Country Italy

Discipline Theater | Storytelling

Recomended for +14

Duration 90 minutes

Language Italian translated into Spanish

Dates January 10, 20.00h

His conferences are passionate, informal and fluent (...) Baricco is undisputedly a master storyteller

La Repubblica, Italy

Ten years after visiting Chile to take part in Santiago a Mil, acclaimed Italian writer and playwright Alessandro Baricco returns with Mantova Lectures – Alejandro Magno, sobre la narración, a piece that, in the words of its creator, is not a lesson but “a mind trip” that brings together several of the fixations of the author of Seda and Tierras de cristal. In this storytelling session, the writer takes the figure of Alexander the Great to delve into the art of narration, using, for example, the Persian Conquest as a metaphor for any creative journey – particularly that of storytelling – or the way in which the King of Macedonia created a past for himself that ensured he would be remembered as a great mythical figure. Narration is, to some extent, a gut feeling that every human being can use to explain and make sense of life. Baricco develops this theme in an quick-witted and passionate monologue, in which he talks the audience through subjects such as art, writing, philosophy and history.

Baricco’s participation has been made possible by an alliance with La Ciudad y las Palabras, as well as the support of the Italian Embassy and the Italian Institute of Culture.

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Writer and performer

Alessandro Baricco

(Italy, 1958)

Alessandro Baricco is an Italian writer, playwright, journalist and music critic, considered one of his country’s most important and popular writers. He has won worldwide recognition for his novels, such as Tierras de cristal (1991), Océano mar (1993) and Seda (1996) — with which he obtained huge editorial success – and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He has received important awards, such as the Médicis Award in France and, as well as having published 13 novels, he has also written a a theater play and a dozen books of essays. He is one of the great influences on recent Italian literature, given his interest in writing’s form and rhythm.

Written and narrated by Alessandro Baricco | Produced by Elastica and Scuola Holden Set design, sound and lights concept Roberto Tarasco | Sound Alfredo Sebastiano | Graphic designer Claudia Polizzi | Video editor Tommaso Arosio | Editor Annalisa Ambrosio | Digital PR Francesco Nappi | General coordination Carmen Manti | International magagement Algo Miguel Grompone

Mantova Lectures – Alejandro Magno, sobre la narración is presented in Chile thanks to an alliance between Santiago a Mil and La Ciudad y las Palabras, as well as the support of the Italian Embassy and the Italian Institute of Culture.

  • This is an opportunity to see one of the most renowned Italian writers of the last few decades, this time at a conference in which he demonstrates why he is currently one of today’s most important intellectuals. Baricco has held these live storytelling sessions for years: in 2014, he performed Palladium Lectures, in which, using the figures of Kate Moss, Thucydides, Louis XVI and Proust, he tackled four historic periods that radically changed our ideas about style, justice, writing and time.

  • Baricco’s readings combine different themes in a perfectly constructed jigsaw puzzle, in this case connecting Alexander the Great to the art of narration. In the writer’s own words, “Storytelling’s talked about a lot, but people don’t always understand what it is. There’s a basic misunderstanding: people think that narration is something that emerged recently, changing the scope of marketing, politics and journalism. That’s not right though: if we look at Alexander the Great’s exploits, we can see that storytelling was a fundamental part of his conquest, as important then as it is today to Trump’s campaign. We come from a civilization that has cultivated narration obsessively. We are the last of a long line of people for whom narration has played a highly important role”.

  • Mantova Lectures has been performed at important venues in Italy, such as the Teatro Dell'Opera Di Roma, the Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli and Festivaletteratura, the Mantua Literary Festival. It was also screened on Italian television on the open channel, Rai.

  • Alessandro Baricco has won the Viareggio Award (1993) — which has also been won by authors such as Natalia Ginzburg, Primo Levi, Valerio Magrelli and Italo Calvino — and the prestigious Médicis Award in France (1995). In 1998, Giuseppe Tornatore adapted his theatrical monologue Novecento for film. In 1993, he founded the Scuola Holden, a renowned literary school, in Turin and in 2003 he collaborated on the album City Reading (Tre storie western) by electronic music duo Air. In 2014, he turned down an offer from Italy’s Prime Minister at the time, Matteo Renzi, to become Minister of Culture.
  • Storytelling. This is an English term to describe narrating stories or the art of telling stories using rhetorical literary forms and characters. The term is also used in politics and marketing, where telling stories that play on people’s feelings is becoming more effective than the use of rational arguments

  • Baricco and Chile. The Italian’s first visit to the country in 2008 caused huge media interest. He met with Michelle Bachelet, who was President at the time, at the La Moneda government palace. He also visited Nicanor Parra and spent time with important representatives from the world of culture, such as Héctor Noguera, Ramón Griffero, Jorge Edwards, Antonio Skármeta and Pedro Lemebel. As part of the Santiago a Mil Festival, Baricco went to see the adaptation of his play Sin sangre by TeatroCinema and attended a dramatic reading in the Plaza de la Constitución of Homero, Ilíada - his version of the Greek poem, directed by Héctor Noguera and with a cast made up of important local actors, including Bélgica Castro, Alejandro Sieveking, Luis Alarcón and Delfina Guzmán.

«Public readings that are not particularly academic and even less conventional»

La Repubblica

«Knowledge takes on the form of an artistic installation, with Baricco’s trademark elegance and precision»

Agencia Ansa

His conferences are passionate, informal and fluent (...) Baricco is undisputedly a master storyteller

La Repubblica, Italy

«Public readings that are not particularly academic and even less conventional»

La Repubblica

«Knowledge takes on the form of an artistic installation, with Baricco’s trademark elegance and precision»

Agencia Ansa

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