Dr Sambuco on Italian Women Writers (Thursday 14 May, 6.30)

Ballario chi ama 

Egypt, Jerusalem, Libya: Journeys through Italian Women’s Writings, 1890s-1930s

14 May, 6.30, Italian Institute of Culture (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra)

This seminar will take into consideration two Italian women writers, Matilde Serao and Pina Ballario, and their representation of people and nations outside Italy. At the beginning of the 1890s Matilde Serao travelled on her own to Egypt and Jerusalem and published a travel book on her journey, Nel paese di Gesù which enjoyed many reprints at that time. Pina Ballario during the fascist period writes a successful novel, Fortuna sottovento, set in colonial Libya. Both books represent the period of their time (pilgrimage and journeys to the Orient for Serao ,and fascist ideology for Ballario) and are now forgotten. The interest in these books however, is not only determined by the way they represent the reality of the time, but by what we can learn from the unsaid views of the authors. Their desire for a female identity no available within the culture of their time will emerge form the analysis of their work.