Between The Mouth of Italy and the Nervi banks. The case of Kazimiera Alberti

Janina Janas

(Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro)
E-mail: janina.janas[at]
ORCID: 0000-0003-4488-6061
DOI: 10.31261/FLPI.2019.01.03
„Fabrica Litterarum Polono-Italica” 2019, nr 1, s. 39-69

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The article conjoins several interpretative perspectives. The first one focuses on Kazimiera Alberti’s volume of poetry entitled Usta Italji [The Mouth of Italy] published in the 1930s, in which Alberti unconsciously predicts her future. Her poetic excursions into Italian cities, enhanced by autothematic tropes, reveal the writerly-feminine subjectivity. What the biographical discourse delineates there is the frame for affective experiences, such as melancholy, sadness, and passion. This experience of the place would be identified today as the poetics of space, in which actual addresses merge with made up after-images. The second part of the article is devoted to Kazimiera Alberti’s experience of living in – and not only sightseeing – Italy. An analysis of the cultural memory code makes it possible to accurately portray the effort with which the poet seeks an original way of inhabiting the world that spans between the tragic Polish past and the Italian space of salvage. A reflection on Kazimiera Alberti’s letter to Maria Grabowiecka becomes not only an interpretative procedure but also – and primarily – a trigger to discuss the (arguably) central theme in Alberti’s oeuvre: the gesture of re-creation. This gesture stands for the attempt to re-create the world in the language of great cultural myths, or for the creative passion whose poetic evocation is Capri – an island equally real and “made up” or imagined.