Italian literary prizewinners for 2016

We have written in the past of the five major Italian literary prizes and, since we started our blog, we have highlighted the prizewinners each year.

Here are the winners for 2016:

The Strega prize: awarded this year to Edoardo Albinati for his novel La scuola cattolica (C211.c.1831)

The Bagutta prize: awarded this year to Paolo Di Stefano for Ogni altra vita : storia di italiani non illustri (C211.c.4073) and to Paolo Maurensig for his novel Teoria delle ombre (C210.c.5964) Continue reading

Dario Fo, the 20th century jester (1926-2016)

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From the cover of Dario Fo a Milano: lazzi, sberleffi e dipinti (S950.c.201.296)

Writing this blogpost about Dario Fo, I am filled with emotion. Back in August, nearly two months before his death (and when he already knew his illness was terminal), the 90 year-old Italian actor, playwright, theatre director, stage designer, songwriter, painter and political activist performed on stage for two hours and finished the show singing. I was lucky enough to see him perform when he was “only” in his late 70s, and I still remember his incredible vitality and wit, his eyes shining with youthful enthusiasm, his humanity, irony and cutting words causing simultaneous laughter and deep reflection. Continue reading

The Fortunes of the Orlando Furioso, 1516-2016

This guest post by Helena Sanson (Clare College, Cambridge) and Francesco Lucioli (University College Dublin) has been written to accompany the book display in the North Front corridor of the University Library, organised by them in collaboration with Anna-Luise Wagner (Selwyn College, Cambridge)

orlando-furioso-blog-fig-12016 marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of one of the masterpieces of Italian Renaissance literature, and world literature more broadly: the Orlando furioso by Ludovico Ariosto (Reggio Emilia 1474 – Ferrara 1533). As a contribution towards the celebrations of this anniversary that has seen conferences and events taking place all over the world, a book display of Orlando furioso editions held in Cambridge University Library will be held between 7 November and 3 December. On Friday 18 November, there will also be an event in Clare College entitled The Fortunes of the Orlando furioso, 1516-2016, which is free and open to the general public. The event includes public lectures by Renaissance specialists on the fortunes of the poem in literature, art and music (Clare College, Latimer room, 3-5 pm), followed by a concert of arias inspired across the centuries by this magnificent poem (Clare College Chapel, 6 pm). More details on the event and on how to register can be found here: http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/italian/news/Fortunes-of-the-Orlando-Furioso. Continue reading

The power of the image

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Officiolum di Francesco da Barberino (Tab.b.932-933)

The Tuscan poet and lawyer Francesco da Barberino(1264-1348) may not be as familiar today as his Florentine contemporaries Dante and Giotto, but he occupies a unique position at the intersection of poetry and painting in Italy at the dawn of the fourteenth century. He knew Dante – indeed the earliest reference to the still incomplete Divine Comedy is in one of Francesco’s works of c.1313. He also collaborated with Giotto, providing him with visual ideas for the Arena Chapel in Padua. Francesco’s cultural experience stretched beyond Italy: he travelled widely in France to the court of Philip the Fair in Paris and the papal curia in Avignon, acquiring a deep familiarity with Provencal poetry during five years of exile.

Continue reading

Italian literary prizewinners for 2015

We try, each year, to draw your attention to the literary prizewinners of various European countries. We have written in the past of the five major Italian prizes and in July last year we posted the results of the 2015 Strega prize after Nicola Lagioia had won with his novel La ferocia (C208.c.9478).

The Strega is undoubtedly the most prestigious of the Italian literary prizes, but there are 4 others we have highlighted in recent years and below are the winners for 2015: Continue reading