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Napolitano Pina

Period of stay: 15-4-2021/15-7-2021

Evaluation sheet for departing Fellows

  1. What would you consider to be the major benefits of your stay at IWM?

Even if I didn’t stay physically at the IWM, I had the chance of listening to conferences, lectures and seminars online, and scholars I didn’t know before became sort of ‘familiar’ for me. I enjoyed the breadth of subjects and topics treated and the mention of books I didn’t know about, some of which I will certainly read.

  1. Was the event programme of the IWM attractive and interesting for you?

Yes, it was. I appreciated the variety of subjects and the open confrontation amongst different points of view in the discussions.

  1. Do you have any criticisms of any aspect of the Institute’s program and operations?
    Please include any suggestions for improvement.

I would have enjoyed, aside from the many interesting topics dealt with in the programme, also more conferences and seminars about literature and translation studies.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to let us know regarding your stay at the IWM?

I hope to visit in person at some point!

Final Report sheet for departing Fellows

As mentioned in the “Terms of Award” agreement, we would kindly ask you to submit your final report on your activities, travels, talks and accomplishments during your research stay. Please be as specific and concise as possible!

In particular, we may ask you to list books or essays that have been written or worked on at the IWM, that have either been published or accepted for publication or that you wish to submit for publication. Describe briefly the nature of the work and give names of publishers or publications, dates and other relevant facts.

We would be very grateful if you could provide us with a copy of your publication(s) for our library or, if this is not possible, contact our librarian with the publication details. We would also like to ask you to list any prizes or awards you have received or will receive, as well as any scholarships and grants you have received or will receive.


I have spent my Paul Celan Fellowship for Translators at the IWM as a non-resident Fellow, working on the translation of Marina Cvetaeva’s Notebooks, dating from 1922 to 1939. They amount to one quarter of the total notebooks. I had already translated the previous quarter, written during the Civil War in Russia, in the years 1919-1921. The translation will be published next year (2022) by the Italian press Voland Edizioni.
The diaries refer to the period spent by Cvetaeva in emigration, in Berlin, Czech Republic and then in France, until her coming back to the USSR in 1939. They contain not only poetological thoughts, verses, letters and annotations of dreams, but also observations about everyday life and its difficulties that, reading between the lines, offer glimpses of the social, economic and political condition of the Russian émigré community in the West at the threshold of the Second World War.
Attending online the talks, lectures and seminars at the IWM has broadened my perception of the importance of the political and social context in which these diaries were written.
At the same time I have also finished translating and commenting upon the verses written by Cvetaeva in the last two years of her stay in France (1938-1939) and in the last years of her life in the USSR (1940-1941).
The book will be published this year by Voland Edizioni, to mark the 80th anniversary of Cvetaeva’s death, with the title: Marina Cvetaeva, Ultimi Versi 1938-1941.
Studying the last period of her life, I became aware that the notebooks of 1939 are not her last diary entries. Cvetaeva kept jotting short notes, but they are “walled-in” (to use the words of her daughter Alja) between the translations she dedicated herself to in the last period of her life, in order to earn money, mixed together in her working notebooks. Some of these annotations are published in: E. Korkina: Letopis’ žizni i tvorčestva M. I. Cvetaevoj, Č. III 1939-1941, Dom-Muzej Mariny Cvetaevoj 2014, Moscow.

I intend to collect these annotations (hopefully in collaboration with Elena Korkina) and include them as an appendix to the Notebooks 1922-1939.

I am grateful to the IWM for having offered me the possibility of attending to the events from afar and for the support of my project.

I will send the publications to the IWM library once I have them.

Prizes and awards:

2011: Prize of the Italian Slavists’ Association for the best PhD thesis in Slavistics: Osip Mandel’štam, The Moscow Notebooks, at the Second University of Rome.

2014: Prize “Italia-Russia attraverso i secoli” for the best debut translation from Russian into Italian, for the translation of Marina Cvetaeva’s Notebooks 1919-1921, for Voland Edizioni.