Tag Archives: life-writing

Life-writing by/about Italians in Australia

CoverSmallLife-writing by and about Italians in Australia continues to be a popular field, as John Gatt-Rutter’s The Bilingual Cockatoo: Writing Italian Australian Lives (2014) illustrates. Antonio Sbirziola has been one of its most successful practitioners. Born in Butera (Caltanisetta) in 1942, he made his way to Australia in 1961 where he worked on the railways. Virtually an autodidact (he left school when he was 12) he has written several accounts of different stages in his life, notably Un giorno è bello e il prossimo migliore (Terre di mezzo, 2007), awarded the Premio Pieve by the Archivio Diaristico Nazionale in 2006, and Povero, onesto e gentiluomo: Un emigrante in Australia 1954-1961 (Il Mulino, 2012). A very different perspective on Italians in Australia has recently appeared in Vivien Achia’s Marrying Italian (2014) whose subtitle ‘When love is not enough’ suggests what is to come. Shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s literary awards in 2014, it offers a particularly sensitive first-person account of the pleasures and pains of a cross-cultural marriage.

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The story of Terra matta

rmis20.v018.i02.coverThose who know Vincenzo Rabito’s autobiography published as Terra matta (Einaudi, 2007) or have seen the film Terramatta; Il Novecento italiano di Vincenzo Rabito analfabeta siciliano (2012) will be interested in the recent special issue of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies (2014, vol. 19, no.3) dedicated to the analysis of both book and film. The highlights are the accounts by the editors of the original typescript, Luca Ricci and Evelina Santangelo, of their work in making the text accessible to a wide readership, and the descriptions by the co-screenwriters Chiara Ottaviano (producer) and Costanza Quatriglio (director) of the making of the film. Bernadette Luciano and Susanna Scarparo set Terramatta; in the context of Quatriglio’s other work; and Giovanni Rabito explores some of the differences between his father’s first and second (unpublished) autobiographies.

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Al di là di Trieste: una letteratura di confine ancora poco nota

Gregoria Manzin   University of Melbourne

9781780885711La questione del confine orientale italiano pare ai più una disputa ormai conclusa e lontana nel tempo. In realtà la situazione di questi territori e delle genti istro-dalmate qui risiedenti rimase in sospeso fino al 1975, anno in cui vennero ratificati i confini tra l’Italia e la Iugoslavia con il Trattato di Osimo. Le discussioni sul confine tra le due nazioni si erano aperte alla conferenza di pace di Parigi del 1946. Al fine di risolvere le discrepanze tra la proposta americana e quella sovietica si optò per un compromesso territoriale. Rimaneva all’Italia la parte più occidentale della Venezia Giulia con le cittadine di Gorizia e Monfalcone, mentre per Trieste, città “perla” della regione, si propose la creazione del Territorio Libero di Trieste (TLT) sotto l’amministrazione delle Nazioni Unite.

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The Bilingual Cockatoo: Writing Italian Australian Lives

UnknownJohn Gatt-Rutter’s The Bilingual Cockatoo, a study based on more than 60 biographies and autobiographies of Italian Australians, will be launched by the author with Paolo Baracchi and Richard Freadman on Wednesday 30th April at 6.30 pm at the Museo Italiano, 199 Faraday Street, Carlton. Attendance is free, with light refreshment and drinks, but seats should be booked here or by telephone (03 9349 9021).

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