Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

All days
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Wednesday 12 April 2023 16.30 - 18.30
F-4 SEX12 New Books session
B23
Network: Sexuality Chair: Wannes Dupont
Organizers: - Discussants: Laura Kelly, Agnieszka Koscianska
Moderators: -
Michael Rosenfeld : The Italian Invert. A Gay Man’s Intimate Confessions to Émile Zola
Meet the author/Book discussion
The Italian Invert. A Gay Man’s Intimate Confessions to Émile Zola
Columbia University Press, 2022.

The text knows as Le Roman d’un inverti is composed of a series of letters sent in 1889 by an anonymous Italian aristocrat to novelist Émile Zola, who then gave them to Dr. Georges ... (Show more)
Meet the author/Book discussion
The Italian Invert. A Gay Man’s Intimate Confessions to Émile Zola
Columbia University Press, 2022.

The text knows as Le Roman d’un inverti is composed of a series of letters sent in 1889 by an anonymous Italian aristocrat to novelist Émile Zola, who then gave them to Dr. Georges Saint-Paul in 1893. A censored version of this rare queer autobiography is first published in 1894 and 1895 by Saint-Paul in the French medical journal Archives d’anthropologie criminelle. It was subsequently published and presented in his 1896 book Tares et poisons. Perversion et perversité sexuelles. The significance of this text was immediately apparent; it engendered a vivid discussion in the Archives d’anthropologie criminelle and in other medical periodicals at the time, including Magnus Hirschfeld’s Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen (1905). Parts of the letters were translated into German in 1899. In 1910, Saint-Paul published a second edition of his book, which also included about a quarter of the long 40-page letter the Italian author had sent Saint-Paul in September 1896, after spotting by chance a copy of the book where his letters to Zola had been published. In 1930, a third edition of the book came out, and included the censored version of the letters to Zola and about a third of the 1896 letter to Saint-Paul. This expurgated version was subsequently published in French (1979, 2005, 2007, 2012), German (1991) and English (2007) and analyzed as a unique queer testimonial.
The discoveries in 2011 and 2016 of the original manuscript of the 1896 letter to Saint-Paul, as well as the censored parts of the letters to Zola, allowed the complete text to be published for the first time in Confessions d’un homosexuel à Émile Zola (2017). The unexpurgated version of this remarkable queer autobiography will be published in English in May 2022 by Columbia University Press.
I propose a book discussion centered on this unique historical testimony of queer life in Italy in Europe from the end of the Nineteenth Century, focusing on two topics: (1) the play of gender and sexual identities in the text and (2) the extent to which these autobiographical letters are based in fact or in fiction.
I suggest Vernon Rosario and Alessio Ponzio as discussants for this book discussion. (Show less)



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