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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

CLARA FLORIO COOPER LECTURE 2015: Professor Carlo Caruso 'War, hunger, and censorship: Italian as seen through the letters of Italian PoW's in the Great War'

14th May 2015, 17:00, Taylor Institution, St Giles, Main Hall, Oxford University

Professor of Italian at Durham University, Carlo Caruso has published widely on the relationship between literature and the arts in the Renaissance and Baroque Age, as well as on the appreciation of ancient art and architecture in the Italian literary tradition from Humanism to Neo-Classicism. His many publications include Adonis. The Myth of the Dying God in the Italian Renaissance (2013).

It is estimated that approximately four billion letters were exchanged between soldiers and their families and friends during the Great War on the North-Eastern Italian front (1915-1918). Part of this correspondence consisted of letters by Italian PoW's which had been subjected to Austrian censorship. A significant portion of this corpus, from correspondents from all walks of life, was examined by a wartime Austrian censor who was also a promising young philologist, Leo Spitzer (Vienna, 1886-Forte dei Marmi, 1960). In the works he subsequently published on the subject, Spitzer offered a vivid recollection of the circumstances that had led him to analyse that extensive material, where he was able to find ample evidence of the human being's inventive approach to language and expression.

Followed by a Drinks Reception

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