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“Scriptor faber: la scrittura, il ritmo e l’immaginazione”: discussion by Mario Vattani, writer



“Scriptor faber: la scrittura, il ritmo e l’immaginazione”: discussion by Mario Vattani, writer

The Italian Cultural Institute is pleased to present Mario Vattani, writer, in the conference program "Altri Orienti, altri Occidenti". On the discussion topic "Scriptor faber: la scrittura, il ritmo e l’immaginazione", will be presented by Francesco D’Arelli, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal.

Friday October 11, 2019, 6pm
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
1200, Avenue du Dr. Penfield
Montréal (QC), QC H3A 1A9
Conference in Italian

Asia or the East has always been an inexhaustible source of stories, legends, myths and ideas and at the same time of inspiration for artists, writers, thinkers, poets ... Mario Vattani, writer and diplomat, discusses and talks about the East, because he is also the author of two novels published by the publisher Mondadori: Doromizu (2016) and Al Tayar (2019), where the contemplated horizon is precisely that of the East: Japan, first, and Egypt, after: two lands of ancient and noble civilization.

Doromizu (Muddy Water), Mondadori, 2016

The main character is Alex, a penniless twenty-five years old who has been living in Tokyo for two years, on a student visa. Alex is Italian (Alessandro Merisi) but he grew up in London, and has an obsessive passion for Japan and its culture. Alex lives Tokyo intensely through cinema, women, the sex trade, and the time-consuming and painful traditional tattoo, the irezumi.
Doromizu is striking for the crudeness and brutality of some of its images, but it is also a touching and sensual love story. Through the novel, we discover the beauty and horror of Tokyo behind the scenes, with its men and women who manage to combine hardness, violence, humiliation, with an almost childlike playfulness and purity.

Al Tayar (The Current), Mondadori, 2019

Alex (Alessandro Merisi), has just landed in Cairo. In his suitcase, just a few clothes, enough to hide the illegal medicaments he has to smuggle in Egypt. He has no choice: he owes a debt to a British criminal organisation, a debt he fears he may never be able to rid himself of. He has the necessary shrewdness to pass the airport checks, but he can’t imagine what awaits him when the driver who picks him up arrives at his destination: a private clinic where expensive organ transplants are provided for rich foreigners.
Alex is seduced by the charm of a metropolis gripped in the spasms of a dying regime, and he sees an opportunity to build himself another life, even if this means letting himself be drawn into the terrifying world of organ trafficking. With vivid and cinematic brush strokes, Mario Vattani paints a sensual, dark and moving “danse macabre”: its characters are ruthless criminals, enchanting women, and sacrificial victims. Some will triumph, some will flee, some will meet a terrible end. But nothing will be decided by the wickedness of their actions: in Al Tayar, the destiny of men lies in the inexorable flow of the river Nile. A current where one can do nothing but let oneself go, even at the cost of losing one’s soul. Alex’s adventure, as in the previous novel Doromizu (2016), almost appears as a path to initiation. The search for beauty, purity, for light in the dark, for order in the midst of chaos, shines through its pages. In the world that Vattani creates, the best place to find purity is decadence, disorder, and chaos. In Egypt, where contrasts are so strong, an even sharper image of this paradox is obtained.

Mario Vattani is an Italian diplomat and author, born in Paris in 1966. His novels Al Tayar. La corrente (the current) and Doromizu. Acqua torbida (muddy water) were published by Mondadori respectively in 2019 and in 2016. Doromizu was chosen as a finalist in the Acqui Storia Prize in 2016. His book La Via del Sol Levante (The way of the rising sun) was published in 2017 by Idrovolante Edizioni. Foreign Service officer since 1991 – now with the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary – Mario Vattani has served in the United States and Egypt both in the economic and the consular field, then gaining extensive experience in Japan, with a focus on economic and cultural relations. Fluent in Japanese language, and author of the 2014 research: “イタリにおける日本愛の形成経緯:明治維新から1945年、親密な日伊政治関係の中での文化の重Building an Italian passion for Japan: the significant role of culture in the close political relations between Italy and Japan from the Meiji Restoration until 1945”) as a guest researcher in the Institute of Japanese Identity, at Takushoku University, Tokyo.


Date: Friday, October 11, 2019

Time: At 6:00 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal 1200 Av.