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Wertmuller, Lina 1926- (George Brown, George H. Brown, Lina Wertmueller, Nathan Wich)

Wertmuller, Lina 1926- (George Brown, George H. Brown, Lina Wertmueller, Nathan Wich)

PERSONAL

Full name, Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmueller von Elgg Espanol von Brauchich; born August 14, 1926, in Rome, Italy; daughter of Federico (a lawyer) and Maria Santa Maria Wertmueller; married Enrico Job (a sculptor, set designer, production designer, art director, and costume designer), 1968. Education: Academy of Theatre, Rome, graduated, 1951.

Career:

Director and writer. Member of Maria Signorelli's puppet troupe, Italy, 1951-52; actress, stage manager, set designer, publicist, and writer for theatre, radio, and television, and producer and director of avante-garde plays, Italy, 1952-62; Liberty Films, cofounder; also worked as assistant director. Formerly worked as a schoolteacher. Venice Film Festival, member of jury, 1988.

Awards, Honors:

Silver Sail, best direction of a feature film, Locarno International Film Festival, 1963, for I Basilischi; nomination for Golden Palm, Cannes Film Festival, 1972, for Mimi metallurgico ferito nell'onore; nomination for Golden Palm, 1973, for Film d'amore e d'anarchia; Academy Award nominations, best original screenplay written and best director, and Directors Guild of America Award nomination, outstanding direction, all 1977, for Pasqualino settebellezze; nomination for Golden Berlin Bear, Berlin International Film Festival, 1978, for The End of the World in Our Usual Bed in a Night Full of Rain; Crystal Award, Women in Film, 1985; nomination for Golden Prize, Moscow International Film Festival, 1985, for Scherzo del destino in agguato dietro l'angolo come un brigante di strada; Golden Berlin Bear nomination and Interfilm Award/Otto Dibelius Film Award, Berliner Morgenpost reader jury, Berlin International Film Festival, both 1986, for Un complicato intrigo di donne, vicoli e delitti; First Friendship Award, National Organization of Italian-American Women, 1987; named special commissioner, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, 1988.

CREDITS

Film Director:

I Basilischi (also known as The Basilisks and The Lizards), Connoisseur, 1963.

Questa volta parliamo di uomini (also known as Let's Talk About Men, Now Let's Talk About Men, and This Time Let's Talk About Men), Archimede, 1965.

(As George Brown; musical numbers only) Rita la zanzara (also known as Rita the Mosquito), Mondial, 1966.

Non stuzzicate la zanzara (also known as Don't Sting the Mosquito and Don't Tease the Mosquito), Mondial, 1967.

Mimi metallurgico ferito nell'onore (also known as The Seduction of Mimi, Mimi the Metalworker, and Wounded in Honor), New Line Cinema, 1972.

Film d'amore e d'anarchia (also known as Film of Love and Anarchy, Film of Love and Anarchy, This Morning at 10 in the Via dei Fiori at the Well-known House of Tolerance, Love and Anarchy, Film d'amore e d'anarchia, ovvero stamattina alle 10 in via dei Fiori nella nota casa di tolleranza, and D'Amore e d'anarchia), Peppercorn-Wormser, 1973.

Tutto a posto e niente in ordine (also known as All in Place and Nothing in Order, All Screwed Up, Everything Ready, Nothing Works, and Everything's in Order but Nothing Works), New Line Cinema, 1974.

Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto (also known as Swept Away and Swept Awayby an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August), Almi Cinema V, 1975.

(And coproducer) Pasqualino settebellezze (also known as Pasqualino: Seven Beauties and Seven Beauties), Almi Cinema V, 1976.

The End of the World in Our Usual Bed in a Night Full of Rain (also known as A Night Full of Rain and La Fine del mondo nel nostro solito letto in una notte piena di pioggia), Warner Bros., 1978.

Fatto di sangue fra due uomini per causa di una vedova si sospettano (also known as Blood Feud and Revenge), Associated Film Distribution, 1979.

E una domenica sera di novembre, 1981.

Scherzo del destino in agguato dietro l'angolo come un brigante di strada (also known as A Joke of Destiny and A Joke of Destiny, Lying in Wait Around the Corner like a Bandit), Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1983.

Sottosottostrapazzato da anomala passione (also known as Softly, Softly and Sottosotto), Columbia/Triumph, 1984.

Un complicato intrigo di donne, vicoli e delitti (also known as Camorra, Camorra (A Story of Streets, Women, and Crime), Camorra: The Naples Connection, and A Complex Plot About Women, Alleys and Crimes), Cannon, 1986.

Notte d'estate, con profilo greco, occhi a mandorla e odore di basilico (also known as Summer Night, with Greek Profile, Almond Eyes and Scent of Basil), New Line Cinema, 1986.

Imago urbis, 1987.

"Bari" segment, 12 registi per 12 citta, 1989.

In una notte di chiaro di luna (also known as As Long as It's Love, Clair, Crystal or Ash, Fire or Wind, as Long as It's Love, and On a Moonlit Night), 1989.

Io speriamo che me la cavo (also known as Ciao, Professore! and Let's Hope I Make It), Miramax, 1993.

Ninfa plebea (also known as The Nymph), 1996.

Metalmeccanico e parrucchiera in un turbine di sesso e di politica (also known as The Blue Collar Worker and the Hairdresser in a Whirl of Sex and Politics and The Worker and the Hairdresser), Medusa, 1996.

Ferdinando e Carolina, Medusa, 1999.

An Interesting State, 1999.

Peperoni ripieni e pesci in faccia (also known as Too Much RomanceIt's Time for Stuffed Peppers), Sharada Distribuzione, 2004.

Documentary Film Appearances:

Lina Wertmuller, 1977.

Zwischen Kino und Konzert—Der Komponist Nino Rota, 1993.

Un Amico magico: il maestro Nino Rota, 1999.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Luchino Visconti, 1999.

Isa 9000 (short film), 2001.

Fellini, 2001.

Marcello, una vita dolce, Cinemien, 2007.

Television Director:

Il Giornalino di Gian Burasca (series; also known as Gian Burrasca's Diary), 1965.

(As Nathan Wich) Il Mio corpo per un poker (movie; also known as The Belle Starr Story), 1967.

Il Decimo clandestino (also known as The Tenth One in Hiding and To Save Nine), 1989.

Sabato, domenica e lunedi (movie; also known as Saturday, Sunday and Monday), 1990.

Francesca e Nunziata (also known as Francesca and Nunziata), 2001.

Television Appearances; Specials:

(In archive footage) The Magic of Fellini, 2002.

Stage Director:

Shimmy lagano tarantelle e vino, 1978.

Love and Magic in Mama's Kitchen, Spoleto, Italy, then LaMama Experimental Theatre Club, New York City, 1980.

L'Esibizionista, Teatro Nazionale, Rome, 1995.

WRITINGS

Screenplays:

I Basilischi (also known as The Basilisks and The Lizards; also based on story by Wertmueller), Connoisseur, 1963.

Questa volta parliamo di uomini (also known as Let's Talk About Men, Now Let's Talk About Men, and This Time Let's Talk About Men; also based on story by Wertmueller), Archimede, 1965.

Rita la zanzara (also known as Rita the Mosquito), Mondial, 1966.

Non stuzzicate la zanzara (also known as Don't Sting the Mosquito and Don't Tease the Mosquito), Mondial, 1967.

(With others) Les Chemins de Kathmandu, 1969.

(With Ottavio Jemma, Marcello Costa, and Pasquale Festa Campanile) Quando le donne avevano la coda (also known as When Women Had Tails), Film Ventures, 1970.

(With Sauro Scavolini, Gianfranco Calligarich, and Sergio Sollima) Citta violenta (also known as The Family, Violent City, and La cite de la violence), Universal, 1970.

Mimi metallurgico ferito nell'onore (also known as The Seduction of Mimi, Mimi the Metalworker, and Wounded in Honor; also based on story by Wertmueller), New Line Cinema, 1972.

Cari genitori (also known as Dear Parents), 1973.

(With Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Kenneth Ross, and Franco Zeffirelli) Brother Sun, Sister Moon (also known as Fratello sole, sorella luna), Paramount, 1973.

Film d'amore e d'anarchia (also known as Film of Love and Anarchy, Film of Love and Anarchy, This Morning at 10 in the Via dei Fiori at the Well-known House of Tolerance, Love and Anarchy, Film d'amore e d'anarchia, ovvero stamattina alle 10 in via dei Fiori nella nota casa di tolleranza, and D'Amore e d'anarchia), Peppercorn-Wormser, 1973.

Tutto a posto e niente in ordine (also known as All in Place and Nothing in Order, All Screwed Up, Everything Ready, Nothing Works, and Everything's in Order but Nothing Works), New Line Cinema, 1974.

Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto (also known as Swept Away and Swept Awayby an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August; also based on story by Wertmueller), Almi Cinema V, 1975.

Pasqualino settebellezze (also known as Pasqualino: Seven Beauties and Seven Beauties), Almi Cinema V, 1976.

The End of the World in Our Usual Bed in a Night Full of Rain (also known as A Night Full of Rain and La Fine del mondo nel nostro solito letto in una notte piena di pioggia), Warner Bros., 1978.

Fatto di sangue fra due uomini per causa di una vedova—si sospettano (also known as Blood Feud and Revenge), Associated Film Distribution, 1979.

Scherzo del destino in agguato dietro l'angolo come un brigante di strada (also known as A Joke of Destiny and A Joke of Destiny, Lying in Wait Around the Corner like a Bandit; also based on story by Wertmueller), Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1983.

Sottosottostrapazzato da anomala passione (also known as Softly, Softly and Sottosotto; also based on story by Wertmueller), Columbia/Triumph, 1984.

Un complicato intrigo di donne, vicoli e delitti (also known as Camorra, Camorra (A Story of Streets, Women, and Crime), Camorra: The Naples Connection, and A Complex Plot About Women, Alleys and Crimes; also based on story by Wertmueller), Cannon, 1986.

(And composer of musical score, with Lello Greco) Notte d'estate, con profilo greco, occhi a mandorla e odore di basilico (also known as Summer Night, with Greek Profile, Almond Eyes and Scent of Basil), New Line Cinema, 1986.

In una notte di chiaro di luna (also known as As Long as It's Love, Clair, Crystal or Ash, Fire or Wind, as Long as It's Love, and On a Moonlit Night), 1989.

Io speriamo che me la cavo (also known as Ciao, Professore! and Me Let's Hope I Make It), Miramax, 1993.

Ninfa plebea (also known as The Nymph), 1996.

Metalmeccanico e parrucchiera in un turbine di sesso e di politica (also known as The Blue Collar Worker and the Hairdresser in a Whirl of Sex and Politics and The Worker and the Hairdresser), Medusa, 1996.

Ferdinando e Carolina, Medusa, 1999.

Peperoni ripieni e pesci in faccia (also known as Too Much RomanceIt's Time for Stuffed Peppers), Sharada Distribuzione, 2004.

Television Movies:

(As Nathan Wich) Il Mio corpo per un poker (also known as The Belle Starr Story), 1967.

Il Decimo clandestino (also known as The Tenth One in Hiding and To Save Nine), 1989.

Sabato, domenica e lunedi (also known as Saturday, Sunday and Monday), 1990.

Francesca e Nunziata (also known as Francesca and Nunziata), 2001.

Stage Plays:

Two and Two Are No Longer Four, 1968.

Shimmy lagano tarantelle e vino, 1978.

Love and Magic in Mama's Kitchen, Spoleto, Italy, then LaMama Experimental Theatre Club, New York City, 1980.

L'Esibizionista, Teatro Nazionale, Rome, 1995.

Other:

The Screenplays of Lina Wertmueller (contains The Seduction of Mimi, Love and Anarchy, Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August, and Seven Beauties), translated from Italian by Steven Wagner, New York Times Book Co., 1977.

The Head of Alvise (originally published in Italian as La testa di Alvise), translated by Nora Hoppe, William Morrow, 1982.

ADAPTATIONS

The 1972 film Quando le donne persero la coda (also known as When Women Lost Their Tails and Toll trieben es die alten Germanen) was based on an idea by Wertmueller. The film Which Way Is Up?, released by Universal in 1977, was adapted by Carl Gottlieb and Cecil Brown from Wertmueller's screenplay Mimi metallurgico ferito nell'onore. The film Swept Away, released by Columbia TriStar in 2002, was based on her 1975 screenplay Travolti da un insolito destino nell/azzurro mare d'agosto. The 1971 television miniseries Nessuno deve sapere was based on an idea by Wertmueller.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 2nd edition, St. James Press, 1991.

Periodicals:

Savvy, January, 1985, p. 86.

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"Wertmuller, Lina 1926- (George Brown, George H. Brown, Lina Wertmueller, Nathan Wich)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Wertmuller, Lina 1926- (George Brown, George H. Brown, Lina Wertmueller, Nathan Wich)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/wertmuller-lina-1926-george-brown-george-h-brown-lina-wertmueller-nathan-wich

"Wertmuller, Lina 1926- (George Brown, George H. Brown, Lina Wertmueller, Nathan Wich)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/wertmuller-lina-1926-george-brown-george-h-brown-lina-wertmueller-nathan-wich

Wertmuller, Lina

WERTMULLER, Lina


Nationality: Italian. Born: Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmuller von Elgg Spanol von Braueich in Rome, 14 August 1928. Family: Married to the artist Enrico Job (1968). Education: Attended several Catholic schools, and the Academy of Theatre in Rome. Career: Worked with Maria Signorelli's puppet troupe, 1951–52; worked as an actress, stage manager, set designer, publicist, and writer for theater, radio, and television; from 1952; worked as an assistant to Fellini on 8 1/2, 1962; directed first feature, I basilischi, 1963; Film d'amore e d'anarchia her first film released in the United States; signed by Warner Bros. to direct four films, 1973. Awards: Silver Sail, Locarno Film Festival, for I basilischi, 1963. Address: Piazza Clotilde 5, 00196 Rome, Italy.


Films as Director and Writer:

1963

I basilischi (The Lizards)

1965

Questa volta parliamo di uomini (Now, Let's Talk about Men; This Time Let's Talk about Men)




1967

Non stuzzicate la zanzara (Don't Tease the Mosquito)

1972

Mimi metallurgio ferito nell'onore (The Seducation of Mimi; Mimi the Metalworker; Wounded in Honour)

1973

Film d'amore e d'anarchia, ovvero stamattina alle 10 in Viadei fiori nella nota casa di toleranza (Film of Love andAnarchy, or This Morning at Ten in the Via dei fiori at theWell-known House of Tolerance)

1974

Tutto a posto e niente in ordine (Everything's in Order ButNothing Works; All Screwed Up); Travolti da un insolitodestino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto (Swept Away. . . by anUnusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August; Swept Away. . . )

1976

Pasqualino settebellezze (Pasqualino; Seven Beauties)

1978

La Fine del mondo in una notte piena di poggia (The End ofthe World in Our Usual Bed in a Night Full of Rain; A NightFull of Rain); Shimmy lagarno tarantelle e vino; Fatto disangue fra due uomini per causa di una vedova (BloodFeud; Revenge)

1979

Belle Starr (as "Nathan Wich" (for TV)

1981

E una Domenica sera di novembre (for TV)

1983

Scherzo del destinoin aqquato dietro l'angelo come un brigantedi strada (A Joke of Destiny, Lying in Wait around theCorner Kike a Street Bandit) (co-sc)

1984

Sotto, Sotto (co-sc)

1986

Camorra (Vicoli e delitti; Un complicato intrigo di donne,vicoli e delitti; The Naples Connection) (co-sc); Notted'estate, con profilo Greco, occhi amandorla e odore dibasilico (Summer Night with Greek Profile, Almond Eyes,and Scent of Basil)

1989

In una notte di chiaro luna (In a Full Moon Night); Il Decimoclandestino

1990

Saturday, Sunday, Monday

1994

Io speriamo che me la cavo (Ciao, Professore!) (co-sc)

1996

Ninfa plebea (The Nymph); Metal neccanico e parrucchierain un turbine di sesso e di politica (The Worker and theHairdresser; The Blue Collar Worker and the Hairdresserin a Whirl of Sex and Politics) (+ co-story)

1999

An Interesting State; Fernando e Carolina (co-sc)



Other Films:

1963

Otto e mezzo (8 1/2) (Fellini) (asst d)

1966

Rita la zanzara (Rita the Mosquito) (d musical numbers only, sc)

1970

Quando de donne avevano la coda (When Women Had Tails) (Festa Campanile) (co-sc); Citta violenta (Violent City; TheFamily) (Sollima) (co-sc)

1972

Fratelli sole, sorella luna (Brother Sun, Sister Moon) (Zeffirelli) (co-sc)

1999

Un Amico magico: il maestro Nino Rota (Monicelli) (doc) (as Herself)



Publications


By WERTMULLER: books—

The Screenplays of Lina Wertmuller, translated by Steven Wagner, New York, 1977.

The Head of Alvise, London, 1983.

By WERTMULLER: articles—

Interview in Woman and Film (Santa Monica, California), no. 5–6, 1974.

Interview in Interview (New York), March 1975.

"Look, Gideon—Gideon Bachman Talks with Lina Wertmuller," in Film Quarterly (Berkeley), Spring 1977.

"Lina Sweeps In," interview with G. Ott, in Cinema Canada (Montreal), March 1978.

Interview with C. J. Rotondi, in Films in Review (New York), November 1984.

Interview with B. Steinborn, in Filmfaust (Frankfort), April-May 1986.


On WERTMULLER: books—

Dokumentation: Lina Wertmuller/Martin Scorsese, Zurich, 1986.

Michalczyk, John J., The Italian Political Filmmakers, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1986.

Bruno, Giuliana, and Maria Nadotti, editors, Off Screen: Women andFilm in Italy, London, 1988.

Jacobsen, Wolfgang, and others, Lina Wertmuller, Munich, 1988.


On WERTMULLER: articles—

Durgnat, Raymond, in Films and Filming (London), October 1964.

Biskind, Peter, "Lina Wertmuller: The Politics of Private Life," in Film Quarterly (Berkeley), Winter 1974–75.

Willis, Ellen, "Is Lina Wertmuller Just One of the Boys?" in RollingStone (New York), 25 March 1976.

Quacinella, L., "How Left Is Lina?," in Cineaste (New York), Fall 1976.

Jacobs, Diane, "Lina Wertmuller," in International Film Guide 1978 (London), 1978.

Tutt, Ralph, "Seven Beauties and the Beast: Bettelheim, Wertmuller, and the Uses of Enchantment," in Literature Film Quarterly (Salisbury, Maryland), no. 3, 1989.

"Missing Persons Corner," in Variety (New York), 29 July 1991.

Manera, P., in Cineforum (Bergamo, Italy), December 1991.

Samueli, A., "Fellini au travail," in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), December 1993.

"Lina Wertmuller una mujer inolvidable," in Sin Cortes (Buenos Aires), January 1997.


* * *

By the mid-1970s, Lina Wertmuller had directed a series of sharply observed (though, in retrospect, markedly uneven) features which brought her international fame and made her one of the shining lights of European cinema. At their best, her films were crammed with pointed humor, astute social commentary, and outrageous sexuality. In 1976, she even became the first woman to win a Best Director Academy Award nomination, for Seven Beauties.

In recent years, Wertmuller's critical reputation has been tarnished. For one thing, the quality of her work has sharply deteriorated. For another, her detractors have dubbed her a reactionary, labeling her films as grotesque and self-absorbed, with little love for humanity. Meanwhile, her champions hail her as a defender of the downtrodden, an idealistic anarchist who realizes anarchy is impractical yet still cherishes the notion of total individual freedom. Upon examining her films, one might decide that most of her characters are caricatures, or might consider them sympathetic human beings. It all depends on the interpretation.

Wertmuller's films most characteristically focus on the eternal battle between the sexes, fought with noisy screaming matches and comical seductions in a class warfare setting. Her most typical features—those which cemented her reputation—may be found in the middle of her career, from The Seduction of Mimi through Swept Away. . . All are imperfect: for every inspired sequence—most notably, in The Seduction of Mimi, Giancarlo Giannini's antics between the sheets with a ridiculously obese woman—there are long stretches of repetitious ax-grinding on sex, love, anarchy, fascism, and the class struggle.

In the battles of the sexes, Wertmuller's films are relatively consistent with regard to the portrayal of men and women. Wertmuller's favorite actor is All Screwed Up star Giancarlo Giannini. His characters think they are suave, but they really are stubborn and stupid, in constant trouble both politically and sexually. In Love and Anarchy, set in 1932, for example, Giannini plays an anarchist, hiding in a brothel, who plans to assassinate Mussolini but instead falls for a prostitute. Wertmuller's women, on the other hand, are not politically aware, and are uninterested in struggling for self-sufficiency. Seven Beauties, filled with stunning images, is Wertmuller's penultimate feature: a searing drama about survival in a surreal, insane world. It chronicles the odyssey of a Don Juan (Giannini) through the horrors of World War II. The highlight of the film is a typically gruesome Wertmullian seduction sequence in which the "hero" entices a piggish female concentration-camp commandant.

Over the decades, the reputation of Seven Beauties has suffered because of the declining quality of Wertmuller's subsequent films. The End of the World in Our Usual Bed in a Night Full of Rain, her first English-language effort, is a verbose marital boxing match pitting journalist/communist Giannini and photographer/feminist Candice Bergen. Revenge, also known as Blood Feud, is the exaggerated tale of a radical lawyer (Marcello Mastroianni) and a gangster (Giannini) who love the beautiful widow Sophia Loren during the early years of fascist rule in Italy. Both films were released in the late 1970s, and were followed by over a dozen forgettable films made over the next two decades.

Easily Wertmuller's most accessible later-career films are Sotto, Sotto and Ciao, Professore! Thematically speaking, Sotto, Sotto is related to her earlier work in that it is a tale of sexual combat, but with a twist. It is the story of a married woman who becomes romantically attracted to her best (female) friend, which predictably piques her brutally sexist husband. Ciao, Professore! is a social comedy about a Northern Italian grade school teacher accustomed to working with affluent children, who is mistakenly assigned to an impoverished village near Naples. The film comically details the interactions and developing relationships between the teacher and the students. While not as disappointing as her other post-Seven Beauties features, Sotto, Sotto and Ciao, Professore! are formulaic stories whose high points do not compare to their counterparts in Love and Anarchy, Swept Away. . . and, most certainly, Seven Beauties.


—Rob Edelman

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Wertmuller, Lina

Lina Wertmuller, 1928–, Italian film director, b. Archangela as Felice Assunta Wertmuller von Elgg Spanol von Braucich. In the 1970s she became known for her surreal comedies, which include The Seduction of Mimi (1972), Love and Anarchy (1973), Swept Away (1974), and Seven Beauties (1976). Although she continued to make films, she never recaptured her early success. Her later works include Softly, Softly (1985), Summer Night (1986), and Ciao, Professore (1994).

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"Wertmuller, Lina." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Wertmuller, Lina." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wertmuller-lina

"Wertmuller, Lina." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wertmuller-lina