Pordenonelegge Literature Festival

Pordenone // 19 September 2018
Wednesday 19 September 2018 to 23 September
Where // Pordenone
Language // Italian

The Pordenonelegge Literature Festival is a fixed date in my yearly calendar. Every year, I pack only the essentials (leaving plenty of space for new books) and cross the Alps on the overnight train to return to the city of my childhood.


Pordenone welcomes me each time with fluttering yellow flags dotted throughout the old town. Ahead of me is a busy weekend of readings, author conversations and recommendations for bookworms. Pordenonelegge – this year marking the 19th festival – has now become an obligatory date in the Italian cultural diary. It is where numerous authors from Italy and around the world introduce their new books. At evening dinner, it is not unlikely to find yourself sitting next to author Peter Høeg («Smilla’s Sense of Snow») or Italian philologist and linguist Giuseppe Antonelli, former host of Italy’s famous Radio 3 show «La lingua batte».


This year, I attended many readings and authors-in-conversation events. Two of these left a lasting impression: «» with the British author Robert Harris, and «How not to write» with Claudio Giunta, essayist, author, philologist and literary historian.


Master of historical fiction Robert Harris presented his latest book, «Munich», set in the Bavarian capital during the conference of 1938 of the same name. Yet again, as in all his novels, Harris dedicates a lot of space to characters who are not in the public eye to describe historical events from their point of view. Aside from his bestseller, «Fatherland», I would also recommend reading «Pompeii», which describes the last few days in the city before the eruption of Vesuvius.


Claudio Giunta, meanwhile, offered the audience valuable advice on writing in Italian along with diverse insights into the relationship between the sincerity of intention and clarity when using language. To readers of Italian, I heartily endorse the article with Giunta’s recommended reads which appeared in the «Internazionale» newspaper in 2016.