Multipli Forti is a first annual appointment to open the Contemporary Italian Literary Fiction Festival in New York City. It will take place over three days, June 6th to 8th, and in three different locations: the Italian Cultural Institute, the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), and the Rizzoli Bookstore, but many of the participants are writers, publishers and scholars, both Italians and Americans.
Chiara Benetollo, Luca Briasco, Monica Calabritto, Alessandro Giammei e Eugenio Refini are the scholars leading the panels of this event promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute under the direction of Fabio Finotti, in collaboration with Maria Ida Gaeta, artistic director of FUIS – Federazione Unitaria Italiana Scrittori (Italian Federation of Writers).
The goal of this initiative is to maintain an open dialogue among people in the publishing world who contribute to the creation, translation, editing and publication of Italian contemporary literature, but also to keep an open channel, “a transatlantic window” as it has been described, towards the United States, to explore various themes.
Throughout this first edition, the discussions will focus on six major themes: “destini collettivi e personali” (collective and personal destinies) where writing in the first person doesn’t neglect the collective experience, “italianità in sé”, (“Italianicity”) that explores the influence of foreign literary trends, “il corpo a corpo con la realtà” (hand in hand with reality) where the chivalric trope intersects with the contemporary political engagement, “classicismo” (classicism) to trace the continuity with the traditional novel, “la menzogna romanzesca” (the fiction lie) where the attention is focused inward towards the self, “genio dei luoghi” (genius of places), the last theme, is to explore vernacular local literary traditions.
To discuss these many trends of contemporary literature, a plethora of protagonists in the publishing world have been invited, including Claudia Durasanti, finalist in the Premio Strega competition in 2019 with his book La Straniera, already translated in twenty-one languages; Michela Murgia, one of the most powerful voices in the Italian literary and cultural debates on social issues; André Aciman, who needs little introduction after the global sensation of the novel, Call Me by Your Name; Jonathan Bazzi, also finalist for the Strega Prize with their autobiographical Febbre (2020) who explores questions of gender issues; Ann Goldstein, best known as the translator of another global success, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels and many others.
The festival will also focus on a discussion on ways to promote Italian contemporary novels in America and one special event is dedicated to The Bridge Book Award, an event that since 2015 “unites Italian and American cultures, and aims to strengthen mutual understanding through Literature”.