A memory of Alberto Arbasino

April 20, 2020

As part of Triennale Decameron, authors Gianluigi Ricuperati and Marco Belpoliti remembered Alberto Arbasino (22 January 1930 – 23 March 2020).
An intellectual and writer, with his sophisticated, unconventional and eclectic approach, Arbasino analysed and reported Italy’s social and cultural changes from the post-war period to the present, offering a crucial contribution to Italian literature. Starting from the 1963 novel Fratelli d'Italia, Belpoliti and Ricuperati retraced Arbasino’s life, including personal memories and excerpts from his main works.

Un ricordo di Alberto Arbasino, Gianluigi Ricuperati and Marco Belpoliti
Audio (Italian)

”Arbasino writes the way he talks, but not as in popular neorealist street culture; he has a bourgeois, high-bourgeois voice, a very fluid way of telling stories. This oral narrative form sounds as if it was transcribed from a cassette tape, as he puts down on paper the voices that are inside of him”.
Marco Belpoliti

Alberto Arbasino, Tavoli, photo Giovanna Silva © Doppiozero

”With Fratelli d'Italia, Feltrinelli’s was one of the first series in the world to put the author on the cover, with graphics by Albe Steiner and a picture of a young Alberto Arbasino.”
Gianluigi Ricuperati

Alberto Arbasino, Fratelli d'Italia, Feltrinelli, 1963

”Alberto Arbasino was a hunter of eccentric personalities like himself, who had not yet been discovered. He was their inventor, as he proved in Sessanta posizioni (1971), a book that gathered interviews, talks and visits to monuments of the past, which he never wanted to reprint – 'What would a modern reader understand? I should add pages of notes to explain who that guy is or was, and the book would lose all its freshness… let’s just leave it as it is', he said every time we told him that a reprint was in order. Arbasino is an instant author, the most contemporary of our contemporaries.”

Alberto Arbasino, Grazie per le magnifiche rose, Feltrinelli, 1965
Alberto Arbasino, Grazie per le magnifiche rose, Feltrinelli, 1965
Alberto Arbasino, Off-Off, Feltrinelli, 1971
Alberto Arbasino, Off-Off, Feltrinelli, 1971

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