Theaterstuk van Franse surrealist Roger Vitrac te zien in Amsterdam

Roger Vitrac (1899-1952) is wellicht niet de bekendste vertegenwoordiger van het Surrealisme, maar zijn Victor ou les Enfants au pouvoir, uit 1928, is sinds de jaren 60 een klassieker geworden van het 20e eeuwse Franse toneelspel. Als Victor of de kinderen aan de macht werd het stuk van Vitrac echter 40 jaar geleden voor het laatst in Nederland gespeeld. Het Amsterdamse toneelgezelschap Dood Paard biedt het Nederlandse publiek de kans om de theatervoorstelling van Vitrac weer te ontdekken: van 24 t/m 27 oktober, 16 t/m 18 november en 25 t/m 27 januari 2018 op diverse locaties in Nederland speelt Dood Paard Victor of de kinderen aan de macht.

«Een nauwelijks verhulde frontale aanval op het burgerlijke gezinsleven» (geheel in lijn met het politieke engagement dat het Surrealisme deels typeerde), het stuk speelt zich af op de negende verjaardag van hoofdfiguur Victor, die «beslist om niet langer het voorbeeldige kind te zijn. Hij besluit het vloerkleed onder de tafel vandaan te trekken, de poten onder de stoelen vandaan te zagen, het laken abrupt van het bed te trekken. Victor speelt met zijn zesjarige vriendinnetje op hilarische wijze het overspel tussen zijn vader en haar moeder na. De volwassenen verstijven van schaamte en ongemak. Manipulerend en provocerend ontmaskert Victor gedurende het stuk de kleinburgerlijkheid, het bedrog en het gehuichel van de ouders. De façade valt in stukken en de volwassenen proberen vertwijfeld de scherven bij elkaar te zoeken maar bij iedere stap valt hun leven verder uit elkaar».

Meer informatie en kaartjes kopen op de website van Dood Paard (bron afbeelding).

Advertisements
Posted in Frans | Leave a comment

Claudio Magris on 24 & 25 october in Amsterdam

On the occasion of the publication of the Dutch translation of Italian writer Claudio Magris’ (Trieste 1939) last book, Non luogo a procedere, the Universiteit van Amsterdam and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura dei Paesi Bassi organize the following meetings with the author, open to university staff and students, and to the general public:

– on tuesday october 24th at 7 pm at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, the Dutch translator of Magris’ book, and UvA Assistant professor (Italian studies), Linda Pennings will first introduce Het museum van oorlog (the Dutch translation of Non luogo a procedere) and then discuss the book with the writer himself and Pennings’ UvA colleagues at the Department of Italian studies, Associate professor Ronald de Rooij and Assistant professor Maria Bonaria Urban. For more information and registration see the website of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.

– on wednesday 25th Magris will first be the guest of the open seminar Cosmopolitan influences at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (11 am, Bushuis, VOC Zaal) and thereafter (7.30 pm) speak at De Balie on Narrating Europe: writing from the borderland. Both events will deal with such issues as migration, globalization and populism. Magris will talk «about literary imagination, changing borders and identity politics. What does his intellectual, artistic and political engagement mean for current public debates in Europe? How can literature contribute to such complex European issues and challenges?». For more information and registration see the websites of the UvA and of De Balie (where Claudio Magris’ photo above comes from).

Posted in Italiaans | Leave a comment

New in the collection: e-books

Aida Audeh, Nick Havely (eds.), Dante in the long Nineteenth century: nationality, identity, and appropriation, Oxford University press 2012.

Enrique Ávila López, Modern Spain, ABC-CLIO 2015.

Maryellen Bieder, Roberta Johnson (eds.), Spanish women writers and Spain’s civil war, Routledge 2016.

Valerio Camarotto, Leopardi traduttore: la prosa (1816-1817), Quodlibet 2016.

Francesca Castellano, Montale par lui-même: interviste, confessioni, autocommenti 1920-1981, Società editrice fiorentina 2016.

Colleen P. Culleton, Literary labyrinths in Franco-Era Barcelona: Narrating memory and place, Routledge 2017.

Karen Dakin, Claudia Parodi, Natalie Operstein (eds.), Language contact and change in Mesoamerica and beyond, John Benjamins 2017.

Debra Faszer-McMahon, Victoria L. Ketz (eds.), African immigrants in contemporary Spanish texts: Crossing the Strait, Routledge 2015.

Roger Fopa Kuete, Bernard Bienvenu Nankeu (éds.), Francographies africaines contemporaines: identités et globalisation, Peter Lang 2017.

Salvatore Lupo, The two mafias: A transatlantic history, 1888-2008, Palgrave MacMillan 2015.

Marco Marino, Giovanni Spani (a cura di), Donne del Mediterraneo: saggi interdisciplinari, Società editrice fiorentina 2017.

Santiago Morales-Rivera, Anatomía del desencanto: humor, ficción y melancolía en España (1976-1998), Purdue University press 2017.

Stella Peyronel, Basic Italian: a grammar and workbook, Routledge 2006.

Virginia Picchietti, Laura A. Salsini (eds.), Writing and performing female identity in Italian culture, Palgrave MacMillan 2017.

Lorraine Ryan, Ana Corbalán (eds.), The dynamics of masculinity in contemporary Spanish culture, Routledge 2017.

Grace Russo Bullaro, Stephanie V. Love (eds.), The works of Elena Ferrante: reconfiguring the margins, Palgrave MacMillan 2016.

Fabio Sanvitale, Armando Palmegiani, Accadde all’Idroscalo: l’ultima notte di Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sovera edizioni 2016.

Barth David Schwartz, Pasolini requiem, The University of Chicago Press 2017.

Jennifer Smith, Lisa Nalbone (eds.), Intersection of race, class, gender, and nation in Fin-de-siècle Spanish literature and culture, Routledge 2017.

Nathan Vetri, Marvelous bodies: Italy’s new migrant cinema, Purdue University Press 2017.

David Ward, Contemporary Italian narrative and 1970s terrorism: stranger than fact, Palgrave MacMillan 2017.

Posted in Bibliotheek, Frans, Italiaans, Spaans | Leave a comment

Silvana Grasso: international conference in Utrecht

The Department of Italian Studies at the University of Utrecht organizes on next May 24th an international conference on Italian writer Silvana Grasso: L’opera di Silvana Grasso: poetica, generi e filologia.

Grasso’s work has been translated into several languages, her plays have been performed in Italy, France and Spain, and her last book Solo se c’è la luna has been shortlisted for such prestigious Italian literary prizes as the Strega, the Campiello and the Viareggio Rèpaci. Specialists in several different disciplines such as philology, linguistics and gender studies – among whom UvA-emeritus Vincenzo Lo Cascio – will deliver their presentations during the conference: full programme and practical information (participation is free) can be found here. The writer will attend the conference.

Posted in Italiaans | Leave a comment

Georges Perec in de Pléiade… en op 1 juni in Amsterdam

Later deze maand verschijnt het oeuvre van Georges Perec (1936-1982) in de Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, het literaire pantheon van de prestigieuze Franse uitgeverij Gallimard. Tegelijkertijd brengt de Nederlandse Arbeiderspers een vertaling uit van La boutique obscure: De duistere winkel- 124 dromen.

De publicatie in de Pléiade – die de status van Perec als hedendaags klassiek auteur definitief bevestigt – verdient een initiatief van Spui25, het Academisch-Cultureel Podium van de UvA: op 1 juni a.s. om 20 uur (voor meer informatie en aanmelding zie hier) worden de figuur en het werk van de Franse schrijver besproken door Jean-Luc Joly (docent Franse Letterkunde, École Normale Supérieure), Annelies Schulte Nordholt (docente Franse letterkunde, Universiteit Leiden), Rokus Hofstede (literair vertaler en essayist) en UvA-onderzoekster Manet van Montfrans, die op het werk van Perec promoveerde, de monografie Georges Perec, een gebruiksaanwijzing publiceerde en – tijdens de Spuis25-avond – zal laten zien (met voorbeelden uit La vie mode d’emploi) «hoe virtuoos en lichtvoetig Perec het, voor hem met existentiële onzekerheid verbonden, thema van de vervalsing uitwerkt».

Foto: website van uitgever Melville House.

Posted in Bibliotheek, Frans | Leave a comment

New in the collection: e-books

Farid Laroussi, Postcolonial counterpoint : orientalism, France, and the Maghreb, University of Toronto Press, 2016.

R. Pickering-Iazzi (ed), The Italian antimafia, new media, and the culture of legality, University of Toronto Press, 2017.

Posted in Bibliotheek, Frans, Italiaans | Leave a comment

On Italy’s Liberation day: Umberto Eco and Ur-Fascism

Every April 25th Italy commemorates the end of both Mussolini’s regime and the Nazi occupation of the Country: the date, made into a national holiday in 1946, corresponds to the Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale Alta Italia (CLNAI – National Liberation Committee of Upper Italy)’s proclaiming the insurgency of all Italian territories then still under (partial) control of the German occupants and the Italian fascists.

Photo: Italian Resistance leader – and later President of the Republic – Sandro Pertini’s speech in Milan, April 25th, 1945 (source).

Following a domino effect which I regularly, and happily, experience as (heavy) reader, it was after having read young Italian writer Giorgio Fontana‘s Morte di un uomo felice (a compelling novel on Italy’s so-called Years of lead) and Babele 56 (an inspiring collection of interviews with immigrants living in present-day Milan), that – thanks to a post on the writer’s own blog: La normalizzazione dell’antifascismo (The normalization of anti-fascism) – I came across late Umberto Eco’s Ur-Fascism article (The New York review of books, june 22, 1995).

                  Photo of Giorgio Fontana from his blog.

Read today, Eco’s thorough analysis of ur-fascism and its features does not only strike for its lucidity but, sadly, for its prophetic character as well, all the more so given the (Italian and international) media’s and politicians’ puzzling reluctance (justly addressed by Fontana in his post) to use the word ‘fascist’ when commenting on the alarmingly ever-growing number of movements, parties, attitudes, incidents and crimes which, although recognizably fascist in nature, are usually only labelled as (extreme-right) ‘populism’, ‘hooliganism’ or ‘excesses’.

Needless to say, the whole essay by Eco is absolutely worth reading (passages from its Italian translation, published in Eco’s Cinque scritti morali, are available at punk4free). Here follows some excerpts though, which are whether especially relevant to present-day attitudes to universities and critical thinking or strikingly topical in relation to 2017’s fascisms (italics are mine):

«Fascism became an all-purpose term because one can eliminate from a fascist regime one or more features, and it will still be recognizable as fascist […] But in spite of this fuzziness, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it. […]

3. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Goering’s alleged statement (“When I hear talk of culture I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” “universities are a nest of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

Photo of Umberto Eco from the New York Times’ obituary for the Italian writer and scholar.

4. No syncretistic faith can withstand analytical criticism. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks for consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition. […]

13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view—one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. To have a good instance of qualitative populism we no longer need the Piazza Venezia in Rome or the Nuremberg Stadium. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People. Because of its qualitative populism Ur-Fascism must be against “rotten” parliamentary governments […] Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism».

Posted in Algemeen, Italiaans | Leave a comment