Council for Ligurian Linguistic Heritage

Ligurian Council

Zimme de braxa. Ligurian literature book series

Zimme de braxa

Ligurian literature book series

Zimme de braxa (“sparks of embers”) is a book series born in collaboration with the publisher Zona under the auspices of the Conseggio pe-o patrimònio linguistico ligure. It aims to offer an overview of the vast spectrum of Ligurian literature from medieval times to the present day, spanning a variety of textual genres, themes and linguistic areas.

The volumes it features – all accompanied by critical notes and commentary – are variously texts from the historical literary tradition, reissues of some of the most significant works of the last two centuries, and unpublished works by contemporary authors. The series is divided into three sections, each relating to a textual type and distinguished by a color accent on the cover: red for poetry and rhyme; green for fiction and prose; and blue for theater and drama.


Stefano De Franchi

1. Ro mêgo per força

edited by Stefano Lusito

Ro mêgo per força – a version of Molière’s famous Le médecin malgré lui – is one of the best examples of a transposition of a widely circulated play into Genoese. De Franchi’s theatrical production gives readers a vivid depiction of 18th-century Genoa. The volume includes an introduction and a glossary of lemmas and expressions which may be less intelligible to today’s readers.

Stefano De Franchi (1714–1785) is the leading exponent of 18th-century Genoese literature. He participated in the War of Liberation of 1746–47 and was a member of the Ligurian Arcadian colony. He was the author, with others, of the semi-facetious remake of Tasso’s masterpiece (Ra Gerusalemme deliverâ, 1755); late in life he gave to the presses an anthology collection of his own poems (Ro chittarrin, ò sæ, strofoggi dra muza, 1772) and a series of comedies in two volumes (1772; 1781), largely mediated from French theater.

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Giuseppe Cava

2. Föe moderne

edited by Aselmo Roveda
illustrated by Elettra Deganello

Föe moderne collects the “modern fables” published by Giuseppe Cava in the fourth section of his poetic collection Into remoin (1930). They are rhyming texts that are part of the literary tradition of fable-making initiated by Aesop and Phaedrus, in Liguria embodied in the 19th century by Martin Piaggio. For the author, a member of the anarchist and socialist movements, fables are opportunities for social criticism. This volume includes an essay on fables and a glossary of the lemmas and expressions contained in the texts.

Giuseppe Cava (1870-1940) was a writer and poet from Savona. He was amongst the most important exponents of Ligurian literature in that city. He had a large body of work that was published in periodicals – after his debut with A strenna de Savoña (1923), he published the collection Into remoin (1930), which also includes his modern fables.

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Roberto Benso

3. Ei fóe dei ferguò

foreword by Jean Maillard
with essays by Stefano Lusito and Anselmo Roveda
illustrated by Elettra Deganello

Ei fóe dei ferguò collects the poetic production of Roberto Benso written in the dialect of Carrosio, a town between Voltaggio and Gavi, in the province of Alessandria. The author’s life and reflections reverberate in these poems. It is an extremely important linguistic document, hitherto the only evidence of an almost undocumented Ligurian variety. The volume is accompanied by two essays: one on the characteristics of the dialect of Carrosio, the other on Ligurian literature in the historical region of Oltregiogo.

Roberto Benso (1939) is a writer, born in Carrosio and graduated from the University of Genoa. He is the author of numerous monographs, essays, scholarly articles, and catalogs. He was the former editor of the periodical In Novitate, published by the Centro Studi di Novi Ligure of which he is currently honorary president.

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Danila Olivieri

4. Fî

foreword by Alessandro Guasoni
with an essay by Anselmo Roveda

In the poetry of Danila Olivieri, as Alessandro Guasoni writes in the foreword, much is “entrusted to the sound of the word, to the play of assonances and alliterations, which make it largely untranslatable, just as untranslatable in human language is the voice of the waves, of the wind in the trees, of nature. A meditation on death, as is proper to every poem, Danila Olivieri’s reflection leads us to the threshold of mystery, to a pantheistic-like conception of life, similar to Firpo’s, with his faith if not in rebirth, at least in some immortality”. The now invisible presences of the ancient house, evoked in her poetry “have moved among the infinite possibilities of the blank page, endowed therefore with their own immortality, and ready to reappear in the play of life”.

Danila Olivieri (1955) of Riva Trigoso, is president of the “Pen(n)isola-San Marco” Literary Salon in Sestri Levante and a jury member of the Carlo Bo/Giovanni Descalzo International Prize. For poetry in Ligurian, she has received several awards: several times a winner of the O Leudo Prize, she was awarded the XXXVI Lauro d’Oro prize of the Consulta Ligure and the special “Dedo Sanguineti” prize at the Ciävai competition. In the series of “Ciottoli”, cultural notebooks related to the territory of Trigoso, she published two sylloges containing poems in Genoese and Italian: Stella cometa à Tregosa (2004) and Dritto e Reverso (2010). In Italian she has published six poetry collections, the most recent being Ali di tenerezza (Puntoacapo, 2021), and the short stories in L’ultima luce (Panesi, 2022).

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5. Zena. Rivista trimestrale (1958-1959)

anthology edited by Stefano Lusito

After the first decades of the 20th century, journalistic activity in Genoese headed toward gradual stagnation – a trend to which the short experiment of “Zena”, a quarterly periodical edited by Ettore Balbi between 1958 and 1959, was an exception. The magazine’s texts offer a particularly realistic cross-section of Genoese and Ligurian society in the period of the economic boom. Mirroring the trends of those years is also the linguistic form in which the magazines’s texts are written, by then heavily reliant on Italian. This volume brings together an anthology of the magazines’s most significant articles, editorials and content, contextualized in the historical and social period in which they were conceived.

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Alessandro Guasoni

6. Nuvie reusa a-o tramonto / Giacomiña

with an interview by Anselmo Roveda

The cumbersome presence of Govi and his theater has strongly conditioned the development of new experiences on the 20th-century Genoese scene. The current crisis of the theatrical genre, even in Italian, has further aggravated the situation, and the various attempts to resolve it have gone almost unnoticed. In these plays – the first dating back to 1983, the second to 1995 – Guasoni has tried to react by ploughing different paths. While Captain Perasso’s drama vaguely refers to certain minor and “supernatural” texts by O’Neill, Giacomina’s “philosophical farce”, poised between epic theater, vaudeville, fairy tale and satire, is a nod to the experimental theater in vogue at the time.

Alessandro Guasoni (1958) from Genova-Voltri, has been writing poems, short stories, plays and essays in genoese since 1973. He has contributed to several magazines, with poems and essays on Italian regional literature. Between 1995 and 1998 he reviewed the theater season in Genoese in “Liguria” by publisher Sabatelli. In 2010, in collaboration with Fiorenzo Toso, he published the grammar Il genovese in tasca (Assimil, Chivasso). Beetween 2015 and 2020 for he edited the literary criticism column in Genoese “Voxe de Liguria” for the Ligurian newspaper “Il Secolo XIX”. He his a contract collaborator with the University of Innsbruck for the Genoese phraseological vocabulary GEPHRAS. On behalf of the Council for Ligurian Linguistic Heritage he is publishing on the web an An anthology of Ligurian literature from its origins to the present day. New volumes of poetry and short fiction are in preparation.

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