21 March 2010

Italian Canadian literature

"Italianistica versus Italian-Canadian Writing" (2008) by Joseph Pivato studies the literature in mixed languages in Canada today. Writes Pivato:

"Italian immigrants and their children are not voiceless; but speak clearly to each other and to all of us. One way that these people speak is through their arts, especially their writing: novels, stories, poems, plays, essays and experimental writing in mixed genres and mixed languages. They explore who they are; they record the immigrant experience; the meaning of growing up in Canada as both an Italian and a Canadian. These people with very humble backgrounds speak for themselves unmediated by the academic, the researcher or the professional journalist. Again I emphasise that this is direct speech with all its real vitality, spontaneity and peculiar anomalies."

Holding the mirror up to nature is still one of the crucial intentions of a lot of literature, and since nature (or the real world) for Italian immigrants in Canada involves mixing languages, their literature also employs more than one language.

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