William Weaver is celebrated for his numerous translations from the Italian, including Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose and novels and stories by Italo Calvino.


The Mystery of Ignazio Silone

La cultura a Torino tra le due guerre (Culture in Turin Between the Two Wars)

by Angelo D'Orsi

Fascist Modernities: Italy, 1922–1945

by Ruth Ben-Ghiat
For a country that has produced saints the way other countries produce cars, Italy seems to have an ambiguous attitude toward sainthood. A few years ago, when the Church drastically reduced the number of saints in the calendar, most Italians accepted the exclusions peacefully; the only serious protests were heard …

Roman Candle

It was the rainy, bone-chilling Roman winter of 1947. A new acquaintance had invited me to a dinner party, giving me an address near the US Embassy, somewhere behind the Excelsior Hotel. The streets were ill-lighted in those immediate postwar days of scarcity and hardship, but I managed to find …

A Case for Textual Harassment

These days, especially in the United States, implacable copy editors demand of authors not only stylistic revisions but even changes in plot, new endings, whatever commercial necessity dictates. But when we Italians recall the summary way the novelist-editor Elio Vittorini dealt with young writers some decades ago, can we honestly …

On ‘Krazy Kat’ and ‘Peanuts’

George Herriman’s Krazy Kat came into existence around 1910–1911 and ended in 1944 with the death of the author. The dramatis personae were three: a cat of unspecified sex, probably female; a mouse, Ignatz; a dog acting as policeman, Offissa Pupp. The drawing was remarkable, with certain surrealistic inventions, especially …

The Written and the Unwritten Word

The following was given as the James Lecture, presented at the New York Institute for the Humanities on March 30. When I’m asked for a lecture, not about a particular subject but one that would leave me free to choose what to speak about, I feel rather at a loss.