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CHALLENGES - Life and power: inconvenient truths

Giacomo Marramao

Philosopher: Giacomo Marramao

Read: Potere, scrittura, vita - Unpublished



The evening is opened by the philosopher Giacomo Marramao, who is Professor of Theoretical and Political Philosophy at the University of Rome 3. He is the director of the Fondazione Basso and a member of the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. Most of his essays deal with the category of time, including L'ordine disincantato (Editori Riuniti, Roma 1985), Minima temporalia. Tempo, spazio, esperienza (Il Saggiatore, Milano 1990), Kairos. Apologia del tempo debito and Cielo e terra. Genealogia della secolarizzazione (both published by Laterza, Bari 1992 and 1994). With Angelo Bolaffi, Marramao wrote Frammento e sistema. Il conflitto-mondo da Sarajevo a Manhattan (Donzelli, Roma 2001). His most recent book is La passione del presente. Breve lessico della modernità-mondo (Bollati Boringhieri 2008), which rediscovers the dialogical vocation of philosophy.

The Romanian-born German writer Herta Müller, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, is the guest of the evening. Her latest book, L'altalena del respiro (Atemschaukel, 2009), was published in Italy on May 5, 2010 by Feltrinelli. Müller was born in a German-speaking village in the Romanian Banat in western Romania. In 1976, Müller began working as a translator for an engineering factory, but was dismissed in 1979 for her refusal to cooperate with the Securitate, the Communist regime's secret police. After her dismissal she initially earned a living by teaching kindergarten and giving private German lessons. After being refused permission to emigrate to West Germany in 1985, Müller was finally allowed to leave along with her husband, novelist Richard Wagner, in 1987, and they settled in West Berlin, where they still live. Through her prose and poetical works, Herta Müller restores the memory of everyday life and of the persecution of German-speaking communities in Romania during the Ceausescu dictatorship.

The evening is closed by the writer Maurizio Maggiani. He turned to writing when he was almost forty years old, almost by accident: a letter to a girlfriend that became a story in itself, Prontuario per la donna senza cuore, which won a weekly contest in 1987. After this auspicious debut, he continued to write and published several novels (Il coraggio del pettirosso, winner of the Premio Viareggio and the Premio Campiello 1995; La regina disadorna, winner of the Premio Alassio and the Premio Stresa 1999; Il viaggiatore notturno, winner of the Premio Strega and the Premio Ernest Hemingway 2005, all published by Feltrinelli). His last book Meccanica celeste (Feltrinelli 2010), is a trip into memory through the "places of the soul", where geographical and temporal distances flow together, and men and women are the custodians of memory.


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