Michele Mari

Michele Mari
i giardinetti! inospiti lande steppose. E pur si millantano in un vezzegiativo che al buon ragionare trasmette un'idea di abbindolamento.
—Michele Mari, L'orrore dei giardinetti
Michele Mari
Born 1955
Milan, Italy
Occupation University professor, novelist, short story writer, poet, literary critic and reviewer
Nationality Italian
Genres Novel, short story, poetry
Literary movement Postmodernism
Notable work(s) Tutto il ferro della Torre Eiffel, Rondini sul filo, Tu, sanguinosa infanzia

Michele Mari is an Italian novelist, short story writer, academic critic and poet. The son of a prestigious Milanese industrial designer and artist, Enzo Mari, Michele teaches Italian literature at the Università Statale di Milano; he is considered one of the leading experts of Eighteenth-Century Italian literature.

Contents

Important themes

Mari is a philologist and a connoisseur of science fiction (see his poetic essay "Le copertine di Urania" in Tu, sanguinosa infanzia, 1997) and comics. In his short stories the theme of childhood and teenage as moments to be devoutly preserved recurs often (cf. the story "I palloni del signor Kurtz", in Euridice aveva un cane, 1993); other important motifs are the obsession for other people's life that one could not live (in the short story "Euridice aveva un cane", 1993, or in Rondini sul filo, 1999), of literature as ersatz life, of memory and its workings (Verderame, 2007).

Mari intensely dislikes change, so he mistrusts modernity in its more vulgar and showy aspects; he is fascinated by obsessive personalities (Walter Benjamin in Tutto il ferro della Torre Eiffel, Roger Waters in Rosso Floyd); he nonchalantly mixes fact and fiction in his works, both in those with an overwhelming autobiographic component (Rondini sul filo, Tu, sanguinosa infanzia, Filologia dell'anfibio), and in those novels where he uses, like a puppetteer, historical characters (Benjamin and Marc Bloch - plus countless other writers and artists - in Tutto il ferro della Torre Eiffel, the Italian romantic poet Giacomo Leopardi in Io venia pien d'angoscia a rimirarti, the members of the Pink Floyd band in Rosso Floyd) .

Mari is an outstanding parodist, whose prose may easily imitate that of more famous authors. He has presented his readers with virtuoso imitations of the style of other Italian fiction writers like Carlo Emilio Gadda, Tommaso Landolfi and Giorgio Manganelli, but also a French author like Louis-Ferdinand Céline (especially in Rondini sul filo). His two most recent novels, Verderame and Rosso Floyd, though continuing Mari's sylistic care and formal innovation (especially the latter), achieved some real suspense by borrowing narrative devices from crime, gothic, and horror fiction (something Mari had already done at the beginning of his career in his second novel, Io venia pien d'angoscia a rimirarti).

Mari won the prestigious Premio Grinzane Cavour in 2008, as Supervincitore of the Narrativa italiana section, with his novel Verderame.

Mari is also a poet (Cento poesie d'amore a Ladyhawke, Einaudi 2007) and a prestigious academic scholar (cf. his monographs L'Iliade di Vincenzo Monti, 1982; Venere celeste e venere terrestre, 1988; Momenti della traduzione fra Settecento e Ottocento, 1994; Il genio freddo: La storiografia letteraria di Girolamo Tiraboschi, 1999); he also wrote essays on European and American fantastic literature (I demoni e la pasta sfoglia, Quiritta 2004).

Trivia

  • He played in the Osvaldo Soriano Football Club, the Italian writers' national football team.

Works

Fiction

  • Di bestia in bestia, Longanesi, 1989, novel.
  • Io venia pien d'angoscia a rimirarti, Longanesi, 1990 (rpt. Marsilio, 1998), novelette.
  • La stiva e l'abisso, Bompiani 1992 (rpt. Einaudi, 2002), novel.
  • Euridice aveva un cane, Bompiani, 1993 (rpt. Einaudi, 2004), short story collection.
  • Filologia dell'anfibio, Bompiani, 1995 (rpt. Laterza, 2009), memoir.
  • Tu, sanguinosa infanzia, Mondadori, 1997 (rpt. Mondadori, 1999; Einaudi, 2009), short story collection.
  • Rondini sul filo, Mondadori, 1999, novel.
  • Tutto il ferro della torre Eiffel, Einaudi, 2002, novel.
  • Verderame, Einaudi, 2007, novel.
  • Rosso Floyd, Einaudi, 2010, novel.

Poetry

  • I sepolcri illustrati, Portofranco, 2000, illustrated poems.
  • Cento poesie d'amore a Ladyhawke, Einaudi, 2007, poems.

Non-fiction

  • Milano fantasma, EDT, 2008 (illustrated by Velasco Vitali), travelogue.
  • I demoni e la pasta sfoglia, Quiritta, 2004 (rpt. Cavallo di Ferro, 2010), essay collection.

Secondary Literature

  • Di Stefano, Alice, "Le ossessioni di Michele Mari" Sincronie, 2004, No. 16, 185-191.
  • Iovinelli, Alessandro, "Le strategie ipertestuali di Michele Mari", Narrativa, 2001, No. 20-21, 297-304.
  • Sinopoli, Franca, "Passages della critica e riuso della tradizione letteraria in Michele Mari", Storia e memoria nelle riletture e riscritture letterarie, Eds. Bessière, Jean and Franca Sinopoli, Roma, Bulzoni, 2005, 126-42.

External links


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