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Australia – Sydney commemorates the anniversary of Bassani’s birth with two events

Sydney will host two lectures on Italian writer and poet Giorgio Bassani to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. The University of Sydney’s School of Languages & Culture will host Professor Anna Dolfi’s lectures entitled “Giorgio Bassani: scrivere ‘di la’ dal cuore'” (Giorgio Bassani: writing “beyond the heart”) on Sept. 14 and “Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini: prologo ed epilogo, la nascita di un romanzo” (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis: Prologue and Epilogue, the Birth of a Novel) on Sept. 15. The Italian Cultural Institute (IIC) in Sydney collaborated in organising the two events. Anna Dolfi is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature at the University of Florence and an expert on Bassani. She is a member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and of the National Celebrations Committee of the Centenary of Giorgio Bassani’s Birth, as well as a scholar of Italian poet Leopardi and 19th century prose and poetry. Following her book “Le forme del sentimento. Prosa e poesia in Giorgio Bassani”, she reviewed the whole of Bassani’s collected works in “Giorgio Bassani. Una scrittura della malinconia”. Her essays have been published in Italy and abroad. Giorgio Bassani was born on March 4, 1916 to an upper middle-class Jewish family. He spent his youth and childhood in Ferrara before moving to Rome in 1943, where he would spend the rest of his life working as a writer and journalist. The lecture on Sept. 14 will focus on his melancholic works and how his writing evolved after “the death of the self”. It is a process described as coming from “beyond the heart”, driven by a need to bear witness to and record a “song of death” that – in both his prose and poetry – bordered on the unspeakable. The second lecture on Sept. 15 will be dedicated to his most famous novel, “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis”. The lecture will be preceded by the screening of a clipping from Vittorio De Sica’s Oscar-winning film by the same name. Professor Dolfi and Cristina Mauceri of the University of Sydney will then exchange views on the movie and Bassani’s works.

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