THE UGO MURSIA MEMORIAL LECTURES: Second Series

16-18  September 2004

Hosted and Sponsored by:

Dipartimento di Anglistica

Facolta di Lingue e Letterature Straniere

Dottorato in Letterature Straniere Moderne

Universita di Pisa

 

 

Session I: CONRAD AND THE CLASSICAL WORLD

In memoriam Edward Said and Ian P. Watt

Thursday, September 16th, 2004

Facolta di Lingue e Letterature Straniere

85, Via Santa Maria, Aula Magna, Ist floor

Chair: Zdzis?aw Najder, University of Opole

 

 

09.00 ?10.20:      Registration

 

10.30:    Conference opens: Welcome addresses by the Vice-Chancellor of the University and by the

Dean of the Faculty.

 

10.45:    Inaugural address: Zdzis?aw Najder, University of Opole

gJoseph Conrad and the Classical Worldh

 

              In the immense critical literature on Conrad not a single study concerns the presence of Greek and Latin traditions in his work. And this although we know that his Polish school programme included more hours of Latin than of modern languages, and that he had to learn enough Greek to be able to read in the original fragments of Homer and Sophocles. Only a few scholars have analysed classical motifs (like the descent into hell in gHeart of Darknessh, where Virgil joins Dante) in particular tales and novels.

              The present paper intends to map the vast territory to be investigated: from classical quotations and allusions in Conradfs private letters, through elements of imagery (the Virgilian Sylenus in The Secret Agent) and narrative structures (Lord Jim) to the most general issue of the influence of the ancient Greek ideas of human nature and the position of man within the universe in Conradfs vision of humanity.

 

11.20:    Andrzej Busza, University of British Columbia, Vancouver,

gThe Rover: Conradfs Nostosh

 

Unlike Proust (and the more fortunate among us), Conrad could not look back to his childhood with warmth and nostalgia. Instead, it seems, he saw his Mediterranean youth, with its somewhat melodramatic finale, as the utopian stage of his past. In his writing he returns to the scenes of those years numerous times, beginning with the unfinished Sisters and ending with Suspense, which, too, remained unfinished when he died. Conradfs last completed novel, The Rover, whose action takes place on the French Mediterranean coast, tells the story of a nostos ? a homecoming. After a life of toil, danger, and adventure on the high seas, Peyrol, the aging protagonist finds his Ithaca on the Giens peninsula, exorcises some of the evil spirits of history that have been haunting Escampobar and, paradoxically for a former pirate, brings a measure of concord to the brutalised farm. Then, like Dantefs Ulysses rather than Homerfs, Peyrol ends his life with a heroic flourish. The narrative reads like an allegory of the romantic dreams that a writer increasingly conscious of the approach of lifefs end may indulge in. Formally, as well as thematically, The Rover manifests many of the characteristics of glate workh: greater simplicity, focus on the essential, reliance on well tried effects, pure colours and sure brush-strokes; and occasionally signs of a tired imagination.

 

11.50:    David Lucking, Universita di Lecce

gNarcissus in the Underworld: Counterpointing Myths in The Nigger of the eNarcissusf h

 

In The Nigger of the eNarcissusf Conrad interweaves and at the same time juxtaposes the myths of Narcissus and Orpheus in order to articulate equally compelling but mutually contradictory views of life. As the invocation of the Narcissus legend suggests, the novel might be read as an investigation into the morphology of egoism, potentially the most destructive form of which is the personal fear of death that the dying sailor James Wait precipitates among the crew of the Narcissus. At the same time, the novel enacts an Orphic mission of descent into, but also return from, the realm of death, a process through which the crew members of the Narcissus rediscover the value of community and corporate activity as a possible source of meaning.

While tending in radically opposed directions of implication, the two strands of the novel are united by their common structure, a possible way of analysing which is in terms of the rites de passage scenario delineated by Arnold van Gennep and others. If the ship as a collective entity undergoes a symbolic death through the crew membersf vicarious participation in Waitfs terminal illness, it is also resuscitated when those same sailors paradoxically redeem death from death by rescuing Wait from his flooded cabin.

 

12.20: Yannick le Boulicaut, Universite Catholique de l'Ouest, Angers

gLost in the Maze of Hellh

 

As a great master of irony, who used the very idea that language fails us to create a new aesthetics, Conrad purposefully led his readers into the intricate mythical maze of the Shades and Hell. Conradfs use of great myths and of the Bible which, at times, prefigures J.P. Sartrefs vision of Hell, gLfenfer, cfest les autresh, enabled him to visit the multiple facets of evil. The immaculate accountant, a sort of angel of light, who appears to Marlow in Heart of Darkness, could well be a real satanic figure, whereas the stern-looking Jorgenson in The Rescue, who is surprisingly allowed to cross and re-cross the Styx, has more humanity than many other characters. This paper will thus be a survey a Conradfs Shades and Hell in Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, and The Rescue among other major works.

 

12.50: Discussion

 

13.30: Lunch

 

16.00: Afternoon coach trip to Livorno: Guided tour of the Accademia Navale and its Historical Museum. Leghorn was one of the steamship Europafs ports of call, where young Korzeniowski, then an ordinary seaman, landed on December 28, 1879, as recorded by the Gazzetta Livornese of that day. Sailing the day after for Naples, the Europa passed in view of the Isle of Elba.

 

19.30: Dinner in Livorno at the gMimbellih Staff Officers Clubhouse.

 

22.30: Return to Pisa.

 

 

Session II, CENTENARY OF NOSTROMO

In memoriam Philip Conrad and Bruce Harkness

Friday, September 17th, 2004

Aula Magna, Facolta di Lingue, 85 Via Santa Maria

Chair: Cedric Watts, University of Sussex

 

 

O9.15:   Sylvere Monod, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Emeritus

gLfAlbergo dfItalia Unah as an gInn of the Three Witchesh

 

Three women inhabit the inn kept by Giorgio Viola: his wife Teresa and their two daughters, Linda and Giselle. gThree witchesh inevitably call to mind Macbeth, and, to a certain extent, Nostromo might read his fate in the group formed by the Viola women, that fate being in fact prophesied by the oldest and most articulate of the three witches. Yet what justifies a rapprochement between Conradfs gThe Inn of the Two Witchesh, possibly his least convincing piece of fiction, and Nostromo, his most powerful novel, is the fact that all three Viola women, each in her own specific way, bewitches the Capataz de Cargadores; all three influence and indeed determine his future life and death.

The novel abounds in words like: spell, curse, enchantment, enslave, enthral, witchery, prophecy. Teresa curses Nostromo, casts a spell on him; the power of her words, reinforced by her unshriven death, weighs on Nostromo and prevents him from resisting a sham betrothal with Linda. Linda exerts no other power than her deep and pure love; Giselle enslaves her Gianf Battista by the luscious attractions of her body and by her readiness to accept a wealthy thief as her lover. Eventually, of course, Nostromofs truest thraldom is to his treasure, i.e., to the silver that destroys love, happiness, and conscience.

 

09.45:    Laurence J. Davies, Dartmouth College

gConrad, Ethel Voynich, and the Mutton-chop of Historyh

 

In his excoriation of E. L. Voynichfs  The Gadfly (Heinemann, 1897), Conrad was unusually vehement: eI donft remember ever reading a book I disliked so muchf (Letters, 1, 395).  Set primarily in Italy during the 1830s and 40s with flashbacks to the herofs sufferings in South America, Voynichfs novel survived in the Twentieth century chiefly as a must-read for students of English literature in China and the Soviet Union.  When it appeared, it was an immediate sensation in Britain and the United States, considered shocking and exciting for its anticlericalism and its narrative of clandestine revolutionary politics. Ethel Voynich and Conrad were both Heinemann authors; she had wanted to meet him and he her, but after reading The Gadfly Conrad changed his mind. He found fault with the novelfs morality and its aesthetic justification: ethat having suffered is sufficient excuse for the production of rubbish.... But the book is very delightful in a way.  Look at the logic: He found his mutton-chop very tough therefore he arose and cursed his auntf (to Garnett, ibid.).  His comments are among his more hostile responses to what he calls the efemininef in fiction, yet the motif of the wronged victim taking his sufferings out on everyone in reach is Byronic; in the guise of a misogynist, Conrad is taking issue with a whole nineteenth-century literary and operatic convention.  Conradfs work, indeed, has many affinities with opera, but he almost always tempers his operatic passions with a chilling bath of irony; Voynichfs book abounds in circumstantial irony, and Arthur (the Gadfly) often resorts to sarcasm, but unlike Conradfs, the narrative voice itself is almost never ironic.  Consequently The Gadfly is melodramatic to a far greater extent than anything in Conrad.  As comments on Voynich and her book suggest, however, Conradfs attitude was psychologically as well as artistically charged.  Thus he reduces the novelfs emotional and intellectual force to the Gadfly himself, at the expense of the other principal characters, Cardinal Montanelli, who is Arthurfs unacknowledged father and the country peoplefs darling, and Gemma, Arthurfs childhood sweetheart, who becomes an able revolutionary. 

              The fascination of Conradfs encounter with The Gadfly is not only biographical. Both books link Latin America with Risorgimento Italy, both depict the experience of English Protestant families long-settled in Roman Catholic countries, both dramatise pursuit, capture, interrogation, and escape, both portray a crueller, more treacherous,  and more violent world than was common in English fiction of the time; the resemblance extends to symmetries between certain characters: Gemma and Antonia, Arthur and Decoud as inflammatory journalists; Arthur and Dr. Monygham as the mutilated victims of scorn and torture.

 

10.15:    Jean Szczypien, SUNY/FIT

gAn Unrecognised Polish Nobleman in Nostromoh

 

              With signs well known in Polish culture Conrad presents a highly satirical characterisation of a Polish nobleman in Nostromo and makes a mordant statement about a social class that he knew intimately. Images from Juliusz Slowackifs Lilla Weneda (1840) and Adam Mickiewiczfs Pan Tadeusz (1834) will be discussed as well as echoes from Zygmunt Krasinskifs The Undivine Comedy (1833), works of Polish romanticism with which Conrad was imbued.  References from Norman Davies, Stefan Kieniewicz, Adam Zamoyski and other historians will also be included as will Daniel Defoefs comments made in 1729 about the Polish szlachta.

 

10.45:    John H. Stape, Universite de Versailles

gNostromo and Notions of Nationhoodh

 

Grounded in contemporary political history, Nostromo closely interrogates the nature and consequences of modern notions of the nation-state both in its international cast of characters and in its action. Conradfs interest in attendant concepts, including patriotism, national allegiance, gnation,h nationalism, and ethnicity, is fundamental to his explorations in this novel. Mid-nineteenth century Italian nation-building as well as contemporary events in South America form its backdrop, as do, more remotely, the repeated national crises and struggles for nationhood of post-partition Poland. Drawing on Conradfs personal and familial experience as well as contemporary events, this paper will discuss ways in which Conrad problematizes national allegiance and ethnic identity.

 

11.15:    Cedric Watts, University of Sussex

gReflections on Giorgio Violah

 

This talk considers several matters. One is the aetiology of the characterisation of Giorgio Viola. Another is the range of thematic functions of this character: for example, his literal and metaphoric illustration of the theme of emen short-sighted in good and evilf. And another matter, arising from these, is the large problem of the relationship between political and aesthetic judgements of a literary work.

 

11.45:    Mario Curreli, Universita di Pisa

gIntertextuality and Myth in Nostromoh

 

This paper focuses on some affinities between mythical undertones in Nostromo and in the coeval Mirror, in which Conrad attributes epic qualities to his own first seafaring experiences, when he defied the wrath of the Olympian Gods, the fury and the snares of strange monsters and strange women. In the conclusion, readers and commentators of Nostromo are reminded of a source for the plain pumice filter used in the Viola household, which was first pointed out by Ugo Mursia, but ever since has strangely been unrecorded by editors of this novel.

 

12.15:   Discussion

 

13.00:    Lunch

 

 

Session III: CONRAD AND THE MEDITERRANEAN

In memoriam Hans van Marle

Friday, September 17th, 2004

Aula Magna, Facolta di Lingue, 85 Via Santa Maria

Chair: Sylvere Monod, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Emeritus

 

 

15.15:    Gene M. Moore, Universiteit van Amsterdam

gTranslation and Betrayal in Suspenseh

 

              Suspense (1925), Conradfs last novel, reproduces the troubled atmosphere of Genoa early in 1815, just before Napoleonfs return from Elba to the mainland.  Civil order in the former Republic is maintained by Austrian troops who are despised by everyone, under the protection of British naval supremacy in the Mediterranean.  No one has any faith in the decisions to emerge from the Congress of Vienna, and in the meantime, the various social groups portrayed in the novel engage in gossip and cautious double-dealing: Dr Martelfs friend, the carbonaro innkeeper Cantelucci, entrusts secret messages to Attilio, but Martel is also an agent of the Count dfOsmond, the ambassador of the restored French monarch to the returning King of Sardinia.  DfOsmondfs son-in-law Helion de Montevesso plays a similar double game, seeking both to protect his status as a despised arriviste and to insure himself against unpleasant surprises from Elba.  As so often in the reception of Conradfs works, Suspense has been read as a failed or incestuous love story, while its political elements have gone largely unexamined; yet the political aspects of the novel reveal depths of historical insight and irony worthy of comparison with Conradfs earlier studies of political duplicity like The Secret Agent or Under Western Eyes.

              The novel is structured as a series of conversations in various languages, only some of which are identified explicitly in the text: Cosmo apparently speaks Italian with Attilio, French with the Count dfOsmond, and English (mostly) with Adele.  Although English is the language of the text, most of the statements made in the novel are presumably expressed in a language other than English.  The language in question is sometimes identified with metalinguistic gmarkersh in the form of foreign terms or phrases, and at times the language (or a change of language) is explicitly noted.  Often the translations into English remain implicit, and even quite unrealistic given what the reader knows of the linguistic backgrounds of the various characters (does Attilio speak English? does Spire know Italian?).  This technique of gimplicit translationh creates mysteries comparable to those evoked by gdelayed decoding,h and generates an unstable linguistic texture appropriate to the uncertain political atmosphere of post-Napoleonic Genoa.

 

16.00:    Anne Luyat Moore, Universite dfAvignon

gFrom Marseilles to Suspense: The Opacity of the Mediterranean Experienceh

 

According to Aubry, who wrote the preface to Suspense, Conrad used the memoirs of la Comtesse de Boigne (the family chateau is not far away in Cognin, Savoy) whose husband was a diplomat in the service of Napoleon I in Genoa, as one of the major sources for the Countess. The second wife of de Boigne had a literary coterie in Chambery, which included Lamartine, De Vigny, Rousseau. The more I read, the more I feel that Conradfs construction and elaboration of his posthumously published work sheds light on the importance of his Mediterranean experience and his use of it in earlier works.

 

16.45:    Philip Olleson, University of Nottingham

gFrom Novel to Opera: The Case of Richard Rodney Bennettfs Victoryh

 

Conradfs love of music, and of opera in particular, is well attested. He is known to have made frequent visits to the opera (where his favourite work appears to have been Mascagnifs Cavalleria rusticana, which he saw at least thirteen times), and to have attended piano recitals by Ravel, his compatriot Paderewski, and the American pianist and composer John Powell.  In June 1920 Powell gave a private recital in Conradfs home, playing his own Rhapsodie negre, based on Heart of Darkness, and music by Chopin, a composer Conrad greatly admired. On this occasion Conrad told Powell that his greatest ambition was eto have one of my stories made into an opera, and when you suggested Heart of Darkness, I was so moved I could not speakf.

Conrad was not to see this ambition realised, and in fact there have been so far only two operas in English based on his work: John Joubertfs Under Western Eyes (1968) and Richard Rodney Bennettfs Victory (1970).  Victory, to a libretto by Beverley Cross, was commissioned by the Friends of Covent Garden and was first performed at the Royal Opera House, London, in April 1970. Notwithstanding an excellent cast and a lavish production, its reception was no more than lukewarm, and it has not been performed since. This paper, which will be illustrated by extracts from a broadcast performance of the opera made in 1970, considers the circumstances of its commission and the nature of the adaptation, and attempts to explain its critical failure.

 

17.15:    Carola M. Kaplan, CSU Pomona, President, JCS of America

gItaly as Alibi and Intimate Other in Conradfs Criticism of Englandh

 

In many of his works that target England as object of his criticism?for its insularity, its colonial practices, its complacency, its hypocrisy, and its xenophobia?Conrad obfuscates his criticism by displacing it onto a European locale.

While Conradfs negative Italian characters are not as flamboyantly given over to evil as Kurtz or as contemptible as Cornelius (or as sinister as Vladimir in Under Western Eyes), they are nonetheless shady, even sinister, participants or narrative foils. Accordingly, Antonio Mariani, owner of the grog shop and facilitator of dissipation in Lord Jim; Antonio, the gimmensely corpulent Italianh who ghad killed another man last yearh in gFalk;h and Mr. and Mrs. Zangiacomo, the unsavoury and brutal managers of an all-female band in Victory, are displaced versions of moral irresponsibility and even malfeasance that Conrad would not or could not attribute directly to any of his English characters.

On the surface, among the central characters in Conradfs fictions, no full-blooded Briton is morally culpable. Similarly, and just as superficially, no reprehensible national characteristic or behaviour is ascribed to Britain. Beneath the surface, however, is the adverse criticism of his adoptive country entertained by Conrad who, throughout his writing career, identified himself with a Europe figured as the Other, as distinct from an England in which he felt he did not belong.  (This identification can be overtly seen in the few instances in which Conrad nakedly reveals his sense of foreignness?for example, in his portrait of Yanko Gooral in gAmy Fosterh and in his identification with the Assistant Commissioner, an outsider returned to England from colonial service, in The Secret Agent.) Yet , Conrad manages in most of his fiction to conceal and contain his sense of his own otherness by enlisting Europe or, more precisely, discrete portions of Europe, as an alibi. In this way, Conrad enlists Italian characters to represent various aspects of injustice or immorality that he hesitated to attribute to British subjects. By means of these characters, Conrad is able to launch in disguised form his criticisms of an England that would not otherwise accept so negative an image of itself, especially as coming from a gforeignerh whom English readers could never quite consider gone of us.h

 

17.45   Sema Postacioglu-Banon, Universita di Venezia

gContentions of Wit in The Secret Agenth

 

In this paper I wish to examine Conradfs dramatic imagination in The Secret Agent. Although my discussion takes its cue from a paper presented at a previous Conrad conference in Pisa, I will not be discussing Conradfs attempts at writing for the stage and whether such attempts were successful. My main concern is how and why Conrad chose to expand the boundaries of the novel to accommodate the drama genre. The second part of the paper will bring into focus Conradfs own response to Balzac and H.G. Wells (to La Peau de Chagrin and Kipps respectively).

 

18.15:    Robert Hampson, Royal Holloway, University of London

gConrad and the Rossettis: ea casual conversation about anarchistsf h

 

In the eAuthor's Notef to The Secret Agent, Conrad refers to ea casual conversation about anarchistsf with Ford Madox Ford as one of his sources. The paper will begin with Fordfs familial relations with the Rossettis, and the Rossettisf involvement with anarchism. It will examine ways in which Fordfs knowledge of the Rossettis and their circle feed into The Secret Agent. It will end with a detailed examination of Conradfs short story eThe Informerf, focussing particularly on the figure of the elady amateurf.

 

18.45:    Discussion.

 

19.30:   Dinner.

 

 

Session IV: CONRAD AND ITALY

In memoriam Frederick R. Karl

Chair: Don Rude, Texas Tech University

Saturday, September 18th, 2004

Istituzione dei Cavalieri di Santo Stefano

1, Piazza dei Cavalieri, Ist floor

 

              Please note new Meeting place at N‹ 1, Piazza dei Cavalieri.

 

09.00:    Welcome by Dr Rodolfo Bernardini, President of the Order of the Knights of St Stephen.

 

09.10:    Manuela Bertone, Ambasciata di Francia in Italia. Servizi culturali - Roma

gLfaffreux pastis Gadda-Conradh

 

In 1953, Carlo Emilio Gaddafs name appeared on the Italian translation of Conradfs The Secret Agent published by Bompiani. However, there is no explicit reference to Conrad in Gaddafs oeuvre, and we know very little about the literary connection between the two authors. Did Gadda really translate Conradfs novel? Or did he instead revise the translation because he knew it well, having taken from it ideas, themes, and stylistic motifs which he had embedded in several of his works? In responding to questions about Gaddian intertextuality and writing/re-writing of That Awful Mess on Via Merulana, this talk goes through the history of the translation and reception of Conrad in Italy and France in the Teens and Twenties of the last century.

 

09.40:     Mario Domenichelli, Universita di Firenze

gHeart of Darkness and Flaianofs Tempo di Uccidereh

 

Conradfs Heart of Darkness is the often declined paradigm of western colonial experience. Celine, Gide, Malraux, Moravia, to mention only a few names, went to gtackle the darknessh with Conradfs tale in their minds, and Francis Ford Coppolafs Apocalypse Now shapes the American experience in Viet Nam through a movie re-writing of Conradfs work. It is perhaps less obvious to say that Conradfs tale was redefining a paradigm already present in its essential traits in Kiplingfs At the End of the Passage; and it is less known that Flaianofs splendid 1948 novel, Tempo di uccidere [Time to Kill], reshapes Conradfs model in an even more disillusioned mood. The protagonist of Flaianofs novel is an Italian Lieutenant during the Italian fascist war on Ethiopia. The whole story is perceived through his eyes and told by his own voice: the eyes and voice of a raper, a murderer, and a liar. Conradfs Marlow, as well as Celinefs Bardamu, and even Coppolafs captain Willard tackle darkness with their eyes wide open, and, in different ways, can be considered as torch-bearers, or the witnesses of a kind of extreme heroic thought bringing to a kind of extreme knowledge, and self-knowledge, as is also the case with Conradfs mad Kurtz and Coppolafs mad colonel Kurtz. Flaianofs lieutenant keeps his eyes wide shut, so to speak. Flaianofs tale is told by a ghollow manh, and yet still ga good Italian guyh bringing with him, wherever he goes, the smell of death, corruption, and lies in a story that offers no consolation. 

 

10.10:    Roberta Ferrari, Universita di Pisa

gTranslating/Transforming: Dacia Marainifs reading of The Secret Sharerh

 

In 1996 Dacia Maraini published a collection of essays whose Conradian title, Un clandestino a bordo. Le donne / la maternita negata / il corpo sognato, obliquely refers to abortion as the main focus of the authorfs attention. In the first ? and perhaps most significant ? of the eight essays, gLettera sullfabortoh, addressed to Enzo Siciliano, Maraini herself explained that the maritime image employed to metaphorize the peculiar relationship linking mother and child during pregnancy was drawn from Conrad, namely from The Secret Sharer, the tale she was translating during the same period and which also appeared  in 1996 for Rizzoli with the title Il compagno segreto. This paper intends to analyse Marainifs translation in the light of her psychoanalytical-Oedipal reading of Conradfs text, trying to discover whether stylistic, linguistic and syntactical choices may be directly referred to this particular interpretation of the source text.

 

10.40:    Elena Paruolo, Universita di Salerno

gDacia Marainifs translation of The Secret Sharerh

 

Dacia Maraini translated The Secret Sharer as Il compagno segreto, for gBiblioteca Universale Rizzolih in 1996 (reissued in 2001 in the Superbur Edition). Her translation is preceded by an introduction in which she says that, in her opinion, the story, in its true essence, seems to remain full of gambiguities and a multiplicity of meaningsh. She also talks about what the activity of translation means to her, and builds up gherh own human and literary profile of the Anglo-Polish writer. Dacia Maraini is principally an author and not a translator by profession: she regrets, in fact, not having done more translations, because, as she writes, gone learns a lot by tracing the steps, one by one, of a writer different from oneself.h

What are the human, personal, cultural and theoretical bases upon which the writer made her choice of translating Conrad, and The Secret Sharer in particular? It is my intention, in the course of a felicitous interview with Ms Maraini herself, to deal with the problem of translation in general and that of translating Conrad in particular, and with the theoretical background texts and the text in question.

 

11.10: Michel Arouimi, Universite du Littoral

gHeart of Darkness and Cristo si e fermato a Eboli: Thematic and Structural Similaritiesh

 

           Marlowfs quest in Heart of Darkness has already been compared to Dantefs travel in Inferno. In modern Italian literature, Carlo Levifs quest in Cristo si e fermato a Eboli (1945) has some points in common with Dantefs mystical vision. But, beyond this source (Levi refers to Dante in Christ stopped at Eboli), we can appreciate the similarities of topic and structure between Heart of Darkness and Cristo. In both works, the theme of the gDoubleh is linked to the symmetrical structure: one of the most interesting characteristics of the aesthetics of these novels. In Conradfs book, the presence of the Apocalypse of John (well known for its symmetrical structure) is more discreet than in Cristo. This religious source recovers a mystery: the notes gwritten in cipherh in the Towson book in Heart of Darkness, and the gcifrario segretoh written by Levifs miserable fellows seem to point to the art of writing of Conrad and Levi, reflected in the scene of both novels.

 

11:40: Gian Mario Benzing: Corriere della Sera, Milano

gAn early Italian translator of Conradfs works: Mario Benzingh

 

              Of German origins, Mario Benzing (Como 1896-Milano 1958) was one of the first and most prolific Italian translators of Conradfs novels. His grandson traces the career of this novelist, biographer, and musician, who moved in the Milanese intellectual and artistic circles. Under the pseudonym of Mario Benzi, he translated not only Conrad but also Poe, London, Kipling, Carroll, Wodehouse, and H.G. Wells.

 

12.30:    Fausto Ciompi, Universita di Pisa

gUnder Italian Eyesh

 

This paper examines trends of Italian Criticism of Conrad from Emilio Cecchi to the present day.

 

13:00: Discussion. Conference closes.

 

13.30: Farewell Lunch

 

16.00: Guided tour of the Cathedral, Baptistery, and Campo Santo: meeting point at the feet of the Leaning Tower (the climbing of the Campanile itself is not included in our cumulative ticket, but delegates may perform its breathtaking ascent at their own heartsf risk).