Italy Reads Keynote Address by Prof. Ammary on A Farewell to Arms
There was standing room only in John Cabot University’s Aula Magna Regina for the 2014-2015 Italy Reads Keynote Address by Professor Silvia Ammary.
This year, Italy Reads participants are reading Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. In past years, we have read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Carson McCullers’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake.
Distinguished guests from the US Embassy in Rome and the South African Embassy in Rome as well as Andy Devane of Wanted in Rome joined Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Mary Merva in welcoming over 30 Italian high school teachers, many of them accompanied by their students, to kick off the 6th year of activity for Italy Reads.
Professor Ammary, a Hemingway scholar and Director of JCU’s ENLUS program (English language for University Students), presented an analysis of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms from an Italian perspective. The unique way in which Hemingway portrayed the reality of war through his particular style and his use of cultural references such as locations, food, drink and relationships contribute to its enduring effect on readers. Pointing out the significance of references in the novel to Italian cities and food, Professor Ammary transmitted her passion for this Nobel Prize winning author to her audience.
The Keynote Address set the stage for the study of this classic in American literature toward an improved understanding of the novel and the resonance it has in today’s world. This is particularly appropriate given the centenary commemoration of the beginning of World War I.
Questions posed to Professor Ammary following her talk confirmed vibrant interest in both the style and content in this work by Hemingway.