(by Mauretta Capuano) (ANSA) – PORDENONE, 17 SEPTEMBER – Italian has become the language “of creativity, of dreams, the key that opens the door” for Jhumpa Lahiri, the Pulitzer Prize writer, born in London to Bengali parents , for her first time in Pordenone, she reads to receive the ‘FriulAdria Crédit Agricole Award The story in a novel’ of which she is ‘honored’. She arrived in Pordenone with her latest book ‘Roman tales’ published by Guanda, a tribute to her city of election in Italy, Rome, and to Alberto Moravia.
“I have been writing in Italian for ten years now. An Italian in which I still feel both at home, rooted, and out of place. There is this double reality that in my opinion is very good for me” Lahiri, who lives, tells ANSA between Rome and New York where he teaches at Columbia Univeristy’s Barnard College. “There is always a tension towards everything, towards language, words, phrases. And it is a metaphor for life, for existence.
Just as I have this relationship with Rome from inside and outside, I feel super rooted, at home, but also not. Just like the first story in the book entitled ‘Il Confine’. I am on the border, always there, in that position there. Rome for me is the border, it is very important “says the writer, in her fifth book written in Italian and her third of short stories, which on 20 September will also receive the Rome Medal Award in the capital.
“It will be very exciting to receive this award. It is particularly significant for me. I have had such a strong relationship with Rome for ten years.” But how was this love with the city born? “Rome chose me in the end, it’s a bit mutual, like great loves” explains the writer who lives in Trastevere. In the nine stories of the book there is her gaze on the city today, in recent years, with her problems. “You cannot fully love a person, a place, without being aware of the defects, of the negative, problematic side. It is important because those who come from outside often look for the postcard: Rome that is always beautiful, full of culture. There is a kind of blindness towards the more problematic side, the tensions, the violent part of the city. I’m in a middle position, a bit like translators who have to hear both languages, I can absorb a bit of everything. much, as Moravia was interested in, the reality of this city which is a bit dreamlike, unreal. I often wonder, is it possible that such a city exists? That contact with the past, centuries, antiquity and human beauty on the street it’s something I only feel in Rome “he stresses.
Most of Lahiri’s Roman tales arise from conversations she has had by going around a bit. “There is a mixture of perspectives. There are also Romans not of foreign origins who feel out of place. In every book I write, the dominant theme is that of the foreigner. If you think about it, we are all foreigners and this thing of belonging is a our invention “he explains.
Author of eight books, all published in Italy by Guanda, Lahiri is particularly fond of short stories. “I’ve always loved them.CopyAMP code.
I became a writer thanks to Chekhov, to the stories of Joyce, Svevo. They are also the ideal way to tell about Rome because Rome is all a story. You meet a person on the street and he gives you a micro story. This is beautiful, there is a desire to share “.
Moravia’s Roman tales “made me discover the city before arriving in Rome. For me he is a fundamental writer. I love him for his writing, the clarity, the precision of his writing and the way he mixes all worlds, the bourgeoisie and a more popular Rome “. he says he. Abroad, he explains, “an interest in Italian literature has awakened” in the wake of the Elena Ferrante phenomenon. There is more attention and curiosity. I see more translations from Italian around, but there is still some way to go, “he says.
He sees his future in Italy and he hopes that the country will remain “always open to everyone with the right measures. Curious, respectful of the Other because this is the sign of a civil society”, he says, thinking of the political elections on 25 September. (HANDLE).