Fourth International Laurence Sterne Foundation Conference, Naples 2021 Palazzo Du Mesnil – Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 October 2021
Sterne and the Grand Tour: Places, Postures, Portraits … and here I am, as happy as a king after all, growing fat, sleek, and well-liking —not improving in stature, but in breadth. We have a jolly carnival of it — nothing but opera-punchinelloes-festinos and masquerades — (Letters, 269, to John Hall Stevenson, Naples, 5 February 1766)
Sterne’s eccentric Grand Tour through Italy culminated in Naples, where he arrived ‘Shandaically’ enough just in time for the pre-Lenten festivities in February 1766. As the epigraph makes clear, he seemed utterly in tune with the intoxicating festive mood pervading the town and was impressed by the local celebrations, especially the renowned fêtes and masquerades given by Eleonora Borghese, Principessa Francavilla, at the gorgeous Palazzo Cellamare with its luxuriant gardens.
For the Fourth Conference in Naples the ILSF warmly welcomes proposals that focus on Sterne’s artful investment in all aspects related to the Grand Tour. Topics may include the following:
The Grand Tour in the eighteenth century and Sterne’s narrative ’detours’
Sterne in Italy between antique and modern arts
Sterne and learned wit
The metaphor of writing as travelling and Sterne’s travesties and postures
Sterne’s authorial masks and the festive repertoire of the carnivalesque
Where & when We do hope to be able to host the Conference “live” in Naples at Palazzo Du Mesnil (Via Partenope 10/A, with access in Via Chiatamone 61/62) from 28 to 30 October 2021. In case of persisting restrictions due to the ongoing global pandemic, the event will be postponed to March 2022.
The editors are very busy with Volume 29, now almost ready for type-setting. With exciting new material on Sentimental Journey‘s Father Lorenzo’s Snuffbox, Sterne’s impact on experimental fiction, Virginia Woolf’s assessment of Sterne, and much, much more. All contents and abstracts of this new volume of The Shandean will follow soon.