Patrizia Cavalli
Con passi giapponesi (Japanese Steps)
Einaudi, May 2019, 164 pages

Premio Campiello 2020 finalist

If poetry, as someone has said, is the only possible science, this poet’s prose reveals figurative, speculative and satirical abilities

“In these pages, we find the parallel and backward moral story that has accompanied for decades the work of one of the greatest contemporary poets. Not exactly narrative nor non-fiction, the analytical, visionary, perceptive and syntactic genius which here surprises the reader, has no precedent in twentieth-century Italian literature, if not perhaps in the prose of Roberto Longhi, Elsa Morante, Goffredo Parise.
However, these are more partial affinities rather than derivations: because in each of its chapters – each in its own way and with a different style, in autobiographical fragments, anecdotal parables, portraits and micro-philosophies of love, envy or sensory ecstasy – Con passi giapponesi obeys a single commandment: “I must understand”.
From the first text that gives the volume its title, the reader finds himself contemplating a comic-tragic world, labyrinthine to the point of dizziness, in which passions without success and desperate, forced social mannerisms come on stage, while life bleeds out, faking it.” Alfonso Berardinelli

Patrizia Cavalli

Patrizia Cavalli © Dino Ignani

Patrizia Cavalli was born in Todi, Umbria, and lives in Rome. She is the author of the poetry collections Le mie poesie non cambieranno il mondo (1974), Il cielo (1981), Poesie (1992), Sempre aperto teatro (1999), Pigre divinità e pigra sorte (2006), Tre risvegli (2013), Datura (2013), and of the poems La Guardiana (2005) and La patria (2011). Her works have won many awards, including Viareggio Rèpaci, Pasolini, Dessì, Lerici Pea, De Sanctis and Monselice Prize. She wrote radio plays for Italian public radio Rai and translated Shakespeare (The TempestA Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello), Wilde (Salome), Molière (Amphitryon), and La tragédie de Carmen by Peter Brook.
In 2012, Cavalli published Flighty Matters, a bilingual poetry collection about fashion, and Al cuore fa bene far le scale, a book and CD album with Diana Tejera. Her latest poetry collection is Vita meravigliosa (2020). Her poems have been translated into many languages, including French, English, Spanish, and German. In 2016, she was awarded the McKim Medal by the American Academy in Rome. In 2017 she received the Premio letterario internazionale Carlo Betocchi-Città di Firenze and the Premio Feltrinelli for poetry. Con passi giapponesi (2019) is her first prose collection.

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