Jill Richards is an Assistant Professor of English at Yale University. In this episode, she will talk us through her work “The Ferrante Letters”, written in 2020 alongside Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, and Katherine Hill. We will also understand how four women academics have forged their creative personas in an adventurous project born in the wake of the Ferrante Fever.
In this episode, we will cover the following topics:
(00:17) Intro by Costanza Barchiesi(01.45) Presentation of Costaza Barchiesi by Jane (04:00) Presentation of Jill Richard by Costanza Barchiesi(07:08) "Your book can be defined as the collection of a collaborative effort of four women who move in and out of a more strictly academic form of criticism. How would you define it in terms of genre and what does this do to the figure of the critic in general?"(12:50) "Has the reception of Ferrante changed over time? And how can we frame it in an Italian versus international way?"(17:23) "How did the book come about? In the introduction, you say that it started with “The Slow Burn” in journal Post45. https://post45.org/2015/06/the-slow-burn-an-introduction/ Why the title? Did you want to perhaps make Lenu’s (and Lila’s) anger your own in order to dig deeper into the books’ meaning?"(21:15) "What is the issue with judging a book by its cover with Ferrante?"(22:55) The Queer Counterfactual. "How did you get the main idea for the essay? Which critics inspired your idea? Do the chains of absent notebooks, absent dialect and absent Lila all add up to the translational quality of the novel itself? Does this translational quality, in turn, lend specificity to the queerness that you so well describe in your essay? Finally, do you think that the “queer counterfactual” could potentially be applied to any piece of literature or would you need a set of pre-requisites in order to apply this concept satisfactorily to a text?"(31:59) Role-playing: reading the titular scene. (37:56) Questions from the audience: how was it to write in a collaborative way?(41:54) The humanities and collaborative work.(43:55) Creative writing and research interests. Does creativity play a large part in research?(49:03) Silvia Federici and reproductive labour for valuing academic work in alternative ways.(53:32) Reading the book in translation and working on Ferrante as English scholars.
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