Vol. 6 (2017)
Studi e Saggi

Cercando l’Europa. “Traduzioni” dell’Italia nella cultura estone di inizio Novecento

Published 2017-12-31


  • centre-periphery,
  • Estonian modernism,
  • literary translation,
  • national self-images


The beginning of the 20th century was a period of linguistic and literary renewal in Estonia, where Italian literature became a reference point for the young generation of local modernists. This article analyses the influence of Italian writers on Estonian culture between 1905 and 1918, focusing on the activities of the literary movement “Young Estonia”. Its predilection for decadent aestheticism is compared with the impressions that direct contact with Italy made on the Estonian intellectuals who, in this period, started to visit the country and write about it in their travelogues. This comparison becomes the place for a reflection on the potentialities and contradictions of the “unequal” exchange between centre and periphery of the European literary and cultural tradition.


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