Antonio Scurati

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Antonio Scurati (born 25 June 1969) is an Italian writer and academic. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Strega Prize for his novel M. Il figlio del secolo (2018).

Early life and education

Scurati was born in Naples to a Neapolitan mother and a father from Cusano Milanino.[1] He graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of Milan. He continued his studies at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris. Scurati later completed a PhD in Theory and Text Analysis at the University of Bergamo. He worked as a professore a contratto at Bergamo, where he coordinated a center for studying the languages of war and violence. At Bergamo, he also taught the theory and elements of television language. In 2005, he became a researcher in Cinema, Photography, Television. In 2008, he moved to the IULM University of Milan, where he is currently an associate professor and conducts a creative writing seminar and a seminar in orality and rhetoric.

Career

In 2003, he published the essay Guerra. Narrazioni e culture nella tradizione occidentale, which was a finalist for the Viareggio Prize. His novel Il sopravvissuto (2005) was awarded (in a tie with Pino Roveredo [it]) the 43rd Premio Campiello.[2] The novel was also awarded the Premio nazionale letterario Pisa [it] for Fiction.[3] In 2006, a revised edition of Scurati’s debut novel, Il rumore sordo della battaglia, was published. In 2006, Scurati published the essay “La letteratura dell’inesperienza. Scrivere romanzi al tempo della televisione“: a reflection on media, Dadaism, literature and humanism.

Scurati’s writing has appeared in the weekly publication Internazionale [it] and the daily newspaper La Stampa. In 2007, he published the historical novel Una storia romantica. In the same year, Scurati produced a documentary for the Italian company Fandango. The documentary, La stagione dell’amore, is a film that investigates themes of love in contemporary Italian society, continuing the investigation conducted by director Pier Paolo Pasolini in his film Love Meetings (1965).[4] In 2009, he published Il bambino che sognava la fine del mondo, a novel that mixes reality and fiction and is a fierce criticism of mass media and the information economy as a whole.

In 2010, he published Gli anni che non stiamo vivendo. Il tempo della cronaca, a collection of articles on contemporary topics of crime, politics and current affairs. In the same year, he addressed the same topics in the column “Lettere dal nord” within the television program Parla con me [it]. In 2015, he published Il tempo migliore della nostra vita, a biographical novel dedicated to the life of Leone Ginzburg. It was awarded the Viareggio Prize[5] and was a finalist for the Premio Campiello.[2]

In September 2018, Scurati published the novel M. Il figlio del secolo, the first volume of a trilogy about Benito Mussolini. The trilogy intends to tell the history of Italy beginning on 23 March 1919, the day the Italian Fasces of Combat was founded, and ending in 1945. The novel concludes with Mussolini’s speech to the Chamber of Deputies on 3 January 1925, which officially established Italy as a dictatorship following the political crisis caused by the murder of Giacomo Matteotti. The first edition of the novel contained historical errors which were detailed by Ernesto Galli della Loggia [it] in the Corriere della Sera.[6] Scurati responded to the controversy in a column also published in the Corriere della Sera. In it, he argued that the current era requires “a cooperation between the rigor of historical accurary and the art of the novel”.[7] On the night between 4 and 5 July 2019, M. Il figlio del secolo was awarded the prestigious Strega Prize.[8] The novel was a success, selling 500,000 copies. It is currently being translated for publication in 39 countries and is in production for a television series adaptation.

In September 2020, M. L’uomo della provvidenza, the second volume of the trilogy was published. It follows the parable of Mussolini from 1925 to 1932, recounting his liberticidal politics and the fierce power struggles and ideological battles of the National Fascist Party. It is framed by the omnipresent figure of Mussolini and his mediocrities and eccentricities.

On 20 September 2019, the Corriere della Sera announced that Scurati would begin writing a column for the newspaper.[9] His first article, concerning euthanasia, appeared in the newspaper on 28 September 2019.

Works

Novels

  • — (2002). Il rumore sordo della battaglia. Collana Scrittori italiani e stranieri. Milan: Mondadori. ISBN 978-88-045-0064-3.

  • — (2005). Il sopravvissuto. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-4523-385-2.
  • — (2007). Una storia romantica. Collana Narratori italiani. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-452-5962-3.
  • — (2009). Il bambino che sognava la fine del mondo. Collana Narratori italiani. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-452-6241-8.
  • — (2011). La seconda mezzanotte. Collana Narratori italiani. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-4526-775-8.
  • — (2013). Il padre infedele. Collana Narratori italiani. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-4527-409-1.
  • — (2015). Il tempo migliore della nostra vita. Collana Narratori italiani. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-4527-913-3.
  • — (2018). M. Il figlio del secolo. Collana Narratori italiani. Milano: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-4529-813-4.
  • — (2020). M. L’uomo della provvidenza. Collana Narratori italiani. Milan-Florence: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-301-0265-1.

Essays

  • — (2003). Guerra. Narrazioni e culture nella tradizione occidentale. Collana Saggi. Rome: Donzelli. ISBN 978-88-7989-776-1.
  • — (2003). Televisioni di guerra. Il conflitto del Golfo come evento mediatico e il paradosso dello spettatore totale. Collana Culture. Verona: Ombre Corte. ISBN 978-88-8700-938-5.
  • — (2006). La letteratura dell’inesperienza. Scrivere romanzi al tempo della televisione. Collana Saggi n.350. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-4525-743-8.
  • — (2010). Gli anni che non stiamo vivendo. Il tempo della cronaca. Collana Overlook. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-452-6456-6.
  • — (2012). Letteratura e sopravvivenza. La retorica letteraria di fronte alla violenza. Collana Studi. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-4527-104-5.
  • — (2016). Dal tragico all’osceno. Raccontare la morte nel XXI secolo. Collana grandi tascabili. Agone. Milan: Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-452-8187-7.

Documentary


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