Elena Ferrante's Naples with Danielle Oteri

Elena Ferrante's Naples with Danielle Oteri


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Elena Ferrante (a pseudonymous Italian novelist) has taken the literary world by storm in more recent years, exposing stories of the female experience in postwar Italy up until today. Her depictions of friendship, violence, love, poverty, and determination have resounded among millions of readers while the vivid settings of her Neopolitan novels have caused a wave of Ferrante pilgrims visiting this characterful city. Join an expert in this field on a virtual visit to Naples inspired by Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet "My Brilliant Friend." Fair warning, there will be book spoilers!

This conversation will use the novels to understand how the various neighborhoods–where the critical scenes are set–help to define the narrative. We'll visit the Rione Luzzati where the books are primarily set, as well as the Piazza dei Martiri, the Retifilo, and the island of Ischia. We’ll learn more about the culture of Naples in the 1950s to better understand the characters and their positions in life. Knowing this Neopolitan history will give readers deeper insight into the protagonists and stories. We’ll also discuss how the Neapolitan language (described as dialect) and the Italian language each evolved and their social implications.

Danielle Oteri is herself the author of Ferrante Fever: A Naples Guidebook Inspired by Elena Ferrante and is a true expert on this subject, along with other aspects of Naples and Southern Italy. This interactive seminar will focus on details from My Brilliant Friend that would be unfamiliar to non-Italian readers. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how Naples is its own character that shapes the expectations and outcomes for Lila and Lenù.

Danielle Oteri is an expert on Roman, medieval and Renaissance art. She was a Lecturer at the Met Cloisters for fifteen years and has been Program Director of the International Center of Medieval Art since 2008. Danielle has written about art, history, food and travel for Conde Nast Traveler, Gothamist, NPR and Roads & Kingdoms. She is the founder of Feast on History and Arthur Avenue Food Tours.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 60 reviews
83%
(50)
12%
(7)
5%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
Lynn Nelson (Santa Rosa Beach, US)
Great Expectation

I became aware of Elena Ferrante's work through the films. I was so taken by the characters I am now reading the Neapolitan Quartet with new appreciation of "place" and tradition provided by Ms. Oteri. Mille Grazie.

T
Toni Criscuolo (New Haven, US)
Getting to know Ferrante & Naples!

I could not attend this talk in person and I was quite sad I did not. I had lots of questions. This was an excellent presentation. Conversation was clear, moved along but without rushing, lots of information about the city, the area, esp the history. Most fascinating to me were the charts of Neapolitan language vs "Italian" vs Greek, Sp, Fr. So many words that I know are Neapolitan and my family is from Salerno province way up in the mountains! The underground city story was also marvelous to learn and the layers of history came alive in her talk. Thanks also for not relying on the typical tourist information that we have all heard and for bringing new light to this ancient city and culture. Would love to tour Naples--- hard to find a tour that would include Naples, Sorrentine Coast, and Salerno area but I must try!!! Thanks for a great talk!

B
Bronwynne Evans (Phoenix, US)
Organized Chaos: Naples

Fascinating interplay between the books, history, and eh current city. Great recommendations for movies and books- I ordered them immediately! There are few resources about Southern Italy and this is one of the best I have found.

S
Suzanne Hannay (Leslie, US)
FERRANTE came alive!

Dr.Oteri—Danielle by the end—led us on a vivid tour of Naples that has convinced me (1) to reread the novels and (2) book tickets back to Naples. In a very comfortable lecture full of literary references and spot-on images and maps, my husband and I saw the books and the sights / sites of the city in a colorful and fascinating way. Danielle made the context come alive with personal references to her artistic, linguistic, and historic background. The closing conversations with her audience was so helpful and informed. Excellent experience!

C
Candice Pluchino (Cassville, US)
Fiction and Imagination become Reality

I really enjoyed the seminar. I apologize for not having my camera on but after a day of work, I wasn't camera ready. I am regretting that because I wanted to engage more with Ms. Oteri about other theories in the novels. I would love the chance to communicate with her on other issues in the novels

Customer Reviews

Based on 60 reviews
83%
(50)
12%
(7)
5%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
Lynn Nelson (Santa Rosa Beach, US)
Great Expectation

I became aware of Elena Ferrante's work through the films. I was so taken by the characters I am now reading the Neapolitan Quartet with new appreciation of "place" and tradition provided by Ms. Oteri. Mille Grazie.

T
Toni Criscuolo (New Haven, US)
Getting to know Ferrante & Naples!

I could not attend this talk in person and I was quite sad I did not. I had lots of questions. This was an excellent presentation. Conversation was clear, moved along but without rushing, lots of information about the city, the area, esp the history. Most fascinating to me were the charts of Neapolitan language vs "Italian" vs Greek, Sp, Fr. So many words that I know are Neapolitan and my family is from Salerno province way up in the mountains! The underground city story was also marvelous to learn and the layers of history came alive in her talk. Thanks also for not relying on the typical tourist information that we have all heard and for bringing new light to this ancient city and culture. Would love to tour Naples--- hard to find a tour that would include Naples, Sorrentine Coast, and Salerno area but I must try!!! Thanks for a great talk!

B
Bronwynne Evans (Phoenix, US)
Organized Chaos: Naples

Fascinating interplay between the books, history, and eh current city. Great recommendations for movies and books- I ordered them immediately! There are few resources about Southern Italy and this is one of the best I have found.

S
Suzanne Hannay (Leslie, US)
FERRANTE came alive!

Dr.Oteri—Danielle by the end—led us on a vivid tour of Naples that has convinced me (1) to reread the novels and (2) book tickets back to Naples. In a very comfortable lecture full of literary references and spot-on images and maps, my husband and I saw the books and the sights / sites of the city in a colorful and fascinating way. Danielle made the context come alive with personal references to her artistic, linguistic, and historic background. The closing conversations with her audience was so helpful and informed. Excellent experience!

C
Candice Pluchino (Cassville, US)
Fiction and Imagination become Reality

I really enjoyed the seminar. I apologize for not having my camera on but after a day of work, I wasn't camera ready. I am regretting that because I wanted to engage more with Ms. Oteri about other theories in the novels. I would love the chance to communicate with her on other issues in the novels