This article aims to contribute to the understanding of the transnational dimension of Italian literature and overlooked dynamics in the literary semi-periphery. Focusing on Italian fiction in Sweden, a panoramic view of this specific semi-peripheral relation is outlined and compared to Danish and English experiences. I will then test the hypothesis that the centrality-peripherality dichotomy remains relevant to the relations of semi-peripheral literatures, but that it depends on “the modality of a specific inclusion within a system” (WReC 123). The main concern is to determine whether semi-peripheral literatures include each other as central or peripheral. More specifically, the study examines the inclusion strategies of three Swedish publishers specialized in Italian literature. Following Venuti, the inclusion modalities which are related to the publisher are visible in the selection as well as in the publisher’s epitext and peritext. These three aspects are therefore analysed with regard to peripheralization and centralization.
At least since1978Italian literature has had a stable position in the semi-periphery of world literature (3–3.5 percent) together with Spanish Danish and Swedish. Except from these languages there have been several changes in the literary semi-periphery: for instance after the fall of the Berlin wall Polish and Czech lost their semi-peripheral position and were replaced by Japanese and Latin (Lindqvist 182–3).