(ANSA) – MILAN, SEPTEMBER 14 – As the awarding of the Malaparte prize is approaching, the first thought of the curator Gabriella Buontempo and of the whole jury of the award goes to the president Raffaele La Capria, who passed away at the age of 99 in June of this year . For La Capria, in fact, the Prize was an important occasion and will be remembered in the days of the award with two initiatives. And certainly the winner of this year fully corresponds to him, the New York author Daniel Mendelsohn, who at the beginning of October will be on the island of Capri to collect the award from the jury: Leonardo Colombati, Giordano Bruno Guerri, Giuseppe Merlino, Silvio Perrella, Emanuele Trevi and Marina Valensise.
62 years old, as well as a literary critic and important translator (he has edited more than one book by the Greek poet Kavafis) Mendelsohn made his debut in fiction relatively late, in 2006, however, obtaining immediate recognition with The Lost, translated in Italy with the title Gli disappeared. An autobiographical book, in which the author goes to Eastern Europe in search of 6 Jewish family members who disappeared during the Second World War: “Watching people climbing trains – declared Mendelsohn in a recent interview – is the recurring nightmare of European history and it is personally even more disconcerting to see a repetition of a tragedy we know all too well in a place so familiar to me. ” Also steeped in familiar themes is Mendelsohn’s other best-known book, An Odyssey: a father, a son and an epic, published in Italy by Einaudi in 2017, in which the story of Ulysses is intertwined with the personal one of the writer . “Mendelsohn’s choice may seem like a tribute to current events and to Ukraine. – says Gabriella Buontempo -. In truth, at the time we decided it, the Russian aggression did not start. But when the literature is really well addressed, almost naturally its themes turn out to be current. And this coincidence seems to us a further confirmation of the validity of the criteria that support the award since my aunt, Graziella Lonardi Buontempo founded it “. (HANDLE).
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