A recent issue of the TLS (11 Sept) carries a long review of the work of Elena Ferrante, prompted by the appearance of the English translation of her Neapolitan quartet’s final volume, The Story of the Lost Child. The reviewer, Lidija Haas, deals with the book’s relation to its predecessors, emphasising Ferrante’s particular style in sensibility: how glittering surfaces cover putrescent rubbish, the violent dog untamed beneath the gorgeous skin. Haas also refers to the perceptive placing of Ferrante in an Italian feminist tradition by Dayna Tortorici (‘Those Like Us: On Elena Ferrante’ in n+1, issue 22) as well as to an interview with the author in the Paris Review (2015, no.212).
The latest issue of ReadingItaly, the blog of the Reading University postgraduate forum in Italian Studies, is devoted to Naples. It contains a discussion of Naples as a ‘rainbow city’ (Lorenza Gianfrancesco, RHUL, who has a particular interest in academies, printing and publishing) alongide a piece on Naples as an ‘ordinary city ‘ (Nick Dines, Roma 3, whose recent book on Naples is entitled Tuff City). Stefano Bragato (Reading) relives the progressive rock scene in the city in the 1970s – an interesting discussion to set beside Mathias Stevenson’s recent post on Italian reggae and its local roots. And Thomas Denman (Reading), studying early 17th century Neapolitan art and involved in the Italian academies project described in an earlier post, signals several recent books, conferences and workshops devoted to aspects of early modern Naples.