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A round table on the occasion of the publication of GIORGIO BASSANI, New York Lectures and interviews, CPL Editions; a collection of the conferences and interviews held by the writer at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York. And the publication of American Lessons of Giorgio Bassani, edited by V.Cappozzo, Giorgio Pozzi publisher.

With the participation of:

Dalia Sofer, writer

Andrea Malaguti, University of Massachusetts

Paola Bassani, daughter of the writer


In Collaboration with Centro Primo Levi


Giorgio Bassani (4 March 1916 – 13 April 2000) was an Italian novelist, poet, essayist, editor, and international intellectual.

In 1940 his first book, Una città di pianura ("A City of the Plain"), was published under the pseudonym Giacomo Marchi in order to evade the race laws. During this period, along with friends he had made in Ferrara's intellectual circle, he became a clandestine political activist. His activity in the anti-fascist resistance led to his arrest in May 1943; he was released on 26 July, the day after Benito Mussolini was ousted from power. In 1953 was released Passeggiata prima di cena and in 1954 Gli ultimi anni di Clelia Trotti. In the same year he became editor of Paragone, a journal founded by Longhi and his wife Anna Banti. Bassani's writings reached a wider audience in 1956 with the publication of the Premio Strega-winning book of short stories, Cinque storie Ferraresi.

As an editorial director of Feltrinelli, Bassani was responsible for the posthumous publication in 1958 of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's Il Gattopardo, a novel which had been rejected by Elio Vittorini at Mondadori, and Einaudi. It became one of the great successes of post-war Italian literature. In 1958 Bassani's novel Gli occhiali d'oro (made into a film in 1987) was published, and offers an examination of the marginalisation of Jews and homosexuals. Together with stories from Cinque storie ferraresi (reworked and under the new title Dentro le mura (1973)) it was to form part of a series of works known collectively as Il romanzo di Ferrara, which explored the city, with its Christian and Jewish elements, its perspectives and its landscapes. The series includes: Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini (Garden of the Finzi-Continis) (1962, Premio Viareggio); Dietro la porta (1964); L'airone (1968) and L'odore del fieno (1972). These works realistically document the Italian Jewish community under Fascism in a style that manifests the difficulties of searching for truth in the meanderings of memory and moral conscience. In 1960 one of his novels was adapted as the film Long Night in 1943. Bassani died in 2000 and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Ferrara.

Dalia Sofer. Born in Tehran, Iran was raised in a Jewish family during revolutionary Iran, she eventually moved to New York City when she was 11. She attended the Lycée Français de New York, and went on to study French Literature at NYU with a minor in creative writing. She received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first novel, The Septembers of Shiraz, was published in 2007. Sofer is the recipient of the 2008 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for The Septembers of Shiraz. She has also won a 2007 Whiting Award for fiction, and has been a resident at Yaddo.

Andrea Malaguti is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.



Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : IIC NY

Entrance : Free


Italian Cultural Institute Cultura di New York