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15 Dec - "Translating texts which do not exist. Pseudo-originality, multistable figures, and Fortini's literary reception of Heine and Brecht" Battistini Lecture by Dr. Irene Fantappiè, Institut für Romanische Philologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

The Institute of Advanced Studies and the Collegio Superiore jointly promote a series of lectures – called Battistini Lectures – to commemorate Professor Andrea Battistini, internationally reknown Italianist, Professor of Italian Literature and first Director of the Collegio Superiore (1997-2000).

Dec 15, 2020 from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM

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What is a translation, if the original text turns out not to exist at all? The so-called ‘pseudo-translations’ build a millenary tradition, from Parzival to the Poems of Ossian to Franco Fortini’s traduzioni immaginarie. I will examine Fortini’s pseudo-translations, showing that they are deeply intertwined with his rewritings and translations of German poets of the 19th and 20th century – especially Heinrich Heine and Bertolt Brecht – as well as with the previous Italian reception of those authors. Thereby I will also argue that pseudo-translation and further similar literary forgeries foster an approach to literature along which the very same text can be equally, although alternatively, classified both as entirely ‘original’ and entirely ‘non-original’ – a paradox that challenges the conventional bond between the subject and the objects of literary production.

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Irene Fantappiè is the principal investigator of a DFG-research project at the Institut für Romanische Philologie of Freie Universität Berlin (since 2018). She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Bologna (2009) after her education in German and Italian literature at the University of Bologna, University of Heidelberg and University College London. She was “Alexander von Humboldt” research fellow (2010-2012) as well as assistant professor (2013-2016) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, in 2015 she was visiting scholar at Columbia University. Between 2013 and 2018 she directed a research unit of a FIRB-project at Università di Roma “Sapienza”. Her main topic of research are early modern and contemporary German and Italian literature, especially in relationship with problems of intertextuality, translation, and authorship. She is the author of several books, among which Karl Kraus e Shakespeare (2012), L’autore esposto. Scrittura e scritture in Karl Kraus (2016), Riscritture di autorialità. Franco Fortini e la poesia europea (forthcoming), as well as of a number of papers on German and Italian literature from the 16th century to present times. She also co-edited numerous volumes and translated into Italian works of German-speaking authors such as E.T.A. Hoffmann and Karl Kraus. She is member of the board of several scientific journals and co-directs the book series Letteratura tradotta in Italia.