Director of the Institute of Italian culture in Moscow, the daughter of one of the founders of modern Italian Slavonic studies Olga Strada spoke about the Italian participation in the fair non/fiction.
At the jubilee fair non/fiction it is possible to get acquainted with the most popular Italian authors. Photo: RIA Novosti
Two weeks after the completion of the St. Petersburg cultural forum in which Italy was the country-guest, in Moscow non/fiction, to which Italy is also the guest of honor. It’s not a coincidence?
Olga Strada: I wanted Italy was a country-a guest last year, but did not work: it requires a tremendous work. And here it became possible in the 20th anniversary edition of the fair non/fiction. Come 17 authors. Our goal is to show you what happens in contemporary Italian literature. Fair should not be the final point and point of departure that, in future, more translated contemporary Italian literature. Because now there is no flow of Italian books. Although there is an author like Elena Ferrante, whose works became blockbuster, it is actively translated, is a great success in the world, including in Russia. In the framework of non/fiction we will be showing an exhibition of photographer Ottavio Sellitti who documented the places where the story takes place in the novels of Ferrante in Naples. And it’s certainly not a tourist, but a little different in Naples.
What a pity that Elena Ferrante is impossible to bring…Readers are always interested in the stars.
Olga Strada: We will bring two winners of literary awards this year. The winner of the most famous Italian literary prize “Strega” this year, her name is Helena janáček. She wrote the novel “Girl with a Watering can”. This is the story of Gerda Taro, the first female war photographer, which was very close to Robert Capa and who tragically died in Spain. We still have to be the winner of the Venice award”, Campiello” Rosella, Pastorino. She will present her novel “Probability” – the story of a woman who during the Nazi regime had to taste the food for Hitler. Then talk about the book by Roberto Pazzi dedicated to the last period of the life of Nicholas II and his family. In addition, there will be many “round tables” on the theme of translation. One of them will take part Zakhar Prilepin and Daniela Di Sora from the publishing house Voland, which publishes all the books Prilepin.
And one of the Italian writers would you like to knew more? Who, in your opinion, “gleaning” here glory?
Olga Strada: I would love to invite Alessandro Piperno. He became famous 12 years ago thanks to the novel “the worst intentions” – this is a photograph of several Italian generations with a lighthearted 60’s to the early 2000’s.
Come 17 authors, representatives of different directions. Our goal is to show you what happens in contemporary Italian literature
Do you have the feeling that Italian literature acts as a “younger sister” of the famous Italian art? Because enough, say, to bring in the Pushkin Museum the exhibition “Titian and his contemporaries,” and all: a huge resonance, sincere interest, the admiration.
Olga Strada: I think it’s a problem of the XXI century. To read, need time, need to focus, to look. But visual art was “our everything”, and social networks testify to this. Nevertheless, Elena Ferrante, and Umberto Eco, Vittorio Sgarbi including prove the opposite: if the writers are able to find the correct key to attract the reader’s attention, it all turns out. Although, of course, not all books have the success that you could.
All admire the great classic Russian novel – Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, it is clear, and what is now waiting for the Italian readers from the Russian authors?
Olga Strada: Italian readers love in Russian literature, the magic realism, a kind of prophecy, which, for example, Bulgakov. Mass reader does not read Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, but for those of you who love this complexity. Shalamov, Grossman. Publishing house “Adelphi” release “Images of Italy” Pavel Muratov. Of course, this is not a novel, but…
But almost like a novel.
Olga Strada: Yes. That depth, that “different perspective” on life – that’s what always attracts cultural reader.