Introduced and moderated by Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair)
Acclaimed Italian-Algerian writer Amara Lakhous’ three books – Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio (2006), Divorce Islamic Style(2010) and Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet (2013) – are the subject of a conversation about migration and translation revolving around the relationship between physical and geographical relocation on the one hand, and writing as a trans-location of human experiences on the other. Structured as a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the genesis and circulation of his books over the past decade, the exchange embraces the views of Lakhous’ translator (Ann Goldstein) and publisher (Michael Reynolds) as actors in a synergy-fueled movie: books themselves migrate thanks to the shared work of people committed to migrating words. The program also includes a brief close analysis of select passages in Lakhous’ novels that illustrate his unique linguistic trans-migration by which he “Arabicizes” Italian language (and its dialects). This practice will engage us in the questions: How can a trans-migration of this sort be translated into English, Arabic, French, as well as the many other languages into which Lakhous’ books have become available? And, what can Lakhous tell us about the importance of learning multiple languages and living in transit at their crossroads?
- Presented in collaboration with the French and Arabic Programs of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and the AMICI Italian Club on campus
- Spearheaded and sponsored by The Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies (Department of Spanish and Italian) at Montclair State University
Amara Lakhous’ official website
Interview with Amara Lakhous by Meredith K. Ray
Article on Lakhous’ Arabicizing Italian and Italianizing Arabic by Franco Gallippi
Review of Dispute Over A Very Italian Piglet by Carmela Ciuraru
Biographies of Speakers
Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker and the most prominent translator of Italian literature in the U.S. today. Besides Lakhous’ books, for Europa Editions: she has translated six novels by Elena Ferrante (The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, and three of the four novels of the Neapolitan tetralogy), The Chill by Romano Bilenchi, The Father and the Stranger by Giancarlo de Cataldo, and The Worst Intentions by Alessandro Piperno. She has recently translated sections of Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) and is the editor of the complete works of Primo Levi n English (Norton/Liveright), for which she received a Guggenheim Translation fellowship. She received a PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award and was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome.
Michael Reynolds was born in Wollongong, Australia and lives in New York. The editor in chief at Europa Editions (an independent publishing house that is successfully bringing new foreign literature to the U.S. readership), he is also the author of a collection of short stories entitled Sunday Special, as well as a book for young readers entitled La notte di Q and illustrated by Brad Holland. He recently edited 1989, an anthology of ten European writers illustrated by Henning Wagenberth. For Europa Editions his translations include three volumes in Carlo Lucarelli’s De Luca series, children’s fiction by Altan (creator of the famous Italian character Pimpa, a red-spotted white dog), and Daniele Mastrogiacomo’s Days of Fear. Through the Europa Editions catalogue he promotes the works of over twenty Italian writers including Carmine Abate, Stefano Benni, Massimo Carlotto, Domenico Starnone, Milena Agus, and Simonetta Agnello Hornby (as well as director Paolo Sorrentino); French writers such as Jean-Claude Izzo and Muriel Barbery; and Arabic writers such as Salwa Al Neimi.