A Very Normal Man, the first English translation of Vincenzo Cerami’s Un borghese piccolo piccolo, will be presented by its translator Isobel Grave (University of South Australia) at Melbourne’s Italian Institute of Culture (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra) on Thursday 12 November at 6.30pm (free but booking essential). This novella, published in 1976, is a ferocious critique of Italian society in the 1970s and its graft, hypocrisy, corrupt institutions and violent crime. Giovanni Vivaldi is a minor public servant in Rome, determined to secure a job for his son in his own department and prepared to do some extraordinary things to make that happen. But fate destroys his plans and he exacts a chilling revenge. Vincenzo Cerami, who died in 2013, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1999 for his original screenplay of Roberto Benigni’s Life Is Beautiful. Isobel Grave will talk about Cerami’s achievements in literature and cinema and show clips from Mario Monicelli’s 1977 film of the book which starred Alberto Sordi.
Dr Isobel Grave is the Cassamarca lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of South Australia with a special interest in the theory and practice of translation. Copies of A Very Normal Man (Wakefield Press, S.A., 2015) will be available for purchase on the evening at the special price of $18.