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“We neede not speak so much of love, al books are ful of love, with so many authours, that it were labour lost to speake of Love.” First Fruites, Discourses uppon Musicke, and Love,1578

"Italy as it appears in Shakespeare’s theatre is precisely matched by the lives and works of John Florio and his father Michel Angelo, where Italy appears for what it is: the land, the folk, and the language that have been lost."

L. Tassinari


Florio’s French Campaign

What I call Florio’s French Campaign or FFC! began while I was in Craiova for the Shakespeare Festival launched by the open minded , enthusiastic, intelligent reception given to my book by French professor and author Daniel Bougnoux on his blog: Read also:

A month later, on June 29th , thanks to Daniel’s analysis, I was invited to an interview with France Culture’s Antoine Perraud who in his program Tire ta langue discussed the Shakespeare/Florio issue from a linguistic perspective:

Four days later the weekly magazine Nouvel Observateur published, in a special section dedicated to the Festival de théâtre d’Avignon, a superb article on Florio by Daniel Bougnoux.

Gentle Reader, France is on fire and  as you know, it’s just a leap from Calais to Dover!

Craiova with Adrian SahleanAt the Craiova International Shakespeare Festival - April 23rd to May 4th, 2014

Michel Vaïs and I presented a slide show : "Italy and Words. Shakespeare and Florio: A Dangerous Liaison?" despite the “orthodox” Stratfordian context, our presentation was a successful event which produced an enthused, friendly reaction. Among the people “impressed” were two Romanian translators: George Volceanov for the Global Shakespeare Journal and Adrian Sahlean (seen right in photo above) author of the official English translation of the Romanian national poet Mihai Eminescu With Stanley Wells and his Praetorian guards we had a predictable, heated, useless and fortunately brief “debate” the only kind one can have with Stratfordians.


Craiova International Shakespeare Festival - April 23rd to May 4th, 2014

The “Craiova International Shakespeare Festival” (April 23rd to May 4th) has invited me and Montreal theatre critic Michel Vaïs to present my book “John Florio The Man Who Was Shakespeare”. Our dialogue will focus on "Italy and Words. Shakespeare and Florio: A dangerous Liaison?". Stanley Wells will be there...

Italian Cultural Institute Of Montreal

Shakespeare and Italy with Lamberto Tassinari and Michel Vaïs.

« MUCH ADO ABOUT…ITALY » Dialogue/Projection (in french)

The age-old controversial Shakespeare Authorship Question

Thursday , March 6th 2014, 6:30 PM.
Italian Cultural Institute - 1200 Av. du Dr. Penfield
Free admission. Refreshments will be served.
Infoline 514.849.3473
The book John Florio The Man Who Was Shakespeare by Lamberto Tassinari will be available.

Lamberto Tassinari and theater critic Michel Vaïsl tackle three fundamental aspects of the Shakespearian question. Their dialogue begins with the place Italy occupies – geographically, topographiccally, literarily and emotionally – within the works of Shakespeare.

At that time no other writer was so fond of Italy and Italians as the author of Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. Out of the 36 or 38 plays attributed to Shakespeare, sixteen or seventeen take place in Italy or have an Italian content. The most striking element is the influence of Italian Renaissance dramatists and short-story writers such as Boccaccio, Tasso, Aretino, Ariosto, Berni, Machiavelli, Bandello, Lasca, Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, Guarini, Bembo, Guazzo, Bibbiena, Cinzio, Groto, etc. This is not a vague and generic influence but often an affinity with thematic and lexical borrowings of entire paragraphs and sentences literally translated from the Italian as the English version didn’t exist yet.

The second subject is the age-old and controversial Shakespeare Authorship Question which is not the result of a universal psychosis but a well grounded and legitimate critical question. Shakespeare’s persona is missing along with distinct tokens of a personality as manuscripts, letters, a will worthy of a writer of his stature, exchanges with his contemporaries. Within that great body of work and the life of the author to whom it has been attributed, there is a deep and unsettling chasm.

Finally, the third part of the dialogue deals with John Florio, the Italian Jewish linguist born in London in 1553 – defined by one of his biographer as «the apostle of the Renaissance in Shakespeare’s England» – and his role in the Shakespearian question.

Lamberto Tassinari after obtaining a degree in Philosophy from the University of Florence, worked as a teacher and in several publishing companies. In 1981 he moved to Montreal where in 1983 he co-founded the transcultural magazine ViceVersa which he directed until its final issue in 1997. Between 1982 and 2007, he taught Italian language and literature at the Université de Montréal. In 1985 he published a novel, Durante la partenza (Guernica), in 1999 Utopies par le hublot a collection of essays (Carte Blanche). Shakespeare? È il nome d’arte di John Florio was published in 2008 and a revised, extended edition was published in English in 2009 and 2013, titled: John Florio The Man Who Was Shakespeare (Giano Books).

Michel Vaïs, a Doctor in theatre studies from Université de Paris 8, has been a university professor before becoming a broadcaster for Chaîne culturelle de Radio-Canada during 22 years. Editor at Les Cahiers de théâtre JEU since the beginning in 1976, he presided the Quebec Association of Theatre Critics and, since 1998, is Secretary General of the International Association of Theatre Critics. He published L’accompagnateur. Parcours d’un critique de théâtre (Varia, 2005), directed the Dictionnaire des artistes du théâtre québécois (Jeu/Québec Amérique, 2008) and is preparing Le théâtre au Québec : d’où il vient et ce qu’il est.

John Florio in Bucharest

The 23rd edition of the National Theatre Festival of Romania will hold on November 1st an international colloquium in the Bucharest National Theater, Multimedia Hall, to tackle: Theater critics/criticism – extinction or transformation? Michel Vaïs, a well known Montreal homme de théâtre, will present «Shakespeare’s identity and the role of the critic» with a PowerPoint presentation titled Shakespeare is John Florio, a work in progress Michel and I performed last April 23rd at Theatre Outremont in Montreal.

Don Quichotte et Hamlet : même auteur ?
Hommage dialogué à Shakespeare et Cervantes

Mardi 23 avril 2013, 19h30 - Dans le cadre de la Journée mondiale du livre et du droit d’auteur, une soirée-conférence toute spéciale se tiendra en direct du Petit Outremont.

Lamberto Tassinari, écrivain et chercheur, vient raconter à son interlocuteur Michel Vaïs de la revue Jeu, ses découvertes sur les œuvres de Shakespeare et de Cervantes. Selon ses recherches, un intellectuel juif italien, résidant en Angleterre, John Florio, serait probablement l’auteur caché derrière le Don Quichotte de l’un et de toutes les œuvres dramaturgiques et poétiques de l’autre. Amateurs de littérature, de théâtre et passionnés d’impostures : soyez au rendez-vous pour cet évènement unique qui vous choquera! Raymond Cloutier agira à titre de lecteur lors de cette soirée spéciale.


The quest for Shakespeare
Young people’s craving for new perspectives and truth.

On October 29, 2012 I was invited to present a lecture on John Florio as Shakespeare by professor Lucia Dolcetti who teaches a course on Italian culture at the University of Ottawa. My conviction that students are generally open to innovative and audacious ideas was powerfully confirmed by this experience. The class composed of undergraduate and graduate students, was invited by their teacher to comment on my presentation. The thirty-one short papers produced, illustrate students’ readiness to radically challenge the monotone, inconclusive, traditional mantra of the illiterate genius of Stratford.


The Shakespeare's Authorship Question
April 7, 2012

I will take part in a one-day conference on the Shakespeare Authorship Question organized and chaired by Professor Don Rubin of the Department of Theatre, York University, from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., April 7, 2012 at York University, Toronto.

The other panelists are: Mark Anderson, author of Shakespeare By Another Name, keynote speaker; Keir Cutler, presenting "Is Shakespeare Dead?"; David Prosser, Director of Communications at Stratford Shakespeare Festival; Christopher Innes of York University Department of English; Michel Vaïs, author and theatre critic.


Discussion publique de la revue Jeu en collaboration avec le Conservatoire d'art dramatique de Montréal
Samedi 14 janvier 2012, 14h00

Le cas Shakespeare : l'homme sous l'œuvre - Communiqué de presse

CRITICAL STAGES/SCÈNES CRITIQUES No 5, December 2011- webjournal of the IATC (International Association of Theatre Critics) published John Florio: The case for Shakespeare as Exile by Lamberto Tassinari


Excerpts of John Florio The Man Who Was Shakespeare published in The Oxfordian-Volume 13-October 2011


Sono Lamberto Tassinari e vi spiego perché Shakespeare è in realtà John Florio


Conférence de Lamberto Tassinari - Université Laval, Pavillon Charles-de-Koninck, local 3244 - Département de langues, linguistique et traduction
Mercredi 29 septembre 2010, 10h30

Traduction et paternité littéraire - de Shakespeare à Florio, en passant par Montaigne et Cervantes. Le traducteur, lexicographe et linguiste élisabethain John Florio est le protagoniste oublié de la Renaissance anglaise. L'étude de son œuvre - des manuels pour l'apprentissage de l'italien, des dictionnaires et des traductions - et de sa profonde implication dans celle de Shakespeare est la clé qui permet la transformation radicale de notre conception de début de la modernité et de notre interprétation de la fabrication des littératures nationales.

Conference of the Canadian Society for Italian Studies, Concordia University, Montreal
May 28-30 2010

I will participate with a paper on John Florio as Shakespeare in the Session: Seventeenth-Century Pioneers of Modern Though. Friday 28th.

The Canadian Tulip Festival - Celebr'idée Series, Ottawa
Saturday May 15th 2010, 4 pm to 6pm

Blue Metropolis Literary Festival
Montreal, April 21-25 2010

I will present and discuss my book “John Florio The Man Who Was Shakespeare” with Globe and Mail journalist and author Michael Posner, Sunday April 25 at 1:00 PM.

Apiq presents: “Shakespeare? E’ il nome d’arte di John Florio”
December 11, 2009

Associazione dei Professori di Italiano del Quebec presents a series of conferences. “Shakespeare? E’ il nome d’arte di John Florio” Intervista a Lamberto Tassinari di Maria Predelli, McGill University.

Friday, December 11, 2009 at 7:30pm
Piccolo Teatro del Centro Leonardo Da Vinci
8370 boulevard Lacordaire,
Saint-Leonard, QC H1R 3Y6

Conference on Shakespeare's Authorship
April 16 to 19, 2009

I will be participating in the 13th Annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies 2009 Conference at Concordia University of Portland (Oregon) to be held from April 16 to 19. I will present a paper entitled "Shakespeare's Poetry in Florio's Words".

John Florio and the Italian contribution to English Renaissance, Lecture by Lamberto Tassinari
February 05, 2009

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura is pleased to present the lecture John Florio and the Italian contribution to English Renaissance by Lamberto Tassinari, on the influence of Italian literary works on the English Renaissance from Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 6:30 pm
Istituto Italiano di Cultura - 496 Huron St., Toronto
5 Febbraio 2009

L'Istituto Italiano di Cultura è lieto di presentare la conferenza John Florio and the Italian contribution to English Renaissance di Lamberto Tassinari, sull'influenza delle opere letterarie italiane sulle opere del Rinascimento inglese, da Dante, Petrarca e Boccaccio a Giordano Bruno. La conferenza si concentrerà in modo specifico sulla famiglia Florio, padre e figlio, apostoli del Rinascimento inglese dal 1550 al 1620: insegnanti di lingua, traduttori, scrittori.

Giovedì 5 febbraio 2009 - 18,30
Istituto Italiano di Cultura - 496 Huron St., Toronto
Ingresso gratuito

Book Cover

John Florio
The Man Who Was Shakespeare
by Lamberto Tassinari
Giano Books
$CA 12.99

Second revised and augmented edition,
October 2013

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