is an Italian writer, translator and literary critic.
Gianni Celati was born in Sondrio
Sondrio is an Italian town and comune located in the heart of the Valtellina. Sondrio counts approximately 22,000 inhabitants and it is the administrative centre for the Lombard Province of Sondrio.- History :...
, but spent his infancy and adolescence in the province of Ferrara
The Province of Ferrara is a province in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Ferrara.It has an area of 2,632 km², about two thirds of the area of the U.S. State of Rhode Island, and a total population of about 350,000 . There are 26 comuni in the province , see...
. He graduated in English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....
with a degree on James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...
by the teacher Carlo Izzo of the University of Bologna
The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088...
, where he would later teach (he also taught at the Caen University, at Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...
, and at Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...
His first book, Comiche
, was published in 1970 in the Giulio Einaudi
Giulio Einaudi was one of the most important publishers in Italian history.-Biography:Giulio Einaudi was born in Dogliani in 1912, the son of Luigi Einaudi, future president of the Italian Republic, and his wife Ida.He attended the Massimo d'Azeglio liceo classico, and became a student of noted...
's publishing company with an introduction by Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories , and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler .Lionised in Britain and the United States,...
, with whom he planned to found a literary magazine which never came to light. Another writer interested in the projects was Carlo Ginzburg
Carlo Ginzburg is a noted historian and proponent of the field of microhistory. He is best known for his Il formaggio e I vermi which examined the beliefs of an Italian heretic, Menocchio, from Montereale Valcellina.- Biography :The son of Natalia Ginzburg and Leone Ginzburg, he was born...
. All the letters are preserved and published later by the magazine "Riga", no. 14 (1998), which later dedicated the entire no. 28 (2008) to Celati.
His three novels Le avventure di Guizzardi
(1972), La banda dei sospiri
(1976), and Lunario del paradiso
(1978) were later published together in Parlamenti buffi
(1998), with a leave-letter of the author to his own book, which marked his passage from Einaudi to the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli
Giangiacomo Feltrinelli was an Italian publisher and left-wing political activist. He founded the publishing house Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore in 1954. He was also a communist and founded the GAP militant grouping in 1970...
's publishing company.
In 1985, he wrote the stories of Narratori delle pianure
(Grinzane Cavour Prize); in 1987 Quattro novelle sulle apparenze
; and in 1989 Verso la foce
(Mondello Prize). The three books reaveal a new direction in the author's style, more serious and visual after the amusing and explosive wordy manner of the previous ones.
In 1994, he wrote L'Orlando innamorato raccontato in prosa
, derived from the Orlando in Love
Orlando Innamorato is an epic poem written by the Italian Renaissance author Matteo Maria Boiardo. The poem is a romance concerning the heroic knight Orlando .-Composition and publication:...
of Matteo Maria Boiardo
Matteo Maria Boiardo was an Italian Renaissance poet.Boiardo was born at, or near, Scandiano ; the son of Giovanni di Feltrino and Lucia Strozzi, he was of noble lineage, ranking as Count of Scandiano, with seignorial power over Arceto, Casalgrande, Gesso, and Torricella...
. In 1998, he collected his notes from African travelling in Avventure in Africa
(Feronia Prize). This book was awarded with the Zerilli-Marimò Prize for Italian Fiction
The Zerilli-Marimò Prize for Italian Fiction is an Italian American literary award funded by Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò. The award winning book is selected as being especially worthy of the attention of readers in North America and the English-speaking world...
In 2000, Rebecca J. West dedicated her Gianni Celati: The Craft of Everyday Storytelling
to his writings (published by University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...
Other stories by Celati were collected in Cinema naturale
(2001, Piero Chiara Prize). In 2005, he published the pseudo-anthropological study Fata Morgana
(2005, Ennio Flaiano Prize). In 2006, he won the Viareggio Prize
The Viareggio Literary Prize is a prestigious Italian literary award, whose first edition was in 1930, and is named after the Tuscan city of Viareggio...
for his novel Vite di pascolanti
and made the third James K. Binder Lectureship in Literature at the University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...
in San Diego on "Fellini
Federico Fellini, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI , was an Italian film director and scriptwriter. Known for a distinct style that blends fantasy and baroque images, he is considered one of the most influential and widely revered filmmakers of the 20th century...
on the Italian Male".
Celati has translated works by Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...
, William Gerhardie
William Alexander Gerhardie was a British novelist and playwright.Gerhardie was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s . H.G. Wells also championed his work...
, Herman Melville
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd....
Marie-Henri Beyle , better known by his pen name Stendhal, was a 19th-century French writer. Known for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology, he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism in his two novels Le Rouge et le Noir and La Chartreuse de Parme...
, Louis Ferdinand Céline, Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...
, Roland Barthes
Roland Gérard Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician. Barthes' ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, anthropology and...
, Jack London
John Griffith "Jack" London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone...
, Henri Michaux
Henri Michaux was a highly idiosyncratic Belgian-born poet, writer, and painter who wrote in French. He later took French citizenship. Michaux is best known for his esoteric books written in a highly accessible style, and his body of work includes poetry, travelogues, and art criticism...
, Georges Perec
Georges Perec was a French novelist, filmmaker, documentalist and essayist. He is a member of the Oulipo group...
, and others.
He also directed a few documentaries, such as Strada Provinciale delle Anime
(1991), Il Mondo di Luigi Ghirri
(1999, on the Italian photographer
Luigi Ghirri was an Italian photographer. Born in Scandiano, Ghirri began taking photographs in 1970, mostly working in a milieu of conceptual artists. From 1983 he focussed primarily on photographing architecture and the Italian landscape...
), Case Sparse
(2003), and Diol Kadd
(2010, shot in Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...
); while starred in Mondonuovo
(2003) by the director Davide Ferrario, a movie on Celati's childhood.
He lives in Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...
- Comiche, Einaudi, Turin, 1971 (novel)
- Le avventure del Guizzardi, Einaudi, 1972; Feltrinelli, Milan, 1989; 1994 (novel)
- La banda dei sospiri, Einaudi, 1976; Feltrinelli, 1989; 1998 (novel)
- Finzioni occidentali, Einaudi 1975; 1986; 2001 (essays)
- Lunario del paradiso, Einaudi, 1978; Feltrinelli 1989; 1996 (novel)
- Alice disambientata, L'erba voglio, Milan, 1978; Le lettere, Rome, 2007 (pseudo-essay on Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll , was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the...
- Narratori delle pianure, Feltrinelli, 1985; 1988; translated by Robert Lumley, Voices from the plains, Serpent's Tail, London, 1989 (stories)
- Quattro novelle sulle apparenze, Feltrinelli, 1987; 1996; translated by Stuart Hood
Stuart Hood is a Scottish novelist, translator and a former British television producer and Controller of the BBC's most popular television network, BBC One. He was born in Edzell, Angus, Scotland.-Life:...
as Appearances, Serpent's Tail, 1991 (stories)
- La farsa dei tre clandestini. Un adattamento dai Marx Brothers, Baskerville, Bologna, 1987 (theatre)
- Verso la foce, Feltrinelli 1988; 1992 (travels)
- Parlamenti buffi, Feltrinelli, 1989 (including Le avventure del Guizzardi, La banda dei sospiri, and Lunario del paradiso)
- L'Orlando innamorato raccontato in prosa, Einaudi, 1994 (rewriting in prose of the classical poem)
- Recita dell'attore Attilio Vecchiatto al teatro di Rio Saliceto, Feltrinelli, 1996 (theatre)
- Avventure in Africa, Feltrinelli 1998; 2000; translated by Adria Bernardi, Adventures in Africa, foreword of Rebecca J. West, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2000 (travels)
- Cinema naturale, Feltrinelli 2001; 2003 (stories)
- Fata Morgana, Feltrinelli, 2005 (pseudo-essay)
- Vite di pascolanti, Nottetempo, Rome, 2006 (stories)
- Costumi degli italiani: 1. Un eroe moderno, Quodlibet, Macerata, 2008 (stories)
- Costumi degli italiani: 2. Il benessere arriva in casa Pucci, Quodlibet 2008 (stories)
- Sonetti del Badalucco nell'Italia odierna, Feltrinelli, 2010 (poems as if written by Attilio Vecchiatto, character of the 1996 book and theatrical work)
- Rebecca J. West, Gianni Celati: The Craft of Everyday Storytelling, University of Toronto Press, 2000