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Remembering Rosa Maria Bosinelli

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 16/07/2016

Franca Ruggieri, Remembering Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli

Five months have passed since those January days when Rosa Maria, Cicci  for all of us, who had planned to come to Rome for a conference on the Easter Rising organized by John McCourt, became aware of the first symptoms of that illness that within two weeks was found to be incurable, and that was terrifyingly brief. In fact, it ended just two months later, on 20th March, perhaps without her being fully aware of just what was happening.

That Thursday afternoon of 14th January I had gone to meet her at Termini station and, before going on to the reception at the Irish Embassy, she wanted me to go with her to see Michelangelo’s statue of Moses in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli. It was a visit connected to the mistranslation of a Hebrew word that explained why Michelangelo had given his statue horns – and which Cicci had once written an essay about.

The thought of death is the aspect of life that affects us most from when we become adults; when we have our first experiences of loss. Joyce, we remember, wrote The Dead when he was about 25 years old.

In 1623, in Meditation XVII, John Donne spoke words that are often quoted about the common destiny of all mortals, encouraging us to experience the end of every life as if it were our own:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.

Each man’s death diminishes me,

For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

The awareness of our own fragility, and the precariousness of being human, increases as we age. And it becomes sadder, in fact I’d say, more tragic, now there is this sudden, immense loss of such a giving friend who was so full of life.

It is still too painful to speak of her in absence, also perhaps because memories and commemorations can have an air of the conventional, of ritual, of things that have to be done by those who remain; formalities, that the humanity in our friend might well have refuted.

“Non omnis moriar”, is the brief, measured, wise quotation from one of Horace’s Odes, written on the back of the last photograph that we have of her, which was taken last year and distributed to her friends at the commemorative event held at the University of Bologna. It is her calm, confident smile that encourages us to remember; because when we suffer, the words of memory are the only things that give any meaning to our sense of loss. And even though our words are almost always inadequate, since they say too much or too little, they are the only (unsatisfactory) means that we have for entrusting our memories.

Much can be said – and many have said it and continue to do so – about Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, Professor Emeritus of the University of Bologna, an internationally renowned scholar of literature and of Joyce, a Full Professor of English Language who carried out original research in Italy on Translation Studies, on new technologies and the new media.

For me, and for my generation, Rosa Maria was extremely important and totally unreplaceable both as a scholar and as a friend. She was a firm point of reference, and her voice was steady and calm; it expressed her knowledge and humanity, her wisdom and prudence. And these qualities were always to the fore in her relationship with the young, and not only with her own students. In fact she felt that the young must be given space. As she once said to me: by now they know how to do things better than we do. In fact while she had worked for – and on – the first Italian edition of Finnegans Wake in 1982 (translated by Luigi Schenoni and introduced by Giorgio Melchiori), in recent years she welcomed the new Mondadori project to complete that translation; in fact these young translators often asked her for advice on entire passages or on specific translation choices. Her support for young people in general, was, in fact, a fundamental aspect of her academic, and her civil, commitment.

When the idea of establishing The James Joyce Italian Foundation was discussed in 2006, Cicci was the first person who was willing to support me, and she continued to help me with the whole bureaucratic process. As always, it was with loyalty and kind-heartedness that she got in touch with Umberto Eco, who immediately became honorary member of the Foundation. Several years earlier, in 1996, Eco, a friend and colleague at Bologna, had written the Introduction to Anna Livia Plurabelle, which was published by Einaudi and edited by Cicci. It included her excellent essay, which accompanied the original English text with the two Italian translations, Joyce’s own, with Nino Frank, and one by Luigi Schenoni, as well as the French translation by Samuel Beckett and others.

And again, it was thanks to her direct involvement that Eco spoke at the first Graduate Conference organized by The James Joyce Italian Foundation in Rome in 2008, concluding proceedings with his speech, “Joyce’s Misfortunes in Italy”.

Cicci has many friends, and she managed to convey her unique friendship to each of them; she was loved in different ways by many. And from that feeling of friendship, her love of life was apparent; an honest, clear love that was incapable of jealousy or envy, although it never lacked clear, coherent judgement – reflected, as we see, in that photo taken last year in Trieste. Understanding, tolerance and an appreciation of life always accompanied her clarity of vision.

This was the source of her main strength, and even in times of difficulty, she had an untiring desire to look deeply, and to see the positive in every situation and in everyone. To accept things and put them together; to smile – and always go forward.


Paola Pugliatti for Rosa Maria Bosinelli

As soon as I started going through my papers to gather together various moments of my relationship with Rosa Maria—a friend, a colleague, a fellow traveller— I realised that I was not only dealing with my own personal relationship with her, but that I was dealing with History itself: the history of the development of language teaching in the public universities of Italy, and the vital role which Rosa Maria played in those developments. While many of you certainly know of Rosa Maria as a Joycean, you may not know of this other dimension of Rosa Maria, of her activity as a scholar, teacher, and civil servant in the institution of the Italian university, and her passionate engagement in experimenting with new methods of language teaching and new ways of communicating linguistic awareness to her students.

I met Rosa Maria in 1973, a year after I had started teaching in Bologna. At that time, she was teaching English in the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Bologna where language teaching was considered to be mere preparatory work for the more “serious” activity of reading political texts. In what was a largely male-dominated context, language teaching (mainly English, French, and Spanish) had been entrusted to a group of female teachers who had to strive constantly for survival, but who also engaged in a struggle for the recognition of language teaching and research as a domain possessing its own specific scientific dignity. It was in such a context that Rosa Maria began experimenting with the innovative use of specific materials for the teaching of English as a second language, which culminated in the publication of, in collaboration with two of her colleagues, an innovative student guidebook entitled Reading as Communication (1981). It was through such efforts that, beginning in the early 1980s, Bologna became, also owing to the presence of eminent linguists such as Luigi Heilman and Luigi Rosiello, one of the centres in Italy of an “emancipation” process of language teaching and research; and that, from the “ancillary” position it had been confined to in relation to other disciplines (literature, law, medicine, political and social sciences, and so on), it became a fully dignified academic discipline. Rosa Maria was constantly on the front line in the furthering and promoting of this process, both as a teacher and as a researcher, and soon she became recognized as a key figure for language teaching and research within the University of Bologna.

Full recognition came in the late 1980s when the Advanced School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators of the University of Bologna was established in Forlì, largely through the vital contribution of Rosa Maria’s constant and passionate institutional engagement. She went on to become director of the school from 1992 to 1996, then head of the school’s Department of Interpretation and Translation from 1999 to 2005, and upon retirement, Rosa Maria was granted the prestigious position of Emerita.

Her teaching in Forlì was characterised by the elaboration of themes and methods for the teaching of English for specific purposes. Some of the courses she developed were: “Gender and Language”, “The Language of War”, “Multimedia Translation”, the “Language of Advertising”, the “Language of Politics”, and the “Language of Crime Fiction”. And these courses were often accompanied with and followed by essays published, and papers given at numerous conferences. It is within this context, and in the spirit of making students acquainted with the infinite possibilities of language and translation, that one of her most innovative projects took shape. In the early 1990s, Rosa Maria and Raffaella Baccolini were co-teaching a course on British and American legal language. In a week-end, early summer-time brain storming session at Rosa Maria’s seaside home in Marina Romea, near Ravenna, in trying to find strategies to make a course on rather dry legalese more engaging, they hit upon the idea of using films like the recently released, Presumed Innocence (1990), and classics like Billy Wilder’s Witness for the Prosecution (1957). While this idea was a great success in the classroom, having to deal with comparing the often dubbed-in-Italian films with original film scripts in English took on a life of its own. Before long, the topic of dubbing became the subject of numerous seminars, projects, conferences and publications, and as invariably happened with any of Rosa Maria’s research projects, it soon attracted other scholars who devoted attention to the same topic in different linguistic and cultural contexts, with the result that an entirely new research domain was established on multimedial and multicultural translation and dubbing in film and television.

It was no doubt Rosa Maria’s desire to make sure her students were acquainted with the challenges of the complex linguistic and multimedia messages surrounding us, and the desire to strengthen their capacity to decode their ambiguity that made Joyce a regular presence on the scene of her teaching activity, as well as on that of some of her colleagues. Indeed, the delicate samplings from complex literary texts which Rosa Maria offered in her courses, including those from Shakespeare, made of her classes an extremely enriching and gratifying experience for the students of Forlì.

Constantly on the side of invention and innovation, Rosa Maria generously donated her ideas and her time to younger scholars and shared them with colleagues to whom she transmitted her contagious enthusiasm: Adele, Chiara, Chris, Delia, Elena, Ira, Keith, Laura, Patrick, Raffaella, Sam, Serenella, Trudy,  and many others appear as her collaborators in the list of her publications; and the three works listed as forthcoming in her c.v. bear the names as co-authors of three of her student-colleagues: Elena, Ira, and Serenella. And with regard to her latest project—an examination of two unpublished Joyce manuscripts— which you will hear at this Conference from Serenella Zanotti, in the jointly elaborated paper entitled “A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Teacher” we have one more witness of her generosity living on, even beyond death.

By Nicoletta’s consent, Rosa Maria’s books on Joyce and on the twentieth-century novel, are now ready to be transferred to Forlì, and to the Ruffilli Library, where, once catalogued, they will join those donated by Bernie Benstock and by Luigi Schenoni. Her books will contribute in a significant way to the creation of one of the most substantial Joyce collections in Italy, equalled only by that of Giorgio Melchiori in the University Library of Roma Tre.

I believe I speak for all of Cicci’s friends in saying that I am sure that this is the proper destination of what her generosity would have imagined and wished for.

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Letters to Cicci and Shari by Carla Marengo Vaglio

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 15/07/2016

These are the messages Carla Marengo Vaglio dedicated to Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli and Shari during the last James Joyce Symposium held in London in June 2016.letter  Bosinelli Shari

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Umberto Eco at the James Joyce Graduate Conference in Rome, 2008

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 28/04/2016


Watch the video

This is a short excerpt from the speech given by Umberto Eco at the James Joyce Graduate Conference, 2nd February 2008, 12.00, organized by The James Joyce Italian Foundation and the Department of Comparative Literatures of the Roma Tre University.


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For Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 22/03/2016

“Sprofliding – space – ages – foliage of stars – and waning heaven – stillness – and stillness deeper – stillness of annihilation – and her voice.”

James Joyce, Giacomo Joyce.

For Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, who died on 20th March 2016, leaving us all the poorer.

External links

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IX JJIF CONFERENCE IN ROME – 2-3 February 2016

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 27/01/2016

The IX JJIF Conference will be held in Rome on 2-3 February 2016 at Università Roma Tre, via del Valco di S. Paolo 19 (metro stop Marconi). The event is open to all. Here is the final programme of the Conference.

Note that it is a requirement that all presenters at the Conference are paid-up members of The  James Joyce Italian Foundation. Download the 2016 Membership form.

The Ordinary General Meeting for members of The James Joyce Italian Foundation will be held at the Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture Straniere dell’Università Roma Tre, Sala “Ignazio Ambrogio”, 2nd floor, Via del Valco di San Paolo, 19, 00146 Roma, firstly on 2nd February 2016 at 7 a.m. The second convocation is at 5p.m. on 3rd February 2015.

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IX JJIF Conference in Rome – 2-3 February 2016

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 19/01/2016

The IX James Joyce Italian Foundation Conference in Rome
Shakespearean Joyce
Joycean Shakespeare

1 February – 20.30
Conference welcome gathering – Venue: Fiddler’s Elbow, via dell’Olmata, 43

2 February

9.00 – Registration
Opening remarks
Mario Panizza, Rettore, Università Roma Tre
Luca Pietromarchi, Direttore, Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture Straniere, Università Roma Tre
Franca Ruggieri, Presidente, James Joyce Italian Foundation, Università Roma Tre

9.30 – Plenary
Chair: Franca Ruggieri
Paola Pugliatti, Università di Firenze: “Shakespeare, Joyce and the order of literary discourse”

10.15 – Panel 1
Chair: Laura Pelaschiar
Brendan Kavanagh, University of Cambridge, “‘Vibrations. Chords those are’: Strains of Vibration in
Tamar Gelashvili, Ivane Javakhishvili, Tbilisi State University, “Camelot Prince of Dinmurk’ or Tracing
Hamlet in Finnegans Wake”
Byron Taylor, Independent scholar: “Stimmung and the ‘World as Idea’ in Joyce and Shakespeare’s texts”

11.30 Coffee break

11.45 – Panel 2
Chair: Romana Zacchi
April Capili, University of Antwerp, “Strange Bedfellows: Shakespeare and Joyce in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home”
Iva Dimovska, Central European University in Budapest, “Queering a ‘Time that is Out of Joint’: Shakespearean and Joycean distorted temporalities”
Neslihan Ekmekçioğlu, Çankaya University, “The Haunting Spectres within the Consciousness in Shakespeare and Joyce”

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00 – Translation roundtable
Fritz Senn, Veronika Kovacs, Klaus Reichert, Jolanta Wawrzycka

15.00 – Panel 3
Chair: Jolanta Wawrzycka
Ioana Zirra, University of Bucharest, “The Paronomastic Family Reunion: Stephen’s and Mr Bloom’s Ghosts”
Benjamin Boysen, University of Southern Denmark, “Joyce and Georg Brandes”
Timo Müller, University of Greifswald, “Authorship and Order: Shakespeare, Butler, Joyce”
Adrian Peever, St Thomas University, “WΣ: Shakespeare & Signature in Joyce’s Ulysses”

16.45 – Coffee break

17.00 – Plenary
Chair: Enrico Terrinoni
Laura Pelaschiar, Università di Trieste: “Brothers in arms. Joyce meets Shakespeare”

19.00 – Reception at the Irish Embassy
Presentation of new Joyce publications – John McCourt – Università Roma Tre

3 February

9.00 – Plenary
Chair: John McCourt
Valérie Benejam, Université de Nantes: “The Linguistic Drama in Joyce and Shakespeare”

9.45 – Panel 4
Chair: Fritz Senn
Ennio Ravasio, Independent scholar, “‘Scylla and Charybdis’, A Metaphor of Ulysses itself”
Giuseppe Massara, Sapienza, Università di Roma, “Metamorphoses of Sin”
Francesca Caraceni, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, “How Shakespeare was used: sound in James Joyce’s and John Henry Newman’s idea of Literature”
Richard Barlow, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, “Macbeth, the Wake and the North”

11.30 – Coffee Break

11.45 – Panel 5
Chair: Rosa Maria Bosinelli
Jonathan McCreedy, Sofia University, “Dream ‘Logic’ and Quadrupedal Metamorphosis in A ‘Miss Somer’s
Nice Dream’”
Giuliana Bendelli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, “… and yes Joyce said yes he said: I Will Yes.
How Shakespeare became Joyce”
Michele De Benedictis, Independent Scholar, “Sufflaminandus erat. Joyce and Jonson as distinctive
countryman of Shakespeare”
Dipanjan Maitra, SUNY at Buffalo, “An Apostolic Succession? Joyce’s Shakespeare Notes and the Poetics
of Omniscience”

13.15 Lunch

14.15 – Panel 6
Chair: Francesca Romana Paci
Annalisa Federici, Università degli Studi della Tuscia/Sapienza, Università di Roma, “‘The mirror up to nature’:
Reflexivity and Self-Reflexivity in Ulysses and Hamlet”
Flavia Iovine, Università Roma Tre, “Was Joyce mad?”: Joycean Hamlet in post-modernist Irish writers”
Geraldina Colombo, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, “‘Happy Hunting Ground’. Shakespeare’s works as a source of the Joycean imagery in Chamber Music (1907)”
Elyse Graham, SUNY Stony Brook, “Shakespeare, Joyce and the Graveyard of Digital Empires”
Renata Meints Adail, University of Birmingham, “James Joyce’s Literary Revolution and the English Canon”

16.15 Coffee break

16.30 – 17.15 – Plenary
Chair: Paola Pugliatti
Klaus Reichert, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt: “Shakespeare and Joyce“.

17.15 – James Joyce Italian Foundation Annual Meeting

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Farewell to Mariangela Tempera

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 09/01/2016

Mariangela Tempera, who sadly passed away on December 31, 2015, has been a member of The James Joyce Italian Foundation since its establishment. As a Shakespeare scholar, she was internationally known for her study of Shakespeare and the popular media, a field in which she conducted pioneering work, both in her writings and papers read at conferences throughout the world and in the work she did at the University of Ferrara.

Thanks to her tireless and intelligent activity as promoter and organiser of cultural initiatives, the University of Ferrara became, in a few years, one of the major sites for the study of Shakespeare in Italy, offering to young students opportunities to let themselves known in the field of Shakespeare studies, and to all scholars a conspicuous library and a peerless collection of films and videos of Shakespearean subject. We also owe her the institution, in Ferrara, of a Shakespeare Centre, a huge collection of films and videos of Shakespearean subject and the organization of yearly Conferences on the issue of “Shakespeare from text to scene” whose outcome was the publication of a series of prestigious volumes she personally edited.

She was also deeply interested in Joyce. Back in 1986 she was among the participants in one of the first Joyce meetings in Italian universities. “L’officina di Joyce” (Joyce’s Workshop, from the Epiphanies to Finnegans Wake) Pisa 31 January- 2 February. Her contribution to that conference is published in myriadmindedman, Jottings on Joyce (1986) ed. by Bosinelli, Pugliatti and Zacchi. It consisted in an original reading of the Circe episode. Her passion for collecting Shakespeare citations in contemporary media (films, TV programmes, advertisements etc.) included a similar research on Joyce as is evident in her paper “References to James Joyce in Films and Television: A Catalogue in Progress”, in the collection in honour of Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli A Joyceful of talkatalka from frienshapes (2011), ed by Baccolini, Chiaro, Rundle and Whitsitt. The catalogue will remain “in progress”, unfortunately, a Joycean title that sounds ironic in these days of mourning.

Those who had the chance of knowing Mariangela will deeply miss not only her competence and originality as a scholar, but also her bright intelligence, her irony, her sense of humour, her often unconventional manners, her lightness and her cheerfulness.

She was a passionate researcher and teacher, and a dear friend: she will be greatly missed.

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Giorgio Melchiori Grant 2015

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 16/09/2015


The Commission made the unanimous decision to assign, on equal merit, two study grants to Annalisa Federici and Dipanjan Maitra.

La Commissione, all’unanimità, decide di assegnare le due borse di studio ad Annalisa Federici e a Dipanjan Maitra, a pari merito.

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Giorgio Melchiori Grant – 2015

The James Joyce Italian Foundation bandisce due borse di studio, ciascuna di € 500,00 (cinquecento euro), per giovani studiosi – studenti e laureati – iscritti a The James Joyce Italian Foundation.

Si intende così promuovere la partecipazione da parte dei giovani a The IX James Joyce Italian Foundation Conference, “Shakespearean Joyce / Joycean Shakespeare”, che si terrà presso l’Università Roma Tre dall’1 al 3 febbraio 2016.

Le domande devono essere inoltrate entro il 5 novembre 2015 a con i seguenti documenti:

1.Scheda di iscrizione del 2015 a The James Joyce Italian Foundation

2.Curriculum vitae

3.Titolo e abstract dell’intervento

Per ulteriori informazioni:


Giorgio Melchiori Grant – 2015

The James Joyce Italian Foundation is offering two grants of €500,00 (five hundred euros) each for JJIF graduate students. The grant is aimed at facilitating the participation of young scholars at The IX James Joyce Italian Foundation Conference, “Shakespearean Joyce / Joycean Shakespeare”, that will be hosted by Università Roma Tre, 1-3 February 2016.
Letters of application should be sent by 5 November 2015 to: along with the following documents:

  1. 2015 JJIF registration form
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Paper title and abstract

For further information please contact the Foundation at:

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Giorgio Melchiori Grant – 2015. doc

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Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 31/08/2015

luttoThe James Joyce Italian Foundation sends its heartfelt condolences to Grazia Lodeserto, painter and member of the JJIF, on the sudden loss of her husband on 7th August 2015. Giovanni Amodio, writer and art critic, was a fellow member of the JJIF.

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CFP: Shakespearean Joyce / Joycean Shakespeare – JJIF conference 1-2-3 February 2016 – Università Roma Tre

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 25/07/2015


 The IX James Joyce Italian Foundation Conference in Rome

Conference Date: February 1-2-3, 2016

Confirmed speakers: Paola Pugliatti, Klaus Reichert, Laura Pelaschiar, Valerie Benejam

The James Joyce Italian Foundation invites proposals for the ninth Annual Conference in Rome. It will be hosted by the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the Università Roma Tre, to celebrate Joyce’s 134th birthday.

The conference will be the occasion to present unpublished papers and works in progress on Joyce to an international audience. In parallel with the conference’s usual focus on Joyce, it also intends to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by inviting scholars dealing with the Joyce-Shakespeare connection to send proposals for a 20-minute contribution on current trends in Joyce and Shakespeare’s studies. Related topics include, but are not limited to:

– Joyce and/vs Shakespeare
– Joyce and the Elizabethans
– Shakespeare in Joyce
– Joyce and the authorship question in Shakespeare
– Joyce Studies and Shakespeare Studies: overlaps and interconnections
– Genetic Joyce Studies and Shakespearean philology
– Joyce’s poetry and Shakespeare’s poetry
– Joyce, Shakespeare and Italy
– Joyce’s Ireland and Shakespeare’s England
– Joyce, Bruno and Shakespeare
– Joyce, Shakespeare and the idea of the nation
– Shakespeare’s reception in Joyce’s Ireland
– Joyce’s reception in England
– Shakespeare’s studies in Joyce’s times
– Joyce and the English language
– Shakespeare and the English language
– Conceptions of drama in Joyce and Shakespeare
– Shakespeare’s Rome and Joyce’s Rome…
– Metafictionality and Metatheatricality in Joyce and Shakespeare”

Selected papers will be published. Please send abstracts, 250-500 words in length, along with a short bio-sketch to

The Conference includes a Joycean birthday party.

Accepted speakers will be notified by November 27, 2015.

On arrival, participants will be expected to sign up for membership of The James Joyce Italian Foundation:

  • STUDENT MEMBERSHIP: € 20,00 (undergraduate, graduate and PhD students and similar caregories)
  • INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP: € 50,00 (departments, libraries, foundations)

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