Skip to content

CPL at SF Vanni features film, poetry and translation


May 2, Spazi Metrici, an evening dedicated to Amelia Rosselli
May 4, André Naffis-Sahely will discuss the work of Libyan writer Alessandro Spina (1927-2013)

New York, NY, April 21, 2015 – Centro Primo Levi continues its activity at S.F. VANNI featuring films, book discussions and readings.

On May 2nd, an evening dedicated to the Italian poet Amelia Rosselli (Paris, 1930- Rome, 1996) will feature archival interviews, photographs and readings, on the occasion of the publication of a new translation of Rosselli’s collection Hospital Series (New Directions, 2015). The daughter of the Italian anti-fascist leader Carlo Rosselli and the English Labour Party activist Marion Cave, Amelia spent her childhood in exile from Fascist Italy, in France, England and the United States. She returned to Italy in 1946. Following her studies in musical composition, she emerged as one of the most important poets of her generation, addressing with a bold new approach to verse, the hopes and open wounds of the post-war period. During her lifetime Amelia Rosselli published poetry in Italian English and French, essays, articles, and poetry translations. Despite not belonging to any school or current, Rosselli enjoyed critical praise starting in 1963 with Pier Paolo Pasolini, was included in many major anthologies of contemporary Italian poetry, and was soon considered one of the preeminent Italian poets of the late twentieth century.

On May 4th André Naffis-Sahely will discuss the work of Alessandro Spina (Basili Shafik Khouzam, 1927-2013), a Syrian Maronite born in Benghazi who wrote in Italian. Spina received the Bagutta Prize in 2007 for his 1280 page opus The Confines of the Shadow (The Confines of the Shadow – Darf Publishers, June, 2015), a cycle of 11 novels and short story collections that chart the history of Libya from 1912, when Italy invaded the former Ottoman province, to the commercial exploitation of oil reserves in the 1960s. The first volume of Naffis-Sahely’s three-part translation of Spina’s epic, comprising the novels The Young Maronite, The Marriage of Omar and The Nocturnal Visitor, will be published in June 2015. Spina’s saga begins in November 1912 with The Young Maronite, which sees Italian soldiers solidifying their control over Libya’s coasts, leaving the Libyan rebels to withdraw to the desert and prepare for a guerrilla war that would last until 1931, when by dint of sheer brutality, including the internment of tens of thousands of civilians in concentration camps, the Italians crushed the rebellion and murdered its widely respected leader, Omar al-Mukhtar. Characterized by an intimate understanding of both East and West, The Confines of the Shadow a great work of 20th century fiction, stand unchallenged as the only multi-generational epic about the European experience in North Africa.

Back To Top