The Two Amelia Rosselli – Exile and Creativity Series
Where: Italian Cultural Institute
686 Park Ave.
212-879-4242 Price: Free
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The two Amelia Rosselli, whose lives and work will be discussed and celebrated in this talk, were, respectively, the mother and the daughter of the anti-Fascist leader Carlo Rosselli, founder of one of the earliest anti-Fascist movements, “Giustizia e Libertà”. Rosselli was considered by Mussolini “the regime’s most dangerous political opponent”. After evading custody in the island of Lipari, Carlo Rosselli reached Paris where was joined by his wife Marion Cave, a British political activist. In 1930 their daughter Amelia was born in exile, seven years before the brutal murder of her father and uncle.
The elder Amelia Rosselli, born Amelia Pincherle, was born in Venice in 1870. An accomplished playwright, translator, activist in the burgeoning women’s movement, as well as author of books for children, Amelia married and later divorced, Joe Rosselli. After the murder of her sons, in 1937, Amelia gathered the two widows and seven children, and led the family to exile in France, Switzerland, and England, and finally to the US. Amelia’s political fervor that had inspired her sons, in the war years, became an inspiration for many Italian antifascists.
The younger Amelia, finding her way through exile and family tragedy, went on to become one of the foremost Italian poets of the second half of the 20th century. A self-described “poet of research” as well as a translator, musician, and musicologist, she is the author of eight poetry collections. Her multi-lingual verses attest to what she described as a state of permanent exile. Her tragic yet oddly consolatory voice has been compared to those of Celan, Bachmann, Char, Pasternak, Akhmatova, and Plath, all of whom she translated. She took her own life, at her home in Rome, in 1996.
The program will examine the different ways in which exile impacted on the creativity of these two bold women whose work is being increasingly re-examined on both sides of the Atlantic.
Marina Calloni, Professor of Political and Social Philosophy at the Department of Sociology and Social Research – University of Milan-Bicocca
Jennifer Scappettone, Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago