«Archivio Novellistico Italiano». From the Novellino to Basile
The «Archivio Novellistico Italiano» (acronym ArNovIt) aims to create a forum for research and discussion on one of the most thriving and long-lasting genres of the Italian literary tradition. Surprisingly, as yet no scholarly journal assumes this topic as its main research focus. The Archivio’s subtitle, From the Novellino to Basile, delimiting the chronological span of the journal’s main focus, is far from being redundant. After Basile, in fact, Italian narrative began to change profoundly and soon arrived at dismantling the literary framework that had hitherto constituted the novelistic tradition: The journal (mainly aimed at philological inquiries, but also open to diverse kinds of literary essayism) is conceived of as a thorough and systematic attempt to define the literary genre as a whole. And if the genre can be observed through the study of its most prominent authors, the scholarly investigation of ArNovIt will not be confined by the boundaries of the genre itself. This is firstly suggested by the conspicuous European fortune of many Italian short-story collections (not only the Decameron, albeit this seminal book highly contributed to shape the genre); and secondly, by the fact that the novella, a genre among the most flexible and easily transferable to other literary forms, fostered the creation of a long and illustrious genealogy, both within and without its literary boundaries. An example of the first kind of genealogy can be found in Cervantes’ Novelas ejemplares; an example of the second in the Elizabethan theatre (above all but not limited to Shakespeare).
For all the above-mentioned reasons, ArNovIt aims to become a reference work for the study of a literary genre which spans about three and a half centuries, encompassing different textual experiences as well as various literary practices that are to be found in European literatures – be these coeval or not – provided that they be in some way related to the Italian novella.
The journal will be published online (except for the first issue also printed in a limited number of copies) once a year. It will have a peer review with at least 10 reviewers to be selected among scholars not necessarily teaching in Italian Universities. Each issue should be about 280 pages long and should include the following rubrics (obviously subject to some modifications):
-Notes and Discussions
-Reviews and Short Notes
-Archive (data concerning manuscripts, first and successive editions, etc.)
(Texts and Archive sections might not be systematic)
Given the growing interest of many international scholars for the Italian novella – an interest mainly depending on the European fortune of the genre – the journal will accept articles written in the major European languages (Italian, English, Spanish, French, and German). This will promote a wide diffusion of the journal not only in Italy, but also abroad, Boccaccio being, after Dante, is not only the most studied author of Italian literature in the Anglo-American world, but also a very cherished one in Germany, Spain, and France. A journal like ArNovIt will provide fresh information, both with focused and broad attention, about a literary genre both widespread and in need of an attentive and updated investigation.