TheFLR Collection

ITALIAN LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION: read contemporary Italian authors in English.
TheFLR The Florentine Literary Review is a magazine from The Florentine is the Italy’s only bilingual literary review featuring six original short stories and two poems penned by contemporary Italian authors, lovingly translated into English and illustrated by an emerging artist.


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TheFLR issue 1 Invasion/Invasione
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TheFLR issue 2 Desire/Desiderio
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TheFLR issue 3 Sacred/Sacro
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TheFLR issue 4 Landscape/Paesaggio
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TheFLR issue 5 Fake/Fake


TheFLR The Florentine Literary Review is a magazine from The Florentine featuring engaging and entertaining short stories, plus two collectible poems. Tales and verses by Italian authors will be published for the first time alongside the finest English translations. A further layer of interpretation will be provided by the illustrations commissioned for each issue from a contemporary artist.

Published 2016-2019.

Issue 1: Invasione / Invasion

The Fall 2016 issue One springs forth – pun intended – from the concept of “Invasion” to remember a massive invasion of water: this year marks the 50th anniversary of the flood of 1966 in Florence. A moment that brought together Italians and Americans, as well as volunteers from around the world, kick-starting a new era in the city. A moment that perhaps ought to have generated new contemporary movements and collaborations – though we’re only getting round to that now.
But above(water) and beyond, the concept can be extended to themes such as the influx of tourism, information overload, the “invasion” of migrants and immigrants, the parallel flow of cultures and languages. Is the concept of invasion always a negative one?

  • Introduction / Introduzione by Alessandro Raveggi
  • short story / Febbre (Fever) by Elena Varvello
  • short story / La conversione di Twiga (The Conversion of Twiga) by Luciano Funetta
  • short story / Gli assedi e la difesa (Sieges and Defence) by Filippo Tuena
  • poem / Previsione pioggia (Rain Forecast) by Marco Simonelli
  • poem / L’invasione (The Invasion) by Mariagiorgia Ulbar
  • short story / Una rampa di scale (A Flight of Stairs) by Luca Ricci
  • short story / Il tenente di vascello (The Ship-of-the-Line Lieutenant) by Alessandro Leogrande
  • short story / Limes (Limites) by Elisa Ruotolo

Directed by Alessandro Raveggi
Illustrated by Viola Bartoli
Translated by Johanna Bishop (stories) and Brenda Porster (poetry)


Issue 2: Desiderio / Desire

Where does DESIRE come from? Is it a matter of the heart and head or more of a gut instinct? How can we relate to this word so contemporary yet so twentieth century, so distant?
These days, talking about DESIRE not only means talking about erotica and sensuality, appetites and tendencies (although they would be perfectly at home in the “summer” edition of our literary magazine!), but also all the apertures surrounding the theme: social frustration, emotional atrophy, generational ambition, new ways at looking at the stars before the universe implodes… DESIRE is also the lack thereof: desire like a sun-soaked nudist beach and Morel’s invention, like a square crowded with masses exultant for the wrong candidate, a phone call interrupted by a stalker, or plans for a new space mission in your backyard.
  • ROSSARI The Person Next to Her / La persona accanto
  • SARCHI  Spheres / Sfere
  • FRANZOSINI 17,000,000 Words / 17.000.000 di parole
  • ANEDDA Space / Spazio
  • TUROLO Craving / Craving
  • PIERANTOZZI Insects on paper / Insetti sulla carta
  • DURASTANTI My phone calls were short / Le mie telefonate erano brevi
  • NELLI Wild / Wild

Authors: Marco Rossari, Alessandra Sarchi, Sergio Nelli, Alcide Pierantozzi, Edgardo Franzosini, Claudia Durastanti, Antonio Turolo and Antonella Anedda.
Directed by Alessandro Raveggi
Illustrations by Adam Tempesta
Translations Anne Milano Appel, Johanna Bishop


Issue 3: Sacro / Sacred

Is anything SACRED any more? This is one of the questions that Italy’s contemporary writers address through poetry and prose in the third edition of TheFLR. The Florentine Literary Review.
Take a walk into a SACRED wood of meanings and meanderings between life and death, which have little to do with the dictionary definition of religion—things don’t go so well for the men and women of the cloth in this magazine—and much to do with spiritual bonds and a sense of belonging. This is an edition embellished with jumble, often nocturnal vegetation, “polluted scenes”, but it also shines brightly with exploding stars and constellations. Meet sisters and brothers in a violent maternal nightmare, Artificial Intelligence which deprograms unexpectedly as if in theological fiction, a gardener God who’s in love, a tour guide irritated by an impertinent posh lady, a Reverend from the south who roams a horrifying scene, and two colleagues who discuss “Newspeaks” at lunch, after the earth has moved.

  • MEACCI We Will for Free / La persona accanto
  • PARIANI  The Night of the Old One / La sera dei Grandi Antichi
  • ZARDI The New Language/ La nuova lingua
  • PONSO Iconostasis / Iconostasi
  • LAMARQUE Lovers’name / I nomi degli amanti
  • DI MONOPOLI In the Beginning was the Beast / In principio era la bestia
  • GIAQUINTO The party is over / Le mie telefonate erano brevi
  • D’ISA Ecstasi 2.0 / Estasi 2.0

Authors: Francesco D’Isa, Licia Giaquinta, Vivian Lamarque, Giordano Meacci, Omar di Monopoli, Laura Pariani, Andrea Ponso and Paolo Zardi
Directed by Alessandro Raveggi
Illustrations by Giada Fuccelli
Translations Johanna Bishop


Issue 4: Paesaggio / Landscape

When discussing a landscape, it’s not necessarily required that we contemplate (or, least of all, appreciate) someplace entirely separate from us; introspective perspective is as much a part of a landscape as dazzling views themselves are. In our case, the particular landscape we’re concerned with is Italy, which further complicates matters: for Italians, landscapes mean both patrimony and fragility, an inheritance to be cared for as well as a looming threat of environmental and historical disfigurement.

GIUSI MARCHETTA  Arturo / Arturo⁺
GIAMPAOLO SIMI  The Beach House / La casa delle vacanze
RUSKA JORJOLIANI  Pitch Dark / Nel fitto buio °
AZZURRA D’AGOSTINO  Fractures / Fratture
ANDREA INGLESE  The Big Room / Lo stanzone
CARMEN PELLEGRINO  What is left / Ciò che resta⁺
SIMONA BALDANZI  Processing / Accettazione
FRANCESCO TARGHETTA  Tiziano among all the banners / Tiziano tra le bandiere

Translations by Johanna Bishop, Frederika Randall°, Jamie Richards⁺
Illustrations by Franz Lang


Issue 5: Fake / Fake

FAKE: or rather, artfully counterfeited. We usually associate this word with a forgery that’s easy to unearth. Very often, however, we set out on a long journey based on news, information, lives and relationships, only to find out that there’s deception, some convincing deception at the end. Like in a novel.
Aesthetics and ethics both find a home in FAKE, which sidesteps or oversteps the pure true/false dichotomy due to its very nature. What stands in contrast to the counterfeited? The natural? The authentic? The pure?

PAOLO DI PAOLO China Illustrata / Cina Illustrata +
MASSIMO MILONE Where was I, Then? / Dov’ero, io? +
EMMANUELA CARBÉ Water on Mars / Acqua su Marte
GIULIA NICOLAI Untitled / Senza titolo
MARY B. TOLUSSO Fake Muse / Fake Muse
ITALO TESTA Hotel Palenque / Hotel Palenque
FRANCESCO PERMUNIAN The False Note I and II / La falsa nota I e II
GREGORIO MAGINI  Living Room / Salotto
MIRCO RONCORONI Orchid / Orchidea
EZIO SINIGAGLIA The Piece / La Pièce +

Translations by Johanna Bishop and Jamie Richards⁺
Illustrations by Luogo Comune