Past Event

Silent Moon: On Leopardi's "Canto Notturno"

November 17, 2014
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Prof. Giorgio Ficara and Jonathan Galassi (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The great Romantic poet Giacomo Leopardi’s finest work was “Night Song of a Wandering Shepherd in Asia.” Join us for a reading and discussion with Giorgio Ficara, the Compagnia di San Paolo Distinguished Visiting Professor, and publisher and poet Jonathan Galassi

As Helen Vendler says, Leopardi’s poetry is “charged on the one hand with a helpless longing, both sexual and philosophical, and on the other hand by a bitterness that was both personal and political.”

Jonathan Galassi (the president and publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is the acclaimed translator of the 2012 English edition of Leopardi’s poems. He has also translated the poetry and prose of Eugenio Montale and is the author of two volumes of poems, Morning Run and North Street.

Giorgio Ficara is teaching a weekly graduate course in Columbia's Italian Department; he is the third annual Compagnia di San Paolo / Italian Academy Distinguished Visiting Professor. He is Professor of Italian Literature at the University of Turin and has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and UCLA. He has taught at the Sorbonne and the Collège de France, Paris. Among his books are: Solitudini. Studi sulla letteratura italiana dal Duecento al Novecento (Garzanti, 1993 – Premio Lerici 1994), Il punto di vista della Natura. Saggio su Leopardi (Il Melangolo, 1996 – runner-up Premio Viareggio 1997); Casanova e la malinconia(Einaudi, 1999); and Stile Novecento (Marsilio, 2007). In 1984 he won the Borgia Prize, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. He is co-Editor of Lettere italiane and is a regular contributor to La Stampa.

The Compagnia di San Paolo / Italian Academy Distinguished Visiting Professorship

This series focuses on Italian literature, art history, and musicology and is made possible by multi-year funding from the Compagnia di San Paolo.

The Compagnia di San Paolo is working closely with the Italian Academy to bring to Columbia a series of renowned scholars to promote the knowledge of those areas of Italian learning which have contributed so greatly to the development of culture.

Founded in 1563, the Compagnia di San Paolo is a private, non-governmental organization that generously and consistently supports education; art and the preservation and development of cultural heritage and activities; scientific, economic and juridical research; health; and assistance to the socially deprived.

Columbia University has already benefited from the Compagnia’s international vision: the School of Journalism has a chair for the “San Paolo Professor of International Journalism” as a result of an agreement developed in the 1990s by the founding director of the Italian Academy. Given its international scope and its long-standing commitment to all aspects of Italian culture and society, Columbia’s Italian Academy has since its birth maintained a dialogue with the Compagnia di San Paolo regarding the maintenance of academic excellence at home and abroad. This new Distinguished Visiting Professorship agreement confirms the foundation’s commitment to Columbia as its American partner in the promulgation of research and teaching done at the highest level.

The Italian Academy welcomes this opportunity to bring eminent Italian scholars to the Columbia campus to interact with the promising researchers who make up the core of the Academy’s fellowship program, and—in the larger community—to lecture and teach to a broader audience of students and fellow scholars across the University.