The Autobiography of a Language is an exploration of the deep and powerful ties between language and identity, focusing on an Italian American author and addressing global themes of modern writing. This is the first extensive, book-length work on Emanuel Carnevali (1897–1942), the first Italian American to attain literary recognition. It is a study on how an Italian immigrant to New York became an author and a key figure in transnational modernism. Most importantly, though, it’s a study of contacts between American and Italian literatures in the modernist era, and an exploration of the challenges of writing in a second language. Carnevali’s works are almost exclusively in English, even though he spent only eight years in the United States before returning to Italy. Combining literary analysis with some of the latest findings in applied linguistics and the study of bilingualism, this book contributes to a very active debate in the fields of comparative literature and translation studies: the implications of translingual writing. Andrea Ciribuco considers both the linguistic and cultural aspects of writing in a second language, examining its potential and pitfalls, and bringing Carnevali’s works in touch with the sociocultural context of the great wave of Italian emigration.
“With this in-depth and acute analysis, Ciribuco makes an important contribution to the critical realm of both Carnevali’s literary and cultural life, as well as the world of the Italian/American cultural arena.” — Anthony Julian Tamburri, Queens College, City University of New York
Andrea Ciribuco is postdoctoral research fellow in the discipline of Italian at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
This casebook for the story includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of the author's life, the authoritative text of the story itself, comments and letters by O'Connor about the story, critical essays, and a bibliography. The critical essays span more than twenty years of commentary and suggest several approaches to the story--formalistic, thematic, deconstructionist-- all within the grasp of the undergraduate, while the introduction also points interested students toward still other resources. Useful for both beginning and advanced students, this casebook provides an in-depth introduction to one of America's most gifted modern writers.