Gianni Actis Barone
Luogo di nascita: Bologna, Italy
Vive a Londra e ovunque sia interessante lavorare e scrivere.
the J.B. Actis biography
Here's who I am.
I am 59, I earned two degrees, I lived in many Countries of this world for half of my life. I think I started telling stories around six. Imaginary stories, I mean. The teacher sat me at his desk, at his side, while he was grading tests. My job was to entertain my classmates by telling them stories.
I told Wild West stories and, together with my classmates, I had fun figuring which actor could play them.
Then I started writing for real. But, first, I started reading.
My training mainly draws on Russian literature, with names such as Chekhov, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Lev Tolstoy, Bulgakov. Then French, English, and American literature. I can cite, among the too many, Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe (two so contrasting but so beautiful authors), Truman Capote, all the writers in the Beat Generation, and then Arthur Miller, Steinbeck, Bukowski and then, again, from Flaubert to CÈline, from Oscar Wilde to Joyce.
This is as far as the Classics.
I read, I read a lot. I read the Germans (or those writing in German, such as Kafka), the Japanese, the Italians - obviously, the Egyptians, the South Americans (Borges, Marquez). I read the last-but-one and the last trends: Camus, Sartre, up to Salman Rushdie. I read the Italian writers that counted in the Fifties: Moravia and Gadda, then from Busi to Tabucchi.
And, in the meantime, I started writing.
In 1988 I published "Caneacaso" with Thema Editore (Loescher Publishing Group).
In 1998 I published "Antropoeccentico" with Edizioni dell'Ortica. This book was translated into English by Bruna Brylawski (the same collaborator who translated the present book).
"Antropoeccentrico" was also used by Manuela Corti for an Internet art project. Twenty-three international artists were asked to translate back into their own language a passage from each chapter (a total of 23) and to interpret the same with a visual piece. The project was called, appropriately, Passages.
In 2004 I published "Occidente nonoccidente" with Manni Editore, the same publisher of almost all writers of "Gruppo '63", which counted among its ranks Umberto Eco and Edoardo Sanguinetti (the most notable contemporary Italian poet).
I also introduced Beat Generation authors in poetry meetings and I translated a piece on Allen Ginsberg's death for Jean Jacques Lebel.
I believe, as the Beat Generation authors did, but, after all, as every other writer does, that each text must have a rhythm.
My rhythm is breathlessness.
I don't give the reader a chance to breathe.
I don't like descriptions made for wasting time, for lack of inspiration, for want of topics. Even though, naturally, I like descriptions.
A novel, in my opinion, must be both compact and diluted. It must be the physical element, the style, Michelangelo's marble from which to chip away redundancy to reveal it.
Salvatore Sciarrino, a great contemporary musician who honors me with his friendship, says he composes (polyphonic) music following the course of existence. He says that most of the times life is monotonous, even in its hardship, and only at times it becomes agitated. This is the breath he writes his music after. That is to say, his music is slow until, albeit only occasionally, it gets unleashed into excitement.
For me, life is excitement even when it seems monotonous, because all of it is spent waiting for what appears to be the drift of normality.
It may be necessary, perhaps, to revise the concept of normality.
Books by Gianni Actis Barone:
Brothel to Brothel-Amazon Kindle Edition 2011
Da un casino all'altro, www.ilmiolibro.it, 2011.
Occidente Nonoccidente, Manni Editore, Lecce 2002.
Antropoeccentrico, Edizioni dell'Ortica, Bologna 1998.
Caneacaso, Thema Editore, Bologna 1988.
"Baobab 27" (Edizioni Elytra, 1995), "La plastica della lingua", Tommaso Ottonieri (Bollati Boringhieri, 2000), "E' arrivata la terza ondata", Renato Barilli (Testo & Immagine, 2000).