Un altro mondo: interview with Paola Capriolo, Milan, November 1996

Ania, GF 1998, 'Un altro mondo: interview with Paola Capriolo, Milan, November 1996' , The Italianist, 18 , pp. 305-341.

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The novelist and translator, Paola Capriolo, was born in 1962, in Milan, where she lives today. The daughter of a Ligurian theatre critic and prolific translator, and a Turinese artist, she has a rich cultural background on which to draw, broadened by her studies at Milan University where she read philosophy, studying especially the German tradition. It was during her time at University that she was inspired to write fiction seriously, and so began her writing career. Her first book, La grande Eulalia, a collection of four short stories with a magical, fairy-tale-like quality, was published in 1988 (Milan, Feltrinelli) and immediately attracted the attention of critics, with a host of exceptionally favourable reviews appearing in the press. Capriolo has since written five novels: Il nocchiero (Milan, Feltrinelli, 1989), the story of Walter, his job of ferrying an unknown cargo each night across to an island and his attraction to a mysterious ‘braccio’, glimpsed in a hotel cafe; Il doppio regno (Milan, Bompiani, 1991), whose protagonist records how she fled a tidal wave and sought refuge in a bizarre hotel in which she experiences a gradual metamorphosis of her identity; Vissi d'amore (Milan, Bompiani, 1992), the story of Puccini’s Tosca, but with important changes, principally regarding the portrayal of Scarpia; La spettatrice (Milan, Bompiani, 1995), in which we have an actor who lives out his obsession with watching and being watched; and L’uomo di carattere (Milan, Bompiani, 1996), which portrays the struggle of man against nature, and against his own nature. Capriolo’s fiction explores philosophical and metaphysical issues, such as perceptions of reality, personal identity, and the mutability of meaning, discusses religious themes, and exposes the power of the individual imagination. The stories all tend to assume a banal, possibly irrelevant past; something then occurs to upset an established pattern and provoke a transformation, which, though it may be gradual, is dramatic, irrevocable, and generally fatal. Whilst each work is naturally an individual entity, I have been interested to discover and explore thematic and imagistic links between the stories, and this provides the basis for my line of investigation in the interview.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Interview is in Italian.
Themes: Subjects / Themes > D History General and Old World > DG Italy
Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Translating and Interpreting
Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: The Italianist
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 02614340
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2009 14:35
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 08:17
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/1778

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