Category: Animal Studies

My dissertation “Trieste and the Migrations of Modernism: Fin-de-siècle Austria in the Italian Literary Landscape” (2009) includes a chapter on Kafka and Svevo (“Svevo’s Last Love: Kafka in Trieste and the Remapping of Italian Modernism”). I was surprised when I began working on the two authors that more had not been done on the many amazing animals of Italian literature, such as Svevo’s Argo in “Argo e il suo padrone,” who often seem to fit the growing field of Animal Studies. I expanded on my work on animals in “Kafka’s Italian Progeny.”

In the past, I gave several talks in which I discussed the potential significance of Italian literature for Animal Studies and Animal Studies. In 2011 in Oxford (Svevo at 150) I presented a paper on Svevo’s animals and Kafka, a talk that was soon after put up on-line. In 2012 I presented my work on my overall project, which included the discussion of Animal Studies and Italian literature, at invited talks at Berkeley (“‘Hu huh m hm uh cr cr. . .’: Talking Animals, Kafka, and Italian Literature”) and Chapel Hill, as well as at the Seattle MLA panel “Animal Studies, Ecocriticism and Modern Italy,” organized by John Welle. In my talk, “Kafka and Conversing Creatures in Italy: Interrogating the Human-Animal Boundary,” at the MLA panel I noted the strange gap in attention to Italian literary animals, especially when contrasted with Kafka’s central position in Animal Studies. I gave a talk on animals when I was in Rome, at the Norwegian Institute in June of 2014. In March 2019), I spoke at NeMLA, “From Franz Kafka to Pietro Grossi: What Italian Talking Animals Reveal about the Human Crisis” for the panel “Talking Animals in Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature,” organized by Alessandra Mirra.

Kafka’s Italian Progeny, as many of my talks, discusses Morante, Svevo, Landolfi, and Buzzati. Some of the related work on Svevo has been published, as has a chapter on Morante, which includes discussion of Morante and animals.

Kafka’s Italian Progeny

Kafka’s Italian Progeny. (University of Toronto Press, 2020).


Kafka, World Literature, and the Italian Literary Landscape

The Place of Italian Literature in World Literature Debates
Kafka’s Italian Reception: An Overview
Morante and Buzzati: Two Cases of Kafka Reception
Kafka’s Italian Progeny: An Overview

1. Amerika in Italy: Kafka’s Realism, Pavese, and Calvino

Kafka’s Amerika in Italy
The Italian View of Kafka’s Realism
Calvino’s Realist Kafka
Amerika and The Path to the Spiders’ Nests: Finding and Losing the Way, All Over Again
The Americas of Kafka and Pavese

2. Dreams of Short Fiction after Kafka: Lalla Romano, Giorgio Manganelli, and Antonio Tabucchi

Lyrical, Short Kafka
Experimenting with Short, Short Works after Kafka
The Transformations of Romano, Manganelli, and Tabucchi

3. Processi without End: The Mysteries of Dino Buzzati and Paola Capriolo

Kafka, Detective Fiction, and Italy
The Structures of Suspense: Questions, Identity, and Home
Prisons of Analysis and the Pull of Imagination

4. Kafka’s Parental Bonds: The Family as Institution in Italian Literature

The Familial Institution in Kafka and Modern Italian Literature
Svevo’s A Life and Ferrante’s Troubling Love: Societal Stress and the Bonds of Family
Leaving Parental Bonds in Bontempelli’s The Son of Two Mothers and Morante’s Arturo’s Island

5. The Human-Animal Boundary, Italian Style: Kafka’s Red Peter in Conversation with Svevo’s Argo, Morante’s Bella, and Landolfi’s Tombo

Italian Literature, Kafka, and Animal Studies
Communication across Species: The Monologues of Kafka’s Red Peter and Svevo’s Argo
Interspecial Communication: Landolfi’s Châli and Tombo, Morante’s Belli and Immacolatella
The Language of Animals and Dialects
Animal Bodies and Christian Spirit in Morante, Landolfi, and Buzzati

Calvino’s Kafka and Kafka’s Italy

Svevo’s Dogs

Svevo’s Dogs: Kafka and the Importance of Svevo’s Animals.” Italo Svevo and His Legacy for the Third Millennium. Vol. II. Eds. Giuseppe Stellardi and Emanuela Tandello Cooper. Leicester, UK: Troubador, 2014. 58-71. 

Morante and Kafka

Morante and Kafka: The Gothic Walking Dead and Talking Animals.” Elsa Morante’s Politics of Writing: Rethinking Subjectivity, History and the Power of Art. Ed. Stefania Lucamante. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2015. 53-65.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén