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Intermedial and intercultural relations between Italy and Germany. Cinema and literature.

Intermedial and intercultural relations between Italy and Germany. Cinema and literature.

The project, which is to be developed over a two-year period, intends to create a manual (Handbuch), which will offer a complete exploration of the relationships between Italy and German-speaking countries as regards the cinematographic transposition of literary works. 

The theoretical-methodological frame of reference intends to combine the field of intermedial studies and the relationships between cinema and literature with inter-cultural studies.

The project anticipates four areas of research:

1. A historical-cultural area of research aimed at the investigation of the circulation of cultural products in the publishing market, undoubtedly this is an aspect that has been overlooked by criticism, long used to linguistic analyses completely focused on the work and primarily based on obsolete criteria of faith. The objective is to study literary products’ channels of penetration (and, more generally, those of a cultural nature) in the publishing world of foreign countries as a sort of inter-text between the original text and its cinematographic transposition. An expandable phenomenon, in the case of the cinematographic transposition of theatrical works, to the mise-en-scene, not necessarily preceded by published translations.

2. A second area of research regarding the productive and ideational relations between German and Italian producers and between German and Italian writers; a sector that similarly requires study from the beginnings of cinema’s history up until today. If osmotic relations of a national and self-transposing nature have been widely acknowledged and studied, it remains to be studied the interactions of an intercultural nature in which German writers collaborated to the development of Italian or German cinematographic works adapted from the works of Italian writers, often under the aegis of Italian-German production constellations. This area of research is very detailed and cannot but give life to numerous and important expansions of knowledge in the field.

3. A third area of research concerns Germany (and Austria) and Italy as repositories of a collective unconscious often of a literary, historical-artistic or even political mold which find space within cinematographic works not necessarily born from literary transpositions or in any case not necessarily from literary transpositions which are the work of directors from the other country.

4. The fourth area of research is the most common and the most studied: the analysis of individual films that transpose literary texts from the other country. Here on the one hand the issue is to establish a credible corpus, above all as regards transpositions of Italian literary works on the part of German directors; on the other to learn from all the aforementioned research areas in order to liberate the field from an obsolete methodological analysis, aimed only at studying the two texts from a banally comparative perspective according to overrated criteria.

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