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 37 reviews
84%
(31)
11%
(4)
5%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

B
B.
fascinating trip to Naples via Ferrante

Interesting and information-filled look at the Naples Elena Ferrante describes.

S
S.P.

I am grateful to Ms. Oteri for providing us a rich and textured visit through Ferrante's Naples. She was clearly in charge of her material and her enthusiasm came through in a delightful way. i will look for other tours or conversations with her.

S
S.-.B.M.
Helpful View of Naples as Depicted in the Author's Neopolitan Novels

This session was an interesting romp through Naples using the character development of the girlhood friends, Elena and Lila. Ms. Oteri really demonstrated how the city is also a character in these 4 novels. Her presentation clarified some questions that I had while reading the first novel. The tours of the various sections of Naples helped in understanding the living conditions, the history which impacted the people (WW II) there, and the social climate in the '50s. Ms. Oteri does admit that her discussion might be a spoiler alert if one has not read all the novels. It was enlightening to see the areas of Rione Luzzati where the books' tales begin but then also have a peek at the more affluent sections that are relevant in the stories. It was great to see what could be the school, library, and piazzas where the girls and friends are seen. I loved seeing some important areas of Naples (past and present), the underground Greek cisterns and Roman theaters, and the visit to Ischia (a wonderful tour). Maps and aerial views were informative. Now, one can get a better perspective on how the city was during the time of the novels. The open discussion at the end focused on common questions that readers could have about the plots, the author (a pseudonym), who did it (a murder), and the lives of the working class in a Neopolitan ghetto.This session helped me understand more clearly the issues that were brought out in the novels showcased some great areas of the city!

M
M.T.

This seminar was extremely interesting and well organized; Danielle brought the Ferrante books alive! Fans of her Neapolitan Quartet will really enjoy this seminar. I've been to Italy several times but never to Naples, and now I definitely want to go.

Customer Reviews

Based on 37 reviews
84%
(31)
11%
(4)
5%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

B
B.
fascinating trip to Naples via Ferrante

Interesting and information-filled look at the Naples Elena Ferrante describes.

S
S.P.

I am grateful to Ms. Oteri for providing us a rich and textured visit through Ferrante's Naples. She was clearly in charge of her material and her enthusiasm came through in a delightful way. i will look for other tours or conversations with her.

S
S.-.B.M.
Helpful View of Naples as Depicted in the Author's Neopolitan Novels

This session was an interesting romp through Naples using the character development of the girlhood friends, Elena and Lila. Ms. Oteri really demonstrated how the city is also a character in these 4 novels. Her presentation clarified some questions that I had while reading the first novel. The tours of the various sections of Naples helped in understanding the living conditions, the history which impacted the people (WW II) there, and the social climate in the '50s. Ms. Oteri does admit that her discussion might be a spoiler alert if one has not read all the novels. It was enlightening to see the areas of Rione Luzzati where the books' tales begin but then also have a peek at the more affluent sections that are relevant in the stories. It was great to see what could be the school, library, and piazzas where the girls and friends are seen. I loved seeing some important areas of Naples (past and present), the underground Greek cisterns and Roman theaters, and the visit to Ischia (a wonderful tour). Maps and aerial views were informative. Now, one can get a better perspective on how the city was during the time of the novels. The open discussion at the end focused on common questions that readers could have about the plots, the author (a pseudonym), who did it (a murder), and the lives of the working class in a Neopolitan ghetto.This session helped me understand more clearly the issues that were brought out in the novels showcased some great areas of the city!

M
M.T.

This seminar was extremely interesting and well organized; Danielle brought the Ferrante books alive! Fans of her Neapolitan Quartet will really enjoy this seminar. I've been to Italy several times but never to Naples, and now I definitely want to go.