You Will Therefore Understand
by Claudio Magris

Quaderni d’Italianistica, v. XXXII, n. 1, 2011, pp. 7-25

The novella Lei dunque capirà (Garzanti, 2006) takes the form of a monologue, the single voice of a self-styled Muse who in life – now she is in the afterlife – inspired her poet-husband to greatness. The woman has crossed over to what is depicted here as a Casa di Riposo, but has obtained a special concession from the Director of the Rest Home to allow her husband to come and take her away. At the last moment she decides not to go, and the resulting monologue is her explanation to the Director – the “you”, Lei, of the title – of her reasons for not returning with her husband. This latter-day Eurydice’s voice is remarkably direct, leaving no doubt about her high regard for herself and her ambivalent feelings toward her spouse. Her tone can be cutting at times, almost mocking. She is at once tender and merciless, loving yet ruthlessly honest in her dispassionate analysis of her poet-husband and their life together. The work has been performed numerous times in theatres throughout Europe and most recently in New York City.

“The Conch Shell”
by Marisa Madieri

Quaderni d’Italianistica, v. XXXII, n. 1, 2011, pp. 27-36

A short story by Marisa Madieri, "The Conch Shell" (“La conchiglia”) originally appeared in the volume Verde acqua, La radura e altri racconti, Torino: Einaudi, 1987, 1992, 1998, 2006). The narrator is an elderly islander who recalls his deceased wife Naipuni and their life together: "The star-gazing rock is indissolubly linked to my life, or better yet to that part of my life that Naipuni did not carry off with her. So much time has passed since her death, that I can barely recall her features. It is as though her face has dissolved into things, commending herself to them. Sometimes a gust of warm wind suddenly brings me the memory of the scent of her skin, the flight of a bird reminds me of her youthful grace, the rain that bathes me is the light caress of her fingers. Naipuni was my wife. I knew her since childhood."

“Mirror Images of Remembrance
in Marisa Madieri’s La conchiglia and
Claudio Magris’s Lei dunque capirà” 

Quaderni d’Italianistica, v. XXXII, n. 1, 2011, pp. 37-47 

“Mirror Images of Remembrance in Marisa Madieri’s La conchiglia and Claudio Magris’s Lei dunque capirà: A Translator’s Notes” by Anne Milano Appel explores a kind of parallelism between Madieri’s short story La conchiglia and the novella Lei dunque capirà by Claudio Magris. In La conchiglia there is a she (Madieri the author) who writes in the voice of a he (the narrator and surviving spouse) who recalls another she (his deceased wife Naipuni) and their life together. A similar stratagem can be noted in Lei dunque capirà, though in the novella there is a he (Magris the author) who writes in the voice of a she (the narrator Eurydice) who talks about another he (her poet husband Orpheus) and their life together. So we have a him, Orpheus, seen by a her, Eurydice, seen by him the author. The idea that comes to mind is that of immagini speculari, mirror images or rather lives reflected in a mirror which mirror one another.

Quaderni d’Italianistica,
Literary Intersections. Claudio Magris and Marisa Madieri 
v. XXXII, n. 1, 2011
Konrad Eisenbichler, Editor, Sandra Parmegiani Guest Editor
http://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/qua/issue/view/1238