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Gianni Celati was born in Sondrio, Italy, in 1937. Today he lives in Brighton in the South of England and in Bologna. Celati studied literature in Bologna and completed his studies with a dissertation on James Joyce. Italo Calvino – the director of Einaudi Publishers and very enthusiastic about a short publication by Celati at that time – published several of his novels as from 1971. Soon he gained the reputation of being one of the leading representatives of the literary neo-avantgarde alongside Umberto Eco and Italo Calvino. In 1975, Celati became professor of English and American literature at the University of Bologna, but he withdrew from academia five years later in order to devote himself to writing and film work. He has made several experimental documentary films, including "Visioni di case che crollano", a critical meditation on the decay of abandoned houses in the Po valley. In the prize-winning volume of stories "Narratori delle pianure" (1985; Writers of the Plains) he set out in search of new possibilities of minimalist narration. On the border between fiction and documentation, he constructed a chronicler – narrating and at the same time playing with the idea of narration – of unusual anecdotes which had supposedly taken place in the everyday lives of third parties. Gianni Celati says of his ironic-grotesque short stories in "Cinema Naturale" (2001), of the cinematographic moment in literature and the process of writing as such: "I spent over twenty years writing these stories, and then I rewrote them for a long time in order to keep busy and to see what had happened in the meantime. For if you write or read stories, you see landscapes and figures, you hear voices: you have a natural cinema in your mind and have no need to watch any more Hollywood films."

Gianni Celati has also made a name for himself as a translator of the works of Melville, Swift, Twain, Céline, Stendhal and Beckett into Italian.


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Publications in German Translation
Der wahre Schein. Translated from the Italian by Marianne Schneider. Wagenbach, Berlin 1988
Landauswärts. Translated from the Italian by Marianne Schneider. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1993
Erzähler der Ebenen. Translated from the Italian by Marianne Schneider. Wagenbach, Berlin 1997
Mondphasen im Paradies. Translated from the Italian by Marianne Schneider. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1999
Cinema naturale. Translated from the Italian by Marianne Schneider. Wagenbach, Berlin 2001
Fata Morgana. Translated from the Italian by Marianne Schneider. Wagenbach, Berlin 2006
Events by DAAD
Lesungen von Daniel B?nilescu, Petr Borkovec, Gianni Celati, Feng Li, Amanda Michalopoulou, Ottó Tolnai, Filmgespräch mit László Garaczi

"Leggere Dante come un canto antico". Gianni Celati (Italien) und Frank Arnold lesen Dante

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