Impressions from the International Literature Festival of Mantova, 2012

Karen Blixen through a Theatrical reading and a stunning interview with Toni Morrison, famous afroamerican writer. Amazing, Touching, Unexpected and full of new sources of inspirations,  all happening in a city that suffered from the spring earthquake that hit Italy this year. Both seen on 9/9/2012


Here a summary of the events (from the official website):
The fate of Scheherazade

Luca Scarlini,  through pictures and melodies, shapes reminiscent of Karen Blixen, at her fiftieth anniversary of death.

Madama Blixen is compared to Sheherazade, the protagonist of the famous collection of short stories “the Arabian Nights” which, to escape from a cruel fate, tells stories. To escape her identity and her origins, she decides to adopt various forms and identifies in various characters : Greta Garbo, the goddess Minerva, Osceola, the Fairy Queen Titania until Isak Dinesen, which remains one of the names under which some signature works.

Her life in Africa was shocked by the diagnosis of a terrible disease: syphilis ; at this tragic event also a  divorce with her husband occurred.

After returning to her homeland, the writer begins the work that made her famous — ” Seven gothic tales “written in English, which is the language of her impossible love, ovveor husband’s twin brother, who died in a plane crash. As shown in the photos chosen by Scarlini, the baronetta turns up year after year in a living skeleton: ‘ I’m sure I’ll be a beautiful corpse», she used to tel to reporters. She  identified herself  in the witch Amiane , who in the play “the revenge of truth”, does a spell so all those lies became truth.

«All men have nostalgia of magic and need magic to be happy».

After several years of struggle, Karen Blixen died at the age of 77 years , leaving behind a huge Gothic heritage, which will never end of fascinate the world.



Writing and identity (retrospective Toni Morrison)

James Baldwin said “Toni Morrison is an ally, a friend of which it is difficult to talk, read it from pain as you count down things into truth.” With these words, Paola Boi opened the last encounter of the festival dedicated to American writer, focusing on the theme of Scripture and of identity.

In her work the author has managed to address the issue of slavery without being overwhelmed, with the ability to go beyond the issue of African-Americans, to recall that initially the whites who came to America to work as blacks were slaves; the contracts signed before rather than after they passed to their children and the children of their children.

Then, after Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 in Virginia, where poor whites and blacks joined, were promulgated laws that sanctioned a legal separation, granting privileges to the poor whites compared to poor color and giving rise to hatred and racism among the two groups. Morrison not only manages not to be crushed by this heavy burden; Unlike many colleagues, never falls into the rhetoric of victimization and that you can deleting the white man, the enemy, from text: the world opens and besides suffering there are other possibilities, other things that need to be told.
The violence inherent in this fact but most often translates into a dismemberment of household and abandoned by the mother. It is one of the most terrible consequences of slavery, which he considered the sons of slaves as goods, not susceptible to women at an early age, so as not to create links, families, because if these families had existed, it would be linked to other, and then to others, forming a village. It was necessary to ensure that the slaves were isolated individuals so that they can be checked. As written by Morrison in “Beloved”, when the children were taken away so small there were only anecdotes, memories, “as one could recognize what starting hands belonged to her son?»
The magnitude of Toni Morrison is not only in what he writes, but in how he writes: manages to capture the reader, so that it becomes part of the text, keeping some information and revealing other so outspoken, brutal. Meet Toni Morrison or read Toni Morrison leaves an indelible trace.



About Odile Milton

I travel through words whenever possible. Odile Milton is my signature on the web as I wanted an alter ego to indicate only my writings and works, not my personal life. Odile like the dancer in black swan, and Milton from the novel An old-fashioned girl. View all posts by Odile Milton

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