Saturday 23rd of October 2021

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Per una mappatura della circolazione di Montalbano negli USA: tastemakers, trendsetters e gatekeepers

Ellen Nerenberg, Wesleyan University pdf_icon_30x30

 

enerenberg(at)wesleyan.edu

 

Abstract: This essay explores the anglophone reception of the Montalbano “project,” ranging from Andrea Camilleri’s novels to the RAI series, and back again. Given the vast anglophone context, the essay considers chiefly reception in North America and focuses in particular on three principal agents in processes of reception: tastemakers, trendsetters, and gatekeepers, all curators occupying key roles in the promotion of Italian culture in North America. Montalbano appeared first to this audience as the protagonist of Camilleri’s novels and the “tastemakers” examined here are agents active in promoting reading. Both professionals and amateurs serve as shapers of taste and include journalists for important newspaper markets across the United States as well as for periodicals. This group also includes library professionals and amateur reviewers in online book “communities” such as GoodReads and BookBrowse. Book clubs offer useful data about the circulation of Camilleri’s novels and this section investigates those supported by public libraries, independent bookstores, as well as chains. The section “Trendsetters,” about agents who anticipate market tastes, marks a transition from the focus on Camilleri’s literary texts to the RAI series and its circulation in North American markets. This section investigates measurable data in the rise of tourism in Ragusa, Sicily and its environs (where the exteriors of mythical Vigata can be seen) and the viewership of cable TV channels where Montalbano is broadcast. This section follows Walter Iuzzolino, a trendsetter of some importance in the curation of noir television globally who played a significant role in promoting Montalbano for broadcasting in North America. The “gatekeepers” who engage in promoting, protecting, and gauging access to both the literary and televisual Montalbano texts include professionals such as translators and university instructors in whose course syllabi the transmedial Montalbano appears. Given the prevailing “human” presence of these agents, the methodology privileges qualitative analysis.

 

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