Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crossroads of Civilization - International Literature Festival in Venice

Stanzi by Pietro Aretino (1537) design attributed to Titian
published by Francesco Marcolini
(Venice, Italy) Venice once dominated the publishing market. The majority of books that were sold in Europe were printed in Venice, spreading freedom of the press all over the world. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, controversial authors like Pietro Aretino, genius artists like Titian, and enlightened publishers like Aldus Manus collaborated to produce a wealth of precious knowledge which still reaches us today. More than 500 years ago, in 1474, original thought was so highly prized in Venice that she passed the first elegantly-worded written law to protect intellectual property rights. (Click HERE to read the Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog post entitled Intellectual Property Rights at the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace).

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Some have suggested that it was the plague of 1575–76, which wiped out nearly a third of the Venetian population, that brought the city's great age of book production to an end. Another factor was the increasing restrictions of the Counter Reformation. As freedom of the press was replaced by fear of the Inquisition, works of literature and science ceased to issue so copiously from the presses. Marcolini's rival, the prolific and influential publisher Gabriel Giolito, had to appear before the Inquisition; and Marcolini's Le Sorti, with its recourse to magic and its occasionally anticlerical or ribald responses, was added to the Index of Prohibited Books. (Click the link below to read the entire article.)

Source:Woodcut Book Illustration in Renaissance Italy: Venice in the Sixteenth Century | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

On March 25, 2011, Venice turned 1650 years old. The dignified grand dame stills radiates tolerance, freedom of expression, beauty, magic and wisdom, always with a sense of humor. That is why Venice is a perfect location to host an international literature conference called Crossroads of Civilization, or Incroci di Civiltà, Incontri Internazionali di Letteratura a Venezia. The fourth edition will run from April 13 to April 16, 2011 in various venues around town. The festival has grown in size and prestige. This year, Booker Prize winner A.S. Byatt and Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipaul will be here, as well as thirty other significant writers  from all over the globe.

Wednesday, April 13 - Preview

4:30pm  - Between Film and Writing: Another Greece - at the Giorgione Theater
Greek director Theo Angelopolus and the writer Petros Markaris will speak with Roberto Ellero and Caterina Carpinato, followed by a screening of the Angelopolus film The Dust of Time; Markaris was a collaborator. Conversation conducted in Greek with translation. Admission: 5 euro
In collaboration with Circuito Cinema Comune di Venezia, EKEBI - the National Book Center of Greece, and the Minister of Culture & Education of the Republic of Cyprus 

6:30pm - An India of Saints, Children and Travelers - at Fondazione Querini Stampalia
Kiran Nagarkar was awarded the 2001 Sahitya Akademi Award in English, a literary honor in India which recognizes outstanding work in twenty-four major Indian languages. Nagarkar will speak with Gioia Guerzoni and Marco Zolli. Conversation conducted in English with translation. Admission: Free until seating is at capacity
In collaboration with the Querini Stampalia Foundation

9:00pm - Indonesia: A Look at the Female - at Fondazione Querini Stampalia
Critics hailed Nukila Amal's 2003 debut novel Cala Ibi as one of "the pinnacles of Indonesian contemporary literature." Amal will speak with Silvia Vignato in English. Translation available. Admission: Free until seating is at capacity
In collaboration with the Querini Stampalia Foundation

Thursday, April 14
9:30am - Inauguration - at the Santa Margherita Auditorium
Venice's mayor, Giorgio Orsoni, together with the organizers of Incroci di Civiltà, Tiziana Agostini, Counselor for Cultural Activities; Carlo Carraro, Rector of the University of Ca' Foscari Venezia; and Alide Cagidemetrio, Dean of the Foreign Language & Literature faculty, will inaugurate the fourth edition of the Venice International Literature Conference. The Bauer-Ca'Foscari Award will be presented by Francesca Bortolotto Possati, President & CEO of the Hotel Bauer, and Carlo Carraro, Rector of the University of Ca' Foscari Venezia.

11:30am - Towards a Multicultural Literature - at the Santa Margherita Auditorium
Writers Pap Khouma, who immigrated from Senegal to Italy in 1984, and Igiaba Scego, who defines herself as "Somalian origin, Italian vocation" will speak with Tiziana Agostini and Ricciarda Ricorda in Italian. Translation available. Admission: free with mandatory reservation
In collaboration with EIUC - University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization

4:00pm - Rain and Sparks - at the Casinò - Ca' Vendramin Calergi
Celebrated author Jabbour Douaihy and popular Italian journalist Gad Lerner were both born in Lebanon, Douaihy in Zgharta in 1949; Lerner in Beirut in 1954. They will speak with Elisabetta Bartuli and Emanuela Trevisan Semi in Italian and French. Translation available. Admission: Free until seating is at capacity
In collaboration with Spazio Eventi al Casinò di Venezia

6:30pm - Gold, Silver, Sugar and Ice - at the Malibran Theatre
World-renowned British novelist, poet and short-story writer Dame Antonia Susan Duffy, better known as A.S. Byatt, won the 1990 Booker Prize for her novel, Possession. Her newest book, Ragnarok: the End of the Gods, will be released in September. Byatt will speak with Irene Bignardi and Anna Nadotti in English. Translation available. Admission: 7 euro
In collaboration with Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia

9:00pm - Outfield Voice - at the Punta della Dogana
Dubravka Ugrešić was born in Croatia but now lives in the Netherlands. According to Wikipedia: "After the outbreak of the war in 1991 in former Yugoslavia, Ugrešić took a firm anti-war and anti-nationalistic stand. She wrote critically about nationalism, the stupidity and criminality of war, and soon became a target of nationalistically charged media. She was proclaimed a “traitor”, a “public enemy” and a “witch”.[4] She left Croatia in 1993 after a series of public attacks." Ugrešić will speak with Neval Berber and Laura Graziano in English. Translation available. Admission: Free with mandatory reservation
In collaboration with Palazzo Grassi and Wake Forest University

Friday, April 15

9:00am - Where a Writer Arrives and Causes a Big Mess - Santa Margherita Auditorium
Born in Tel Aviv in 1967, Etgar Keret is one of the leading voices in Israeli literature and cinema. Todd McEwen reviewed Missing Kissinger in The Guardian: "...I enjoyed these wild, blackly inventive pieces, very much at times - they might have been dreamed up by a mad scientist rather than a writer." Keret himself wrote in an opinion piece for the LA Times entitled Middle East 'proportionality': "The only equation I can wholeheartedly accept is one whereby zero bodies appear on either side of the equation. And until that time comes, I'll choose outcry and protest that appeal solely to the heart. I shall reserve my appeals to the mind for better times." Keret will speak in English with Emanuela Trevisan Semi and Monica Capuani. Translation available. Admission: free with mandatory reservation.
In collaboration with il Centro Veneziano di Studi Ebraici Internazionali

10:30am - The Boom in Russian Disco - at the Santa Margherita Auditorium
According to Wikipedia, Wladimir Kaminer "is a Russian-born German short story writer, columnist, and disc jockey of Jewish[1][2] origin." Kaminer will speak with Ulrike Kindl and Stefania Sbarra in German. Translation available. Admission: Free with mandatory reservation. 
In collaboration with il Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani 

12:00pm - Ordinary Persecution - at the Santa Margherita Auditorium
Wikipedia: "Nathan Englander is a Jewish-American author born in Long Island, NY in 1970. For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1999, won widespread critical acclaim, earning Englander the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Malamud Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Sue Kauffman Prize, and established him as an important writer of fiction." Alessandro Piperno "(born Rome, March 25, 1972) is an Italian writer and literary critic of Jewish descent, having a Jewish father and a Catholic mother." Englander and Piperno will speak with Gianfrano Bettin in English and Italian. Admission: free with mandatory reservation.
In collaboration with the Assessorato alle Politiche Giovanili e alla Pace and the Centro Veneziano di Studi Ebraici Internazionali

3:00pm - Poets for Czesław Miłosz - Presented by the Polish Institute of Rome and Incroci di Civiltà
at Palazzo Ducale - Salla dello Scrutinio
A gaggle of writers - Antonella Anedda, Ewa Lipska, Julia Hartwig, Hans de Waarsenburg, Adam Zagajewski, Tomas Venclova, Ryszard Krynicki, Michael Kruger, Breyten Bretytenbach, Urszula Koziol, Ali Podrimja, Tomasz Rozycki - will honor the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004). From Wikipedia:
"Miłosz was a Polish poet, prose writer and translator of Lithuanian origin and subsequent American citizenship. His World War II-era sequence The World, is a collection of 20 "naive" poems. He defected to the West in 1951 and his non-fiction book The Captive Mind (1953) is one of the classics of anti-Stalinism. From 1961 to 1998 he was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1980, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature." Introduction by Adam Michnik and Francesca Fornari. Various languages. Translation available. Admission: free with mandatory reservation
In collaboration with Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia and Centro Interdipartimentale di Studi Balcanici e Internazationali - Ca' Foscari Venezia 

9:00pm - Yellow and Black - Gianrico Carofiglio - at Ateneo Veneto
Former anti-Mafia prosecutor and novelist Gianrico Carofiglio talks with writer Alberto Toso Fei in Italian. Admission: free until seating is at capacity. 
In collaboration with Ateneo Veneto

Saturday, April 16 

9:00am - The First Root - The Land of Catalan - at Santa Margherita Auditorium
Catalan writer Maria Barbal will speak with Patrizio Rigobon in the Catalan language. Translation available. Admission: free with mandatory reservation.
In collaboration with Institut Ramon Llull

10:30am - Certain Looks, Certain Voices - at Santa Margherita Auditorium
Spanish poet Guillermo Carnero will speak in Spanish with Elide Pittarello. Translation available. Admission: free with mandatory reservation
In collaboration with Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia

12:00pm - Klezcomics: Comics, Cats and Rabbis - at Santa Margherita Auditorium
According to Wikipedia, Joann Sfar "is considered one of the most important artists of the new wave of Franco-Belgian comics. Many of his comics were published by L'Association which was founded in 1990 by Jean-Christophe Menu and six other artists. He also worked together with many of the new movement's main artists, e.g. David B. and Lewis Trondheim. The Donjon series which he created with Trondheim has a cult following in many countries." Sfar will speak in French with Paolo Interdonato and Marie-Christine Jamet. Translation available. Admission: free with mandatory reservation
In collaboration with Alliance Française Venezia

3:30pm - Between Heaven & Hell: The Discovery of Iceland - at Santa Margherita Auditorium 
Jón Kalman Stefánsson won the Icelandic Literary Prize for his novel Summer Light, and then Comes the Night. His English-language début, Heaven and Hell, was published in 2010. Stefánsson will speak with Massimiliano Bampi in Icelandic -- and yes, translation is available:) Admission: free with mandatory reservation. 
In collaboration with the Icelandic Literary Fund

6:00pm - The Serious Traveler - at Teatro Malibran 
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul is better known as V. S. Naipual. In awarding V.S. Naipaul the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, the Swedish Academy praised his work "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." The Committee added, "Naipaul is a modern philosophe carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres Persians and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony." Sir Vidiadhar will speak with Matteo Codignola and Flavio Gregori in English. Translation available. Admission 7 euro.
In collaboration with Literary Review and the Italian Association for the study of English Culture & Literature

For appointments at the Malibran Theater: 
Phone: 041. 2424

For appointments for reserved seating at the Santa Margherita Auditorium, Ca' Foscari, Palazzo Ducale and Punta della Dogana:
Phone: 041-5210255

"...books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's teeth: and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye." -- John Milton, 1644

Ciao from Venice,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to your coverage of the conference. And mille grazie for letting me know about the feedburner problemo. It's Mercury in retrograde!Ciao ciao. Some pics of any spring blooms would be nice too.