D'Annunzio and World Literature: Multilingualism, Translation, Reception

Photo of Gabriele D'Annunzio with his French translator, Georges Herelle

‘D’Annunzio and World Literature: Multilingualism, Translation, Reception’ is an international scholarly project organized by Elisa Segnini (University of Glasgow) and Michael Subialka (UC Davis). The project engages scholars from across the globe in a research network and will result in the production of a volume of cutting-edge essays, to appear under the same title with Edinburgh University Press, as well as scholarly exchanges in conferences, including a panel at the recent MLA Convention ('D’Annunzio as World Literature: Translation and Reception in the Wake of Decadence', January 2021) and upcoming panels at the MLA International Symposium, to be held in Glasgow ('D'Annunzio and World Literature I: Multilingualism, Translingual Writing, Theories of Translation' and 'D’Annunzio and World Literature II: Intertextuality, Marketing and Political Self-fashioning', June 2022).


Translation was crucial for the development of the Decadent movement, which originated in France but soon found disciples across and beyond Europe. Among these was Gabriele D’Annunzio, whose larger-than-life persona dominated the Italian cultural scene for many years. D’Annunzio’s work spanned genres and media, participating in a rich context of poetry, literature, theatre, and film. A declared cosmopolitan, he engaged in linguistic experimentation and anxiously supervised translations of his own work, often anticipating debates in translation theory. One of the few fin-de-siècle Italian authors to receive global attention, he remains an ‘uncomfortable’ presence in today’s Italian canon.


This project sets out to examine D’Annunzio’s work within a World Literature framework, from his own engagement with multilingualism, translingual writing, and (self) translation to fin-de-siècle and contemporary translations of his works to questions of reception.


To initiate a global dialogue on this theme, we have organized:


1) A panel at the MLA convention in Toronto (7 to 10 January 2021, held remotely)


2) A panel at the MLA international Symposium in Glasgow (2-4 June 2022)


3) An edited volume on this topic, forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press.


We anticipate opening further space for dialogue to coincide with the publication of the volume, and we welcome new participants who might be interested in engaging this work to contact us at Elisa.Segnini@glasgow.ac.uk and msubialka@ucdavis.edu .


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