Emeritus Academy Lecture Series

Charles Klopp, Professor Emeritus
Language and Dialects in Italy: How Poets Choose
Charles Klopp
Department of French and Italian

"Language and Dialects in Italy: How Poets Choose"

March 7, 2018
4–5 p.m.
Grand Lounge, Faculty Club


What’s the difference between a language and a dialect? And if a language is spoken by more people than a dialect, why would anyone—a poet, for example—choose to write in a dialect rather than a language? This lecture will propose some answers to these questions with examples from poetry written in the dialect of Trieste. Though today a part of Italy and culturally Italian for centuries, Trieste was politically and administratively Austrian from as early as 1382 until the end of the First World War. A city that has been proud of its polyglot and multiethnic culture, Trieste has nurtured poets and writers in several languages, among them Virgilio Giotti and Claudio Grisancich, excerpts from whose works will be read in the original Triestine with translations provided into English.