Homage to Gianni Celati

Wednesday 27 April, 6pm   
Homage to Gianni Celati   
A round table to commemorate and celebrate the significance of the work and legacy of Gianni Celati (1937 – 2022), with Professor Marco Belpoliti (University of Bergamo); Professor Robert Lumley (University College London); Professor Enrico Palandri (University College London / Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice); Dr Marina Spunta (University of Leicester); Dr Jean Talon Sampieri (author and translator).
Chaired by Dr Katia Pizzi, Director, ICI London
Organised by Dr Marina Spunta, University of Leicester.

Gianni Celati was a leading Italian writer, intellectual, critic, translator and film director. Born in Sondrio in 1937, Celati lectured in Anglo-American literature at the University of Bologna and was a protagonist of the creative season of the 1970s and 1980s, before moving to Brighton in the late 1980s. Celati’s multifaceted work, and his collaborations with other writers and artists, including the late photographer Luigi Ghirri, have shaped the course of contemporary Italian literature and other arts, making a significant contribution to Italian culture and beyond.

This event will pay homage to Gianni Celati’s life and work, reflect on his important legacy and bring his opera newly to the attention of an Anglophone audience.

The event will be in English and in Italian.
Followed by Q&A.


Marco Belpoliti is a writer and critic. Among his most recent books: L’occhio di Calvino (Einaudi, 2006); Il corpo del capo (Guanda, 2009); Settanta (Einaudi, 2010); La canottiera di Bossi (Guanda, 2012); Camera straniera. Alberto Giacometti e lo spazio (Johan & Levi, 2012); Da quella prigione. Moro Warhol e le Brigate Rosse (Guanda, 2012); Il segreto di Goya (Johan & Levi, 2013); L’età dell’estremismo (Guanda 2014), Primo Levi di fronte e di profilo (Guanda 2015), winner of The Bridge Prize; La strategia della farfalla (Guanda, 2016); La prova (Guanda, 2017); Pianura (Einaudi 2021), winner of the Dessì and Comisso Prizes; Photo Levi (Acquario editore 2021); Pasolini e il suo doppio (Guanda 2022). His books have been translated in various languages. He writes for La Repubblica and L’Espresso. He lectures at the University of Bergamo. With Elio Grazioli he is series editor of the journal Riga (Quodlibet). He has edited Primo Levi’s Opere complete (Einaudi, 2016-2017) and co-edited the Meridiano Mondadori on Gianni Celati, Romanzi, Cronache e Racconti (2016). He directs the online journal and publisher doppiozero.

Robert Lumley is Professor Emeritus of Italian Cultural History at UCL. He has written on social movements in Italy before and after 1968; Arte Povera and contemporary art; experimental and found footage filmmaking. His publications include: States of Emergency: Cultures and Revolt in Italy from 1968 to 1978 (Verso, 1990); Arte Povera (Tate Publications, 2005); and Dentro al fotogramma. Il cinema di Yervant Gianikian e Angela Ricci Lucchi (Feltrinelli, 2013). He translated Gianni Celati’s Narratori delle pianure (Feltrinelli, 1985) with the title Voices from the Plains (Serpent’s Tail, 1989).

Enrico Palandri (b. Venice 1956) is a Writer, Translator and Professor of Modern European Literature at University College London. Palandri graduated with a degree in Dramaturgy from the DAMS (The Disciplines of Art, Music and Theatre) at the University of Bologna, where he studied with Gianni Celati, Giuliano Scabia and Umberto Eco. After his first novel, Boccalone (1st edition L’erba voglio, 1979, latest edition Bompiani, 2017), he has published various novels (four have appeared in English). His latest novel to appear in Italian was L’inventore di se stesso (Bompiani, 2017). Six of his novels (1986-2010) have been reworked in the volume Le condizioni atmosferiche (Bompiani, 2020). He has also written poems, short stories, essays and scholarly volumes, including a book on Leopardi, Verso l’infinito(Bompiani, 2019).

Marina Spunta is Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Leicester. She has published on contemporary Italian literature, photography, place studies and orality/vocality, and on the work of Gianni Celati and Luigi Ghirri. She was the primary investigator of the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust funded research project Viewing and writing Italian landscape. Luigi Ghirri and his legacy in photography and literature (2013-2015). Among her publications: Voicing the Word: Writing Orality in Contemporary Italian Fiction (Peter Lang, 2004); Orality and literacy in modern Italian culture, co-ed with M. Caesar (Legenda, 2006); Claudio Piersanti (Cadmo, 2009); Letteratura come fantasticazione. In conversazione con Gianni Celati, co-ed. with L. Rorato (Edwin Mellen Press, 2009); Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives, co-ed. with J. Benci (Peter Lang, 2017); and the themed journal issue La scrittura dello sguardo. Gianni Celati e le arti visive, co-ed. with M. Martelli, ReCHERches, n. 24, 2020, https://journals.openedition.org/cher/624

Jean Talon was born in Bologna where he currently lives. He has translated and edited selected works by Henri Michaux and Georges Perec, and has co-edited the journal Il Semplice, almanacco delle prose(Feltrinelli, 1995-1997). With Ermanno Cavazzoni he worked as series editor for ‘Compagnia Extra’ (Quodlibet, 2008-2020) and made the radio documentary Vite grame dei pittori del Po (Rai Radio 3, 1999). His publications include some rewritings of Italian novellas in the collection Novelle stralunate dopo Boccaccio (Quodlibet, 2012) and, in 2016, the volume Incontri coi selvaggi (Quodlibet). He co-edited a selection of Gianni Celati’s critical essays in the volume Narrative in fuga (Quodlibet, 2019). He has written for the journals Doppiozero and Libération. He is a member of the OPLEPO (Opificio di Letteratura Potenziale), the Italian equivalent of the OULIPO.

By |2022-04-25T11:52:47+00:00April 12th, 2022|Blog, News|0 Comments