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The Garden of Memory



The Garden of Memory

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2020, Italian writer and essayist Alberto Rollo will hold a series of lectures focused on the theme of the Jewish identity in Italy, titled The Garden of Memory.

The calendar of the lectures is as follows:

Starting from Giorgio Bassani's novel, "The garden of Finzi-Continis", Rollo analyses how an Italian generation (the one born during and immediately after the Second World War) discovered, mostly through literature rather than through school and institutions, the existence of the holocaust, the existence of social hatred, the existence of Jews, in short, the exact existence of a cultural, religious, even physiognomic identity, which is never actually revealed and absorbed if not only after the Holocaust, when Italian writers (Jews and non-Jews) start narrating stories in which we have real Jewish characters and not caricature stereotypes.
Suddenly there is the realization that something terrible has happened and there is who narrates first-person accounts (Primo Levi), who recounts family stories (Natalia Ginzburg), and those who write, as Giorgio Bassani does, of the secrecy of a place (the garden of a rich mansion) where the effects of racial laws (after 1938) seem to be distant and imperfect. Since then, Italian fiction and poetry have never stopped exploring the Jewish side of Italian identity: from Umberto Saba to Giacomo Noventa, from Franco Fortini to Elsa Morante, to the works of Piperno and Lia Levi.

Alberto Rollo
Alberto Rollo (Milan, 1951) is an Italian writer, essayist and literary critic.
He has been editorial director of Baldini+Castoldi and, for over twenty years, Head of paperback and Literary Director for Feltrinelli publishing house.He occasionally collaborates with the newspapers "La Repubblica" and "La Stampa".
He has translated contemporary British and American authors, such as Washington Irving, Jonathan Coe, Harold Brodkey, Steven Millhauser, as well as the autobiography of Frank Capra, “The name above the title” (minimum fax 2015). He made his debut in fiction in 2016 with “Un'educazione Milanese” (An education in Milan, Manni Editori), which won the Alvaro-Bigiaretti Prize and the Pisa Award and was a finalist in the Strega Prize, the Stresa Prize and the Chianti Prize.


Date: Da Monday, February 03, 2020 a Friday, February 07, 2020

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Pretoria

In collaboration with : Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, Durban Holocaust & Genocide Centre, Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre

Entrance : Free