Thursday, September 10, 2015

Festival Letteratura in Mantova, Italy

So I'm at the Mantova Letteratura Festival the rest of this week. They very kindly invited me and I am very much looking forward to seeing a number of amazing events that they have on their roster.

Mantova is a smallish city about two hours north of Bologna and the Festival takes over the entire centre of town with five days of events, hearing from writers and artists from all over the world.

Some things I am looking forward to:

Mantova, Italy: 
Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open is a 2012 movie about the life and career of Paul Bowles. Both Bowles and his wife (Jane Bowles) were writers I was crazy about when I was in my 20s and 30s (still re-read them both occasionally) and the film charts their relationship and how they journeyed to Northern Africa. It didn't get rave reviews but being such a fan of both of these writers works, I will be there without any hesitation.

Frank Zappa concert! (link is in Italian)

Another film is at the top of my list, Regarding Susan Sontag. I think I may have seen half of this documentary at a friend's place earlier this year. It was playing in the background but the entire room was dead to me as I scooched in close to pay attention to nothing else. A few people asserted that the film was a bit scandalous and less focused on her work than it might have been but I didn't notice that at all (and, again, I only saw half of the film).

Some other writers I am looking forward to seeing: Andre Dubus III, Kazuo Ishiguro, Massimo Carlotto, Joseph O'Connor, and others.

To me, one of the best things about my work is being able to travel to other Festivals, not only to see writers I know and whose work I admire, but to see new writers, to see other ways of organizing events, get ideas and see how different Festivals put together their programmes.

Mantova's Festival is a big one and something I've been looking forward to for some time.

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