We got to know the Italian author Giorgio Bassani (1916-2000) from his novel The Garden of Finci-Contini, particularly through its film adaptation by director Vittorio de Sica.
Bassani, one of Italy’s most important writers of the 20th century, has until now remained relatively unknown to the Greek readership. Born in Ferrara, into a Jewish family, Bassani lived through the experience of the ghetto, Mussolini’s racial purity laws and Italy’s transition from fascism to the post-war world. He mainly lived in Ferrara, a city between Bologna and the Adriatic Sea, a city almost closed – not only because it is walled – and dark. Essentially, Ferrara is the great heroine of Bassani’s prose.
We now know Giorgio Bassani with the complete edition of “The Novel of Ferrara” translated by Giorgos Kentrotis, published by Gutenberg, a multifaceted book, including four novels, among which “The Garden of Finci Contini”, and two collections of short stories, where Ferrara is the unifying element.
In this multi-book, in the novel “The Golden Glasses” is presented in a shocking and very original way not only the persecutions but also the social contempt for Jews and homosexuals while the novel “Behind the Door” has as its theme bowling, perhaps one of the earliest works of prose where a theme so timeless is presented in an original narrative manner as well.