FESTIVAL DEGLI SCRITTORI
Premio von Rezzori – Città di Firenze XI Edizione
I Luoghi della letteratura / in collaboration with L’Estate Fiorentina
14–17 June 2017
Premio Gregor von Rezzori:
Mathias Énard, Bussola, e/o
The 2017 Festival degli Scrittori began on the stage of the Odeon Theater with Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Zadie Smith and Luigi Lo Cascio who told the long history of migrants over the centuries. Joining them was Juan Gabriel Vasquez and poet and writer-director Atiq Rahimi, winner of the Prix Goncourt. Great international literature returned to Florence with the five finalists of the Premio Gregor von Rezzori: Lázlo Krasznarhorkai and his visionary style, an almost physical experience of literature; Edouard Louis and the scandal of stories that are an act of accusation against propriety; Mathias Enard's Orient, a mirage in extremity, the origin of everything; Clemens Meyer's East Germany Post 1989, where boys collect the rubble of a fallen world; and the cultured and stubborn Mexico of Valeria Luiselli, literature as essential as the body we live in. The Grand Prize was accompanied by the Gregor von Rezzori Young Readers Award. One hundred high school students in Florence reviewed the finalists' books and the best reviews were awarded. Also the young writers of Porto delle Storie were be the focus of our opening afternoon with Paolo Giordano.
The Festival, which has a new section 'The places of literature' in collaboration with L'Estate Fiorentina, was spread throughout the city: on the Balconata of Palazzo Strozzi, in the independent bookstores of the historic center and in the Cenacolo of Santa Croce. Here Dany Laferrière, Prix Médicis and Academician of France, delivered his lectio magistralis.
The Festival degli Scrittori was born from the Santa Maddalena Foundation chaired by Beatrice Monti della Corte, wife of Gregor von Rezzori, and currently directed by writer Andrew Sean Greer.
(click calendar to enlarge, or here for a schedule)
The Premio Gregor von Rezzori – Città di Firenze was founded in 2007 in honour of the Central European novelist. Initially held in the monastery of Vallombrosa, it moved to Florence in 2010 and expanded to become a literary festival including readings, interviews and theatrical events. Two prizes are awarded. The first is given to the best work of foreign fiction published in Italy within the last year, and aims to provide an international forum for writers and the Italian public to meet and discuss literature and the world of ideas. In 2016, this was awarded to Mircea Cartarescu for his book Blinding, by a jury comprised of Ernesto Ferrero, the jury’s president, Beatrice von Rezzori, President of the Santa Maddalena Foundation, Andrea Bajani, Alberto Manguel and Edmund White. The Festival also seeks to confront literary parochialism by introducing Italians and others to exciting contemporary fiction appearing in other languages. To that end, a second prize is awarded to the best translation into Italian that year. This year the prize was awarded to Anna D'Elia, for her translation of Terminus Radioso by Antoine Volodine.
Each year the festival also includes a lectio magistralis. These have so far been given by Claudio Magris, John Banville, Carlos Fuentes, Michael Cunningham, Zadie Smith, Michael Ondaatje, Patrick McGrath, Emmanuel Carrère, Jhumpa Lahiri and Etgar Keret. This year it was given by Dany LaFerrière; you can read the full text here.
The eleventh edition of the Festival degli Scrittori will take place between 14th and 17th June 2017.