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History and digital maps of German literature in 20th century Italy. Literary publishing, literary field, literary interference

History and digital maps of German literature in 20<sup>th</sup> century Italy. Literary publishing, literary field, literary interference

The necessity of reconsidering literary history from a transnational perspective has generated a growing interest in the phenomena of literary transfer. Recent research has demonstrated the importance of translated literature for the development of national literary systems and has completed the first steps toward its integration within literary history.

The challenges facing the project “History and digital maps of German literature in 20th century Italy.” are to establish:
1) the first database of German literature in translation in Italy, consolidating the Italian Institute of German Studies’ traditional role of bibliographical and cultural observatory and providing future research with maps that will allow for the reconstruction of the steps taken by German-language literature in the history and geography of Italian culture;
2) the first organic history of literary transfer from German-speaking countries to Italy in the 20th century, considering German literature in translation as a system within the Italian literary system and assuming that, as such, it has its own relative autonomy and its own history.

The digital maps will be two things at once: a database and a portal. The database will collect the bibliographical references of all German literature in translation published in Italy between 1900 and 1999. The database will be able to be searched by author, publisher, translator, year of publication, series, etc. and the bibliographical notes will be able to be exported in both digital and paper form.
The portal instead will be structured on the basis of the three areas of research:
•    literary publishing
•    the literary field
•    literary interference.

Each section will contain entries on:
•    the principal publishers and series that brought German literature to Italy,
•    the editorial consultants who played a role in the selection of texts,
•    the principal translators,
•    the principal literary agencies,
•    the journals which introduced major German authors in Italy.

Through a system of key words, the profiles will be connected to one another together with bibliographical notes in order to allow for the reconstruction of the paths that both authors and texts took within the Italian literary field.  

The history of German literature in 20th century Italy will be organized in three areas of research:
1) Literary publishing. Since publishers had the power of introducing an author and a text to the public, the first area of research will concentrate on those specific publishers that characterized cultural phases in Italy and above all on the respective persons in charge of selecting which German literature to translate.
2) Literary field. Since the choices of importation depended to a great extent on hegemonic struggles among Italian authors, a second area of research will reconstruct, for each period, what was at stake within the Italian literary field.
3) Literary interference. Seizing elements of the German literary system, Italian authors contributed to the advancement of literary time: a third area of research will, therefore, analyze the main cases of literary interference between the German polysystem and the Italian.

The three areas of research will likewise lead to the publication of monographs, to the realization of a series of workshops and to an international conference, and to the dissemination of the results by means of scientific articles in the leading national and international journals as well as through educational opportunities including both graduate and undergraduate courses.
This case study aims at contributing to the development of a transnational literary history and at the construction of a European network for the study of the international circulation of literary works.


Publication date 02/27/2013
Source Istituto Italiano di Studi Germanici (IISG)
Organizations IISG