actions, it also became the basis for a new manifestation in the arts in a style we term “Renaissance.”

To develop this idea, in what Irving Lavin called The Art of Commemoration in the Renaissance, he studied the Renaissance contribution under several rubrics that form the basis of this collection. Revising and developing through the years and until his death in 2019, Irving Lavin continued to expand, contract, and update this extravagant array of objects and ideas. Chapters include:

1. Memory and the Sense of Self: On the Role of Memory in Psychological Theory from Antiquity to Giambattista Vico
2. On the Sources and Meaning of the Renaissance Portrait Bust
3. On Illusion and Allusion in Italian Sixteenth-Century Portrait Busts
4. Great Men Past and Present
5. Equestrian Monuments: The Indomitable Horseman
6. Collective Commemoration and the Family Chapel.

These essays have now been edited in their final form, with updated notes and bibliography, by Marilyn Aronberg Lavin. Please have a look here.