Literature: Nobel Prize winners at Mantua Festival


ANSA English Media Service
June 21, 2004


(ANSA) – ROME, June 21 – One of the most eagerly expected
cultural events in Italy this summer is the festival of
literature Festivaletteratura held from September 8 to September
12 in Mantua, northern Italy, which will welcome over 180
writers, including three Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Toni Morrison
and South Africa’s John M. Coetzee for literature and U.S.
Joseph Stiglitz for economics.

The festival’s feature will again be the chance to bring
authors and readers closer to enjoy conversations no matter
whether the writers are Nobel Prize laureates or international
celebrities such as Ken Follett, Doris Lessing, Luis Sepulveda,
or renowned Italian authors such as Umberto Eco, Tullio De
Mauro, or Antonio Tabucchi.

The festival will preserve its proud general character and
will cater to the various tastes of the readers but will offer
more moments for reflection.

Festivaletteratura will present for discussion war beyond in
the present days with witnesses and analyses of theories through
the historical epochs. The need to remember will be a line
connecting books about the Shoah, the Hebrew word for the
Holocaust, the genocide against the Armenians to what has yet to
be said about the tragedy of Vajont where in October 1963 a
strong wave topped a dam and killed many people in the nearby

The theme of identity will include writers who tried to
incite the cultural conscience in their countries to react
against dictatorship and those whose works revive in a
conflicting way the relations between the colonising countries,
whose language they use, and their original culture.

Esoterics will trace the great mysticsists of the past, from
the Buddhist practice to popular Christian tradition.

The Festivaletteratura is also voluntary work, the organisers
said. The volunteers of the festival have invited the writers to
discuss literature and passion with musical intervals.

This year’s festival will also have a rich section dedicated
to children, with invasion of “adult” writers in children’s

The traditional meetings with authors this year include the
full reading of Teofilo Folengo’s poem Baldus. The poetry
section will see Iranian Abbas Kiarostami and Israel’s Meir
Wieseltier and Italians Maurizio Cucchi, Fabrizia Ramondino,
Giampiero Neri and Roberto Amato.

The Festivaletteratura will offer organise meetings with
young Italian and foreign authors, the music of Italian Paolo
Fresu and the Alborada quartet and an evening dedicated to
British writer Ian McEwan with performances of his short story
Conversation With A Cupboard Man and his novel The Child In Time
with Italian actor Eugenio Allegri. (ANSA/krc).