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Reading Groups

Elena Ferrante: The Early Works with Rebecca Falkoff

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4 Sessions via Zoom Mondays, 7:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST March 1 to May 24, 2021

The ‘With Books’ option includes all titles required for this group at a 15% discount.


Meeting Dates:
Mondays, 3/1, 3/29, 4/26, 5/24
7-8:30pm ET via Zoom

This discussion group, led by NYU professor Rebecca Falkoff, will be dedicated to Elena Ferrante’s first three novels, Troubling Love (1992), The Days of Abandonment (2002), and The Lost Daughter (2006), and her essay “Frantumaglia” (2003). The three short novels narrate the frayed relationships of a Neapolitan woman as the siren song of her city’s dialect and culture unravels the precarious stasis of her bourgeois life in the north. Dramatically different from the Neapolitan novels in style, Ferrante’s early work is no less dazzling or affecting.

  • Session I: Troubling Love
    Optional viewing: Mario Martone’s Nasty Love
    Optional reading: “The Reinvention of Troubling Love. Correspondence with Mario Martone” and “Clothes, Bodies. Troubling Love on the Screen” (from Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey; distributed by email)
  • Session II: The Days of Abandonment
    “The City Without Love. Answers to Questions by Goffredo Fofi” and “A Story of Disintegration. Answers to Questions from Jesper Storgaard Jensen” (from Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey; distributed by email)
  • Session III: “Frantumaglia” (from Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey)
    Selections from My Brilliant Friend on smarginatura (‘dissolving margins’; distributed by email)
  • Session IV: The Lost Daughter
    Selections from Ugly Feelings on envy and irritation by Sianne Ngai (distributed by email)
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Led by

  • Falkoff Picture

    Rebecca Falkoff

    Rebecca Falkoff

    Rebecca Falkoff is an Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at New York University, where she regularly teaches a seminar on Elena Ferrante. Her first book, Possessed: A Cultural History of Hoarding, can be pre-ordered from Cornell University Press.