“Invincible is not the one who always wins, but who, defeated and defeated, never stops standing up to fight again”

Erri De Luca is a writer, novelist, story-teller, essayist, translator and poet. He has published more than 60 books, numerous collections of short stories and poems, translated in more than 30 languages. He is considered by many literary experts “a master  of the Italian language of the past two decades.” His grandmother was Ruby Hammond, an American woman who came in Italy in the first years of past century. His name, Erri, is an italian version of Harry, his uncle’s name.

Erri De Luca started writing at six, and never stopped. His first novel, “Not Here, Not Now”, was published in Italy in 1989. He is a translator from Ancient Hebrew and Yiddish, and for this reasons he is appreciated for his translation’s work of several books of the Ancient Covenant. He was awarded the France Culture Prize in 1994 for his “Aceto, arcobaleno”, the Laure Bataillon Award in 2002 for “Tre cavalli” ( Three horses), and the Femina Etranger for “Montedidio” (God’s Mountain). In 2010 he was bestowed with the German International Literary Petrarca Award.

He appeared in a cameo role in the movie “L’isola”, by Costanza Quadriglio, and made his  debut as a screenwriter and leading actor  in the short film “Di la’ del vetro” (Beyond the Glass), presented at the Venice Film Festival in  2011. In “The nightshift belongs to the stars”, a screenplay written by himself, he also plays a little role Actually he lives in the country near Roma.

De Luca has been a member of the jury at the Cannes Festival in 2003. He wrote and starred in several plays including the theatrical drama “In viaggio con Aurora” (Traveling with Aurora). Furthermore, De Luca contributes regularly to several newspapers and magazines. He is passionate mountain climber

Quotes

I consider  bombing  an act of terrorism. To better express my condemnation against  such acts, perpetrated in the former Yugoslavia  by NATO in the ’90s,  I decided to cross over and live in Sarajevo (Bosnia). There,  I experienced  first hand the fear induced by the sound of  air-raid sirens, that eerie sound  my mother often told me when,  during WWII,  our Naples, then  occupied by the Nazis,   was regularly  bombed by the Allied Forces planes.

“I learned how to breathe in synchrony with the city’s [Naples]  sighs of relief, with its flashes of anger, its catarrhal coughs and bursts  of laughter. My writing is informed by the sulfur and the carbon monoxide of the braziers lit in small rooms overlooking icy, suffocating streets. It comes from the smell of home-roasted coffee and the feint gurgle of the pot cooking Sunday’s thick sauce all night by the heat of a candle.”

 “Naples is a female being for its geographically concave body. It’s a male for the sea that surges and penetrates it. Two sexes in one body: Naples is Adam before he lost his rib. Not a hermaphrodite, rather the invasion of one sex into other.”

Works

  • Non ora, non qui, Feltrinelli, 1989
  • Una nuvola come tappeto, Feltrinelli, 1991
  • Aceto, Arco baleno, Feltrinelli, 1992
  • I colpi dei sensi, Fahrenheit 451, Milano, 1993
  • Prove di risposta, Edizioni Nuova Cultura, Roma, 1994
  • In alto a sinistra, Feltrinelli, 1994
  • Pianoterra, articoli, Qiqajon, Bose, Magnano, 1995
  • Il cronista scalzo e altri scritti, Legatoria del Sud
  • Alzaia, Feltrinelli, 1997
  • Ora prima, Qiqajon, Bose, Magnano, 1997
  • Tu, mio, Feltrinelli, 1998
  • Tufo, Dante & Descartes, 1999
  • Tre cavalli, Feltrinelli, 1999 (Three Horses, Other Press)
  • Un papavero rosso all’occhiello senza coglierne il fiore, Interattiva, 2000
  • Montedidio, Feltrinelli, 2002 (God’s Mountain, Other Press)
  • Opera sull’acqua e altre poesie’ (poetry)’, Einaudi, 2002
  • Lettere da una citta’ bruciata, Dante & Descartes, 2002
  • Nocciolo d’oliva, EMP, 2002
  • Il contrario di uno, Feltrinelli, 2003
  • Immanifestazione, Dante & Descartes, 2003
  • Morso di luna nuova. Racconto per voci in tre stanze, Mondadori, 2004
  • Precipitazioni, Dante & Descartes, 2004
  • Chisciottimista, Dante & Descartes, 2005
  • In nome della madre, Feltrinelli, 2006
  • Sulla traccia di Nives, Mondadori, 2006
  • Napolide, Dante & Descartes, 2006
  • Sottosopra (with Gennaro Matino), Mondadori, 2007
  • Lettere fraterne”(with Izet Sarajilic), Dante & Descartes, 2007
  • L’isola e’ una conchiglia”, La Conchiglia, 2008
  • Almeno cinque (with Gennaro Matino), Feltrinelli, 2008
  • L’ospite incallito (poetry), Einaudi, 2008
  • Il cielo in una stalla, Infinito, 2008
  • Tentativi di scoraggiamento (a darsi alla scrittura), Dante & Descartes, 2009 (Attempts at discouragement (when taking up writing))
  • Penultime notizie circa Ieshu/Gesu’, Messaggero, 2009
  • Il giorno prima della felicità, Feltrinelli, 2009 (“The day before happiness”, Other Press)
  • Il peso della farfalla, Feltrinelli, 2009
  • Tu non c’eri, Dante & Descartes, 2010
  • Rivolte inestirpabili, Forum Edizioni, 2010
  • E disse, Feltrinelli, 2011
  • Le sante sello scandalo, La Giuntina, 2011
  • I pesci non chiudono gli occhi, Feltrinelli, 2011
  • Il turno di notte lo fanno le stelle, Feltrinelli 2012
  • Il torto del soldato, Feltrinelli April 26, 2012

Translations

  • “Esodo/Nomi”, Feltrinelli, 1994
  • “Giona/Iona”, Feltrinelli, 1995
  • “kohelet/Ecclesiaste”, Feltrinelli, 1996
  • “Il libro di Ruth”, Feltrinelli, 1999
  • “Salmo secondo ovvero Elogio del massimo timore”, in Micromega, 2000
  • “Noah Ansheldell’altro mondo” (of Dovid Katz), translation from Yiddish, Dante & Descartes, 2002
  • “Vita di Sansone dal libro Giudici/Shoftim, Feltrinelli, 2002
  • “Vita di Noe’/Noa”, Feltrinelli, 2004
  • “L’ospite di pietra. L’invito a morte di Don Giovanni. Piccola tragedia in versi”, Feltrinelli, 2005
  • “Canto del popolo yiddish messo a morte (of Ytshak Katzenelson), Mondadori, 2009                                                                                                                  

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