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Grazia Deledda's Trajectory. National and Foreign Reception of a Nobel Prize-Winning Female Author

Onorina Savino (Aix Marseille University, France)
Cecilia Schwartz (Stockholm University, Sweden)
Gigliola Sulis (University of Leeds, UK)

Cecilia Schwartz (Stockholm University, Sweden), After Nobel: Grazia Deledda’s Literary Legacy

Undoubtedly, the Nobel Prize stands as the most prestigious literary award on a global scale, but how does it affect an author’s legacy in world literary history? Grazia Deledda, who could be regarded as the Elena Ferrante of her time, presents a peculiar case. Initially, celebrated as a laureate, her post-Nobel reception was marked by negative evaluations, with international critics deeming her Nobel Prize unworthy. How did these divergent perspectives shape the presentation of her work? In this talk, I will delve into the trajectory of Deledda’s literary legacy, examining how she is portrayed in Swedish and English world literary history books.

Onorina Savino (Aix Marseille University, France) The transgression of interculturality in the Deleddian model

This contribution aims to explore the modernity of Deleddian writing by focusing on its intercultural dimension. The unique expression of this dimension in Grazia Deledda's work is a crucial element of the universal character of her writing, as acknowledged by the Nobel Prize awarded to her in 1927 for the year 1926. In the very way in which the Nuoro-born author tackles and interprets the theme of identity through her writing, also lies the idea of writing as a tool to construct an intercultural model as well as one of the essential factors that has significantly contributed to the dissemination of her work beyond the national cultural context and to the contemporary literary “filiation”.

Gigliola Sulis (University of Leeds, United Kingdom), New readings of Grazia Deledda at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century

This contribution highlights some paradigm changes in the interpretation of Grazia Deledda’s work and public persona between the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. The shift starts in the 1980s, building initially on the awareness of gender issues raised by the women’s movements and slowly accepted in academia, and leading to requests for a reassessment of the literary canon. In the 21st century, Deledda is ‘rediscovered’ by scholars, writers and artists as an emancipated woman, an original novelist, and as a writer equipped with a marked awareness of her position in the publishing arena, at national and international level; her active presence in intellectual and artistic networks beyond her native island, Sardinia, is also coming to the fore. 

All are welcome to attend this free seminar which will be held online via Zoom, starting at 6pm BST (UK time). Please register to receive the zoom link, by clicking Book Now at the top of this page.

Seminar Series Convenors: Carolina Rossi (Pisa University) and Mara Travella (Zurich University)

4 April
Translating Feminism in the Early 20th Century. Una donna by Sibilla Aleramo
11 April
Grazia Deledda's Trajectory. National and Foreign Reception of a Nobel Prize-Winning Female Author
18 April
Becoming a cosmopolitan writer. Alba De Céspedes between Italy and France
25 April
National Literary Prizes and Translation: Elsa Morante’s transnational reception
2 May
Roundtable on the 'Before Ferrante' Project