Tondelli – The Writer’s Craft
The book/interview, published in its first edition by Transeuropa in 1994, brings together a series of conversations about reading and writing – that were carried on between Pier Vittorio Tondelli and Fulvio Panzeri from the summer of 1989 to the autumn of 1990 – for a projected, collective volume on narrative in the Eighties ; but it was never done. It was going to be a meeting and a comparison between new critics and new writers to offer an instrument capable of measuring how the possibility of telling stories had changed in the course of the decade. An instrument capable of clarifying that which Peter Bichsel, in “The Reader, the Narration”, intuits as ” … the need to continue our narrative tradition because we can only stand the test of life by talking about it”.
The three conversations examine the human experience of Tondelli. In the answers, he outlines a literary autobiography that talks about books, writing, literary criticism, the Eighties, his relationship with the world, his readings and his work projects. The three conversations were read, corrected and approved by Tondelli. They highlight the dimension of a writer that needed literature to give form to his dreams, desires and the secret interior part that found its representation in writing ; but also a dissimulation. For the rest, Tondelli said, “I have always written, since I was sixteen … For me the act of writing was always linked to dream and desire. For me writing and cinema represented a means of escape ; I could recognise my desire in them. This is why I began to write ; to reclaim that which I felt inside me”.
And he also said, “When I have to define my need for writing, an image created by Botho Strauss comes to mind, one that compares it to ‘eating’ reality. Actually, writing gives one a tool for living. Without this artistic activity, without the cinema, without the theatre, and in particular without writing, I have always felt absolutely useless and absolutely incapable of doing anything else”.
The conversations were published in a book that contained not only the interview texts but also a series of critical materials that expanded on the same themes dealt with by the emiliano writer. A volume – leading to a better understanding of Tondelli’s intellectual experience – had also been released, in which : the writer reflects on the reasons, even the most intimate, that gave origin to his novels and stories ; the critic, Generoso Picone, traces a profile of Tondelli’s body of work ; while Panzeri covers an itinerary of the relationships between Tondelli’s work, the criticism referring to his books and the reception of both of these by the readers ; and ends with a complete bibliography of Tondelli’s work in thematic order.
A new, updated version of the book/interview was published by Theoria in 1997, as part of the series “Scritture” [Writings], edited by Giulio Mozzi.
25 Febbraio 2022, 11:46