The public lecture will be held on Wednesday 13 February at 18:30 at the Arts Library, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta.
The lecture will be followed by light refreshments.
Joyce’s relation to Italian is deep and goes back to his early readings of Giordano Bruno back in Dublin during his youth. While his fondness for Giordano Bruno, the Italian philosopher burnt at the stake in Rome in 1600, is well-known and deeply studied, the influence of Bruno on Joyce has often been confined to the principle of the coincidentia oppositorum, the coincidence of the opposites (which he derived mainly from the intuitions of Nicholas of Cusa) and to his own defiant version of the non serviam 'I will not serve.' Bruno’s shadows, however, permeate Joyce’s theory of the language, and in his works it proves to be a hidden presence almost everywhere. In fact, Joyce’s debt to Bruno has to do primarily with questions dealing with the capability of our language – through continuous transformations and transmutations – to capture the 'plurability' of the universe, in an equation between the infinite spaces of the 'chaosmos' (one of Joyce’s invented words) and the 'infinibility' of the mind. This directly leads to Joyce’s conception of the language as an 'infinite translation'; and the very fact that Italian was one of 'his languages' (he spoke it with his children at home) makes it of paramount importance to the world-wide dissemination of his works. Actually, the last thing Joyce published, in 1940, was his Italian translation of a passage from Finnegans Wake, done in collaboration with Nino Frank and published in 'Prospettive'. The lecture will deal with Joyce’s Italian and Joyce in Italian, as issues of translatability are crucial in any approach to Joyce’s textuality.