The University Alcala de Henares in Madrid has planned a Summer School « Otros lectores, otras lecturas. La aventura de leer desde Gutenberg hasta web 3.0. » from the 13th to the 15th of June. Two members of the network will take part in this event, Brigitte Ouvry-Vial, from University of Le Mans, and Jean-François Botrel, from University of Rennes 2. People who would like to participate should registrate and send an application. More information here
The Italian regional cluster’s members (Lodovica Braida, Francesca Orestano, Damiano Rebecchini, Elisa Marazzi, Elisa Rebellato, Marco Canani) have started to discuss approaches and perspectives in view of the network general meeting in May.
Each member has presented her or his possible contribution to the Eu-RED database, which she or he will develop in view of the GM, offering a sample of useful material.
- Lodovica Braida (Università degli Studi di Milano, Dip. di Studi storici) has proposed to take into account biographies from 18th century authors (Alfieri, Goldoni, Da Ponte) as far as their reading memories are concerned. Lodovica pointed out that a major theoretical issue is implied by such use of autobiography: what is the value of “writings on the self” in terms of authenticity? To what extent can we exploit such writings as sources for the Eu-RED database?
- Francesca Orestano (Università degli Studi di Milano, Dip. di Lingue e letterature straniere-Anglistica) will work on Virginia Woolf as a reader, offering a sample of how Eu-RED can take into account letters, diaries, and notebooks; Francesca has also mentioned other sources whose potential might be discussed after a theoretical reflection on authenticity. These are: reading suggestions in travel guides during late modernity; reader’s response in children’s literature; didactic texts which provide a reading list, and related comments, such as Tomasi di Lampedusa’s Lezioni di letteratura inglese.
- Damiano Rebecchini (Università degli Studi di Milano, Dip. di Lingue e letterature straniere-Slavistica) has proposed a study of reading reactions to the works of Gogol’, Lermontov and Tolstoj in Russia during 19th century, focused on sources regarding both peasant readers and reading reactions from the court (czars and high officers).
- Elisa Marazzi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Dip. di Studi storici) has proposed, as far as children- and young adults’ reading is concerned, readers’ letters published in children’s journals as a source. It is necessary to take into account that such material could be not genuine, and written by the editorial staff for advertising reasons. Further reflections on how to use such material are due. Another, less direct, source, could be represented by teachers’ diaries and memoirs.
- Elisa Rebellato (Bologna, Biblioteca comunale dell’Archiginnasio) has pointed out some originals of letters written by the young readers of a children’s journal, preserved in Florence, Gabinetto Viesseux, Archivio Contemporaneo « A. Bonsanti », Fondo Orvieto. It is necessary to verify if other documents are preserved in the same archive and if it is possible to find similar documents elsewhere. This kind of source offers useful reading evidence avoiding the above mentioned question of truthfulness.
- Marco Canani (Università degli Studi di Milano, Dip. di Lingue e letterature straniere-Anglistica) will work on the Vernon Lee Collection, based in Florence (British Institute of Florence), which contains over 400 commented/annotated books owned by the writer.
The majority of these proposals can be regrouped under four kind of activities that are put into place by the reading activity:
-reading for writing: the connection between authorship and the author’s readings
-reading for travelling
-reading for playing: reading as the basis for cultural identity in games
-reading for teaching
A second level of the debate has focused on theoretical key issues concerning the database building process (structure and queries definition). A list of concepts worthwhile taking into account while building up the database emerged:
-silent/individual reading vs shared/loud reading
-emotion, pleasure of reading
– is there a European reading code/canon?
As a consequence of the debate, some open issues emerged, in particularly the already mentioned implications of the “writings of the self” (memoirs, letters, diaries, autobiographies), which may become the object of further discussion within the activities of the Italian cluster.
The Italian regional cluster’s members have started to discuss approaches and perspectives in view of the network general meeting in May.
Each member has presented her or his possible contribution to the Eu-RED database, which she or he will develop in view of the GM. The discussion has focused on which theoretical key issues the database building process needs to take into account (structure and queries definition). As a consequence of this debate, some open issues emerged, in particularly related to the “Writing of the self” (memoirs, letters, autobiographies), which may be object of further discussion within the activities of the Italian cluster.
A more detailed summary of the meeting will be published on the new exchange tool created for the network by Gauthier Michelin.