John Cabot University Press Announces Publication of "Extravagance and Three Other Plays" by Dacia Maraini

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Dacia Maraini

Dacia Maraini

John Cabot University Press is pleased to announce the publication of Extravagance and Three Other Plays by Dacia Maraini.

In 2013, members of JCU Press, author Dacia Maraini, and JCU Italian Studies lecturer James Schwarten met to discuss the possibility of collaborating on a publication project. What emerged from that encounter is a text entitled “Extravagance and Three Other Plays” that is now available to students of Italian literature, theater, and gender studies in a dual-language format, translated and coordinated by Professor Schwarten. Four theatrical works were chosen that would be available for the first time in English, and that highlight the themes of distress, exclusion, and tragedy with particular reference to women.

In the words of JCU President, Franco Pavoncello: “The anthology offers to the English-speaking reader a meaningful sample of Maraini’s theatrical productions, passionately focused on the rich and rarefied female universe, revealing a kaleidoscope of emotions stemming from the unadulterated and touching vision of one of Italy’s most noteworthy writers.”

The individual works include: (a) Stravaganza/Extravagance. The unfolding drama alludes to the Legge Basaglia (the so-called Basaglia Law, 180/1978), whose prescriptions included the closure of insane asylums throughout Italy; (b) Camille. In this piece, Maraini offers a reinterpretation of the storied and controversial relationship between the sculptor, Auguste Rodin, and his young apprentice/assistant, Camille Claudel; (c) Storia di Isabella di Morra raccontata da Benedetto Croce/The Story of Isabella di Morra as Told by Benedetto Croce. In this play, the power of literature and the written word (the implicit, culpable “character” in this play) culminates in atrocious homicide; (d) I digiuni di Catarina da Siena/The Fasting of Catherine of Siena. Powerful relationships dominate this account of Saint Catherine’s profound religiosity.

A long-time friend of the University, Dacia Maraini was awarded an honorary degree at the 2015 commencement ceremony. A book presentation with Dacia Maraini and James Schwarten is planned for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Learn more about the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at John Cabot University