All events will take place in the Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus, via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere), unless otherwise indicated.
25 October 2017, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, Book Presentation: Anthony Molino's Translation of Paolo Febbraro's The Diary of Kaspar Hauser. Both the author and translator will participate in the event.
This intriguing gem of a book is a direct, germinal expression of the author's longstanding fascination with the figure of the Idiot in Western literature. Part notebook, part ethical treatise, part fantasized autobiography, The Diary of Kaspar Hauser is a striking collection of forty or so haiku-like compositions, diary entries imagined to have been penned by the "idiot" Kaspar Hauser and discovered, by chance, after his death by brutal murder, among the papers of his patron, Franz Paul Webern. (Franz is Kaspar's interlocutor throughout the poems.) This hyperpoetic component of the book – inspired by Werner Herzog's masterful film - is sandwiched between two essays: the first, an Introduction recounting the remarkable discovery and history of the fabled manuscript; the second, comprising a one-page Epilogue (which details the death of Kaspar) along with a letter in the form of an Appendix by a fictional, highly cultured, Borges-like literary critic who converses with the eponymous "Febbraro" about his startling, dreamlike find.
The book has all the characteristics – concision of language, fanciful flights of fiction and criticism in concentrated poetic form, sparse elements of theatrical dialogue, a fierce philosophical underpinning – to make for an "ancient novelty" of sorts: a daring book that surprises and forces us to rethink what we think we already know.
"Magnificent. Paolo Febbraro is an extraordinary poet and his Kaspar Hauser is a hymn to pure ingenuity and intelligence, a book that raises challenging questions." –Luis Sepùlveda
"What is this space with limitless temporalities and voices rendered with such beauty by Febbraro and translator Molino? It is our inner world, the realm of everything, and this precious poem is a gift to all of us." –Christopher Bollas
"Molino's versions capture the otherness of Febbraro's original extremely well, and have a disconcerting vitality to them." –Prof. Peter Hainsworth, University of Oxford
Paolo Febbraro was born in Rome in 1965. One of Italy's most ingenious and innovative writers, he is the author of four books of poetry: Il secondo fine (Marcos y Marcos, 1999), Il Diario di Kaspar Hauser (L'Obliquo, 2003), Il bene materiale. Poesie 1992-2007 (Scheiwiller, 2008) and Fuori per l'inverno (Nottetempo, 2014). Among his critical works: I poeti italiani della «Voce» (Marcos y Marcos, 1998); the anthology La critica militante (Poligrafico dello Stato, 2001); and noteworthy studies on figures such as Aldo Palazzeschi, Umberto Saba, Primo Levi, and Seamus Heaney. A regular contributor to the influential cultural pages of Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore, Febbraro has also authored a major critical study entitled L'idiota. Una storia letteraria [The Idiot: A Literary History]. His most recent book is the collection of short stories titled I grandi fatti (Pendragon, 2016)
Anthony Molino is a widely published psychoanalyst and award-winning translator from the Italian. His translations include Antonio Porta's Kisses from Another Dream (City Lights Books, 1987), Melusine (Guernica Editions, 1992) and Kisses, Dreams and Other Infidelities (Xenos Books, 2004); Valerio Magrelli's Nearsights (Graywolf Press, 1991) and The Contagion of Matter (Holmes & Meier, 2000); Lucio Mariani's Echoes of Memory (Wesleyan University Press, 2003) and Traces of Time (Open Letter Books, 2015), as well as two plays: Manlio Santanelli's Emergency Exit (with J. House, Xenos Books, 2000) and Eduardo De Filippo's The Nativity Scene (with P. Feinberg, Guernica Editions, 1997, also anthologized in 20th Century Italian Drama, Columbia University Press, 1995). For Chelsea Editions he has edited Magrelli's Instructions on How to Read a Newspaper and Other Poems (2008), which includes a re-issue of Nearsights.
15 November 2017, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Aula Magna Regina, A Reading by Daniel Connelly from his new book Donkey See, Donkey Do—A Dream Sequence.
In Donkey See, Donkey Do, Daniel Roy Connelly restores to literature the largely-absent figure of the four-legged beast of burden. This picaresque pamphlet tracks the alien Donkey's descent to earth and meagre beginnings through his ascent to the pinnacle of British establishment. Donkey's satirical meanderings through society allow the author to bring his sharp yet absurd eye to questions of contemporary identity, British populist politics, cultural memory, and the everlasting Pons Asinorum.
"Daniel Roy Connelly is one of the most strikingly original writers I've heard in a while – witty, keenly insightful, with a droll, pitch-perfect sense of timing, his work feels like a refreshing wake-up call." – NAOMI SHIHAB NYE
"Daniel Roy Connelly is a crackerjack fabulist with top-banana timing. His wordplay is infectious." – HELEN IVORY
A former British diplomat, Daniel is a theatre director, actor and professor of creative writing, English and theatre at John Cabot University and the American University of Rome. He has acted in and directed theatre in America, the UK, Italy and China, where his 2009 production of David Henry Hwang's M Butterfly was forced to close by the Chinese secret police. His writing is widely published in print and online. He was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize and winner of the 2015 Cúirt New Writing Prize for poetry.
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