Buried Caesars, and Other Secrets of Italian American Writing
Special Guest Presentation
Robert Viscusi, Brooklyn College
In his new book Buried Caesars, and Other Secrets of Italian American Writing (SUNY Press, 2006), Robert Viscusi explores the connections between language and culture in Italian American experience and major literary texts. Italian immigrants, Viscusi argues, considered even their English to be a dialect of Italian, and therefore attempted to create an American English fully reflective of their historical, social, and cultural positions. This approach allows us to see Italian American purposes as profoundly situated in relation not only to American language and culture but also to Italian nationalist narratives in literary history and linguistic practice. Viscusi also situates Italian American writing within the “eccentric design” of American literature, and uses a multidisciplinary approach to read novels, poems, and other cultural productions as texts.