Indeed, Morante’s works are often quoted in films as a source of inspiration for the characters, as Cristina Comencini’s filmic texts show. Also Morante’s prophetic and critical sides still need to be fully acknowledged and explored. In this light, many of her prophecies need to be analyzed or rethought against the backdrop of our times: the true meaning of the atomic bomb (1965 Turin speech), the postwar rise of an Italian lower-middle bourgeoisie unwittingly complacent with capitalism, the fate of youth, and the idea of intellectual and esthetic commitment seen as political engagement. Morante touches upon many important issues still prevalent in today’s Italian society: outcasts, the disenfranchised, powerless creatures like the ghettaroli (the Roman Jews) of the Roman Round-up of 1943, children and women.
In this respect, she is similar to her close friend and artistic companion Pier Paolo Pasolini, with whom she also a shares a position of eccentricity —and of resistance. To this end, a part of the conference will be dedicated to her original relationship with Pasolini and their reflections on controversial concepts as smagamento (disillusionment), barbarie (the barbaric), irrealtà (unreality), grazia (grace), and the world of ragazzini (youth) as objects of desire and carriers of salvation.
Keynote speaker: Daniele Morante, “Elsa’s Epistolary”
Confirmed Speakers: R. Scott Carlson, Lorenzo Salvagni, Sarah Carey, Maria Morelli, Katrin Wehling-Giorgi, Eleanor Holdridge, Flavia Cartoni, Claudia Karagoz, Kenise Lyons, Thomas Harrison, Hanna Serkowska, Giovanna De Luca, Manuele Gragnolati, Nadia Setti, Francesca Cadel, Gaetana Marrone-Puglia.
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