Glossator 12: Cristina Campo: Translation / Commentary
Editors: Nicola Masciandaro & Andrea di Serego Alighieri
The poet and writer Cristina Campo (Vittoria Guerrini, 1923-1977) is primarily known in Italy as a translator, especially of modernist poetic works and the writings of Simone Weil. Translation was for her an essential task and experience. As Margherita Pieracci Harwell recalls, “the hospitality offered to the poet to be translated, this self-emptying of the interpreter (a participatory offering, in which all the powers of her genius are stretched to the extreme because the other’s voice lives without distortions)—Cristina more than anyone proposed this as a goal.”
This volume proposes to reflect on this interface of reading and writing by focusing on the commentarial potential of Campo’s work, whose penetrating quality of attention flashes like a spark across the “margin between the thing to be transmitted and the act of transmission” (Agamben). As the alienation of this margin in modernity is evidenced by “the loss of the commentary and the gloss as creative forms” (Agamben), so does the close reading of Campo’s texts hold the promise of a temporary suspension of this alienation. Likewise, “the only non-frivolous attitude” in our “age of purely horizontal progress” is figured for Campo by the one who, even while standing in line for the guillotine, remains reading a book (“The Unforgiveable”). In this epoch, like no other “so obsessed by its own past and so unable to create a vital relationship with it” (Agamben), Campo’s dedication to the “sapore massimo d’ogni parola” [maximum savor of each word] elicits the attention, the love, of the glossator.
In a contemporary context in which the disconnection between the old and the new makes both strictly inaccessible, Cristina Campo’s work stands like a diamond point through which one may reflect on the multitemporal (and eternal) dimension of writing. As Emanuele Coccia observes, what we call tradition is nothing but the pocket of time which the delay of its revelation continues to fill—a delay to which commentary holds a special relation: “that which takes place in a comment is a peculiar suspension of this delay … commentary represents a most refined technique of articulating and contracting the times in which every language lives.”
For this volume of Glossator, the editors are seeking contributions in the form of:
- Commentaries on Campo’s texts (essays, poetry, translations)
- Annotated translations of Campo’s writings
- Critical essays on Campo’s work in connection with the principle of commentary.
The volume will include a translation of “Gli Imperdonabili,” with comments by the editors.
Proposals of 300-500 words should be emailed to the editors: glossatori AT gmail DOT com
Submissions in Italian will also be considered.
Deadline for proposals: 1 July 2019.
Before submitting a proposal, please review the journal’s guidelines.