Literary Italy

Literary Italy

Anne and Jim welcome you to Literary Italy, a joyous romp through the books and the landscape of the bel paese. Join us as we share our love of the literature, the people, the land, and the experience that is Italy.

Episodes

January 23, 2023 30 min

We read The Leopard, a novel of the Risorgimento, a tragic-comic story of romance, war, and a stuffed dog.

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Vincent Schiavelli, character actor, chef, and author is the our subject! We look at his book Many Beautiful Things, his wonderfully idiosyncratic memoir/cookbook/fable anthology. Anne and Jim are still scheming to get to Sicily. Maybe we're closer to pulling the trigger. Who knows? In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this feast.

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September 12, 2022 36 min

You got horror in my magical realism. You got magical realism in my horror. -- It's delicious! This week, we talk Dino Buzzati (whom Jim distressingly insists on referring to as "Dee Butts") and his short story "The Bewitched Jacket." Then, we longingly look to the northeast and contemplate the beautiful Dolomite sub-range of the Alps. Plus random musings. Enjoy!

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This week, we read Elena Ferrante’s novella The Lost Daughter, set on the Ionian coast. We also watch Maggie Gyllenhaal’s film adaptation. Join us!

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July 24, 2022 28 min

The Dynamic Duo are back, this time with a feature on novelist Federigo Tozzi. We read his short story "A Bender"

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This week: Canto III of Dante's Divine Comedy!

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This week we talk about A House in Sicily, a 1999 memoir by Daphne Phelps. Phelps was the owner of Casa Cuseni, a hotel for artists and writers that opened in 1947. It takes guests to this day while also serving as a museum in Taormina.

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May 22, 2022 37 min

We all know Michelangelo as a giant of sculpture and painting, but, a true "Renaissance Man," he also wrote hundreds of poems. Anne and Jim dip into the life of this fascinating figure.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation show on Michelangelo's poetry

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Our guest this week is Wendy Holloway, host of  Flavor of Italy, a weekly podcast focused  Italian food, culture, and travel. Wendy shares with us springtime foods and traditions of Rome and beyond. What could be better than a picnic of fava beans and pecorino cheese? Be sure to check out Wendy's website for stories, travel tips, and some pretty amazing recipes!

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Anne and Jim are back in Tuscany for E. M. Forster's A Room with a View, which helped them love Italy and Florence before they had ever set eyes on it.

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Our guest today is Jay Malarcher. Jay is Associate Professor and Program Director of Theater History and Criticism at West Virginia University. Also, he first introduced Anne and me to each other, many years ago at St. John’s College. He’s a dramaturge, director, actor, and a great friend of the show. Anne and I reflected on a performance we saw a few years ago of Carlo Goldini’s Servant of Two Masters, and we knew Jay would be the...

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We're back with an episode on Dacia Maraini, one of the most fascinating and prolific Italian writers today. We talk about her memoir, Bagheria, named for the town of the same name just outside Palermo on the northern coast of Sicily.

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February 14, 2022 23 min

Our guest today, Mike Aquilina, has been a friend of ours for years. A prolific writer and authority on Patristics (the writings of the Church Fathers). He’s also a lyricist with rock and roll icon Dion. Mike is the host of the Way of the Fathers podcast, and when we heard his episode on Marcus Minucius Felix and his dialogue Octavius, set in Ostia Antica just outside Rome, we thought, that ought to be an episode of Literary Italy....

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February 7, 2022 35 min

The short story "Cavalleria Rusticana" (translation online). Later, a tour of Catania, Giovanni Verga's birthplace.

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In this episode, we talk about the importance of the Sicilian School, and read from the sonnets of Giacomo (Jacopo) da Lentini (alas, only in Tuscan and English -- the original Sicilian is lost to us). We also touch on the life of Frederick II of Sicily. Enjoy! 

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January 25, 2022 36 min

We get META all over the place. Luigi Pirandello's play Six Characters in Search of an Author is one of the most famous and most influential dramatic works of the 20th century. We talk about Pirandello, his hometown of Agrigento in Sicily, and, of course, those Six Characters...

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In this episode we discuss poet Giuseppe Ungaretti's early collection, Allegria, recently translated into English by Geoffrey Brock. A poet of few words, but so much feeling. We also talk about Lucca in Tuscany, where Ungaretti's family was from, and Sagrado in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in northeast Italy, where Ungaretti fought in World War I, and wrote many of these amazing poems.

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January 10, 2022 39 min
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January 3, 2022 31 min

Buona Befana! We celebrate New Year's and Epiphany with the a poem by Giovanni Pascoli.

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