As part of the events for the 22nd edition of the Week of Italian Language in the World, the Italian Institutes of Culture in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York featured a series of talks withDacia Maraini, the author, poet, playwright, and journalist who has written some of the most important works in contemporary Italian literature, author of over seventy books, translated in more than thirty languages.
In Los Angeles, the author spoke to Mark Axelrod, Professor of Comparative Literature at the English Department of Chapman University, exploring the main themes of her linguistic research and literary output, from women’s rights to her relationship with the new generation of readers; she also spoke of her friendship with Pier Paolo Pasolini. The conversation was followed by a dramatic reading by Francesca Fanti of selected passages from Lettere d’amore (Love Letters), a theatrical monologue written by Dacia Mariani and inspired by letters taken from Gabriele D’Annunzio’s novel The Triumph of Death.
In the second leg in San Francisco, Dacia Maraini got to the heart of the theme of this edition of the Week of Italian Language in the World together with writer and teacher Sara Marinelli, with whom she explored the evolution of the Italian used daily by younger generations.
The final dates on the North American tour were held at the Italian Institute of Culture in New York. In the first event, Dacia Mariani, in conversation with Michelangelo La Luna professor of Italian language and literature at the University of Rhode Island, presented her latest book Sguardo a Oriente. Reportage, ricordi, racconti di un continente affascinante (Looking East: Reports, Memories and Stories of a Fascinating Continent). In this collection of writings on various countries in Asia and the Middle East, Mariani’s language acquires new accents, exploring the genre of travel writing and a register that experiments with forms of contact between Italian and other languages to recount events and characters from faraway places.
In the final event, on 25 October, against the backdrop of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Dacia Maraini presented the figure of the intellectual and friend in the book Caro Pier Paolo (Dear Pier Paolo), which, as the author explains in the interview with Fabio Finotti, Director of the IIC in New York, was inspired by
… a dream in which I saw him alive and in which he gave me the idea that I could talk to him, I don’t believe in ghosts, but it was a way to recall the many things that we did together. From working on the screenplay of “One Thousand and One Nights” to dubbing films, travelling in Africa and Yemen…
19 Oct. – IIC Los Angeles
20 Oct. – INNOVIT San Francisco
24 & 25 Oct. – IIC New York