Joyce “l’italiano” and the Hans Jahnke Collection at the Zurich James Joyce Foundation
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The Hans Jahnke bequest to the Zurich James Joyce Foundation, the latest acquisition of Joycean material, particularly testifies to the central role played by the Italian language in both Joyce’s private and literary writings.
The focus of this investigation is to highlight two distinct functions of Joyce’s use of Italian in the Zurich documentation. The first part of the essay proposes an overview on Joyce’s correspondence with his son Giorgio, identifying its most important linguistic features. The second part is devoted to the analysis of the manuscript titled “Sulla Spiaggia a Fontana”, a possible self-translation of the poem “On the Beach at Fontana”, which was published in Pomes Penyeach in 1927.
Study of the Jahnke collection not only shows how Joyce’s linguistic creativity varies its shapes according to different languages, but also reveals new aspects of the migrant’s perspective on his cosmopolitan reality.