Pietro Frassica, a native of Italy, earned his Ph.D. in Italian literature from Boston College (1976) and has taught at Princeton since 1976, when he joined the Princeton faculty. His interests include Italian literature of the Renaissance, interdisciplinary relations between literary and visual traditions in the eighteenth century (Parini), contemporary literature (Primo Levi, Marinetti, Soldati, Lagorio), theater (Pirandello), and gastronomy in literature. He is the author of more than eighty published articles about every century of Italian literary history, and his books include: Chroniche de la città de Anchona (critical edition), 1979; A Marta Abba per non morire, 1991; Romanzo europeo tra Otto e Novecento, 1992; Caro Maestro (letters by Marta Abba to Luigi Pirandello), 1994; Varianti e invarianti dell’evocazione, 2004. He has also edited several volumes, such as Primo Levi as Witness, 1991; Studi di filologia e letteratura italiana, 1992; Salvatore Quasimodo. Nel vento del Mediterraneo, 2001; Ercole Patti e altro novecento siciliano, 2004; Magia di un romanzo, Il Fu Mattia Pascal prima e dopo, 2005; and La Cucina Futurista, (by Marinetti and Fillìa), 2007. He has been awarded the 2006 Val di Comino Prize for Varianti e invarianti dell’evocazione, and has been appointed by the Italian government as an editor of the Edizione Nazionale of the works of Parini.
Professor Frassica teaches seminars on courtly literature of the Italian Renaissance, major authors of fiction in the 20th century, and on the theater of Pirandello. In recent years, he has extended the field of cultural studies to literary texts concerned with gastronomy in two seminars, “The Literature of Gastronomy” and “Italy: The Land of Slow Food.” In Fall 2009, he will also be co-teaching an interdisciplinary graduate course in the Program for Italian Studies.
Professor Frassica has recently completed a book on Pirandello’s collaboration with the actress Marta Abba and on Marta’s career in America, Her Maestro’s Echo (forthcoming). His long-term project is a book examining the relationship between the poetry of Parini and the visual arts.