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  • Literary Tidbits from Italy in Debrecen

    The Department of Italian Studies at the University of Debrecen is to host a two-day international conference under the title Fantasy and the Fantastic in the Art of Giuseppe Bonaviri. The central theme of the event is the life and works of the recently deceased Sicilian writer.

    Giuseppe Bonaviri is recognized as a notable representative of Sicilian literature, a distinctive tradition in Italian letters. In his works, the perspective and stylistic characteristics of modern 20th-century prose combine with the traditional stories and diction of written and oral heritage. A recurring protagonist in his poems, short stories, and novels is the modern individual positioned on the dividing line between the two worlds of the old and the new, who experiences the disappearance of the old world and the birth of a new one in his own life.

    The fantastic, or more precisely, the fantastic fictional stories, play a special part in the creative writing art of Bonaviri, which thus combines the realistic portrayal of society and the miraculous world of folk tales. It is definitely not by chance that quite a few are intent on finding parallels between his texts and those of the works belonging to the genre of the so-called magic realism. At the same time, these remain peculiarly Sicilian texts (and, as such, have an active role in strengthening the cultural identity of the island of Sicily). They grow out of a tradition that both the stories of Arabic, Jewish, Spanish, and Greek origin (that is, the commonly shared treasure trove of narratives of the Mediterranean area) and the Renaissance and Baroque romance novels of Hungarian literature in Italy are built upon.

    “The conference held in Debrecen is supposed to map up exactly these intermediate areas and to explore the presence and the means of operation of the fantastic quality in Bonaviri’s art,” said István Puskás, Assistant Professor of the Department of Italian Studies at the  University of Debrecen, currently Director of a Római Magyar Akadémia [Hungarian Academy in Rome], to the portal unideb.hu.

    There are going to be talks delivered at the conference in Italian by scholars coming from the United States, Germany, Spain, and Italy, including two outstanding international researchers of modern Italian literature, Franco Zangrilli (USA) and Dagmar Reichardt (Germany).

    Time: Between 15.30 on Thursday, March 9 and 15.30 on Friday, March 10, 2017
    Venue: Debreceni Egyetem Főépület 58. terem [Room 58 of the Main Building of the University of Debrecen] (Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1.)

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