Tag Archives: biography

Climb every mountain: the life of Felice Benuzzi (1910-1988)

Rory Steele launchMelbourne’s Italian Institute of Culture and Connor Court Publishing will be launching The Heart and the Abyss – The Life of Felice Benuzzi by Rory Steele, who will be present for the occasion, on Thursday 18 August at 6 pm at the Italian Institute, 233 Domain Road, South Yarra (rsvp to Bruno Mascitelli or phone (03) 9214 5363). Felice Benuzzi (1910-1988) represented Italy as a swimmer (breaststroke), colonial adminstrator and diplomat. His best-known exploit, recounted in his No Picnic on Mount Kenya (1947) and here in an interview for the RAI (1987), was to break out of his POW camp in 1943 to scale the second-highest mountain in Africa, with no maps and only handmade gear, returning to the camp to report to a bemused British commandant seventeen days later (the col between Point Dutton and the Petit Gendarme on Mount Kenya was named Benuzzi Col in his honour). Decorated for bravery in combat, he served as consul in Berlin and ambassador to Uruguay, ending his career as Head of the Italian Delegation for the Antarctic. A passionate mountaineer, he was a founder-member of the environmental group Mountain Wilderness. The author of this biography, Rory Steele, was Australia’s ambassador to Italy 1997-2001.

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Joe Farrell on Dario Fo and Franca Rame

darioefranca_3d-369x489Join us on Tuesday 8 April at 6.30pm at the Museo Italiano, 199 Faraday St, Carlton, Melbourne, for the presentation by Joe Farrell (University of Strathclyde) of his two recent books. His interview with Franca Rame, Franca Rame: non è tempo di nostalgia (Della Porta Editori) was published in July 2013 and his biography of Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Dario e Franca: La biografia della coppia Fo/Rame attraverso la storia italiana (Ledizioni, Milano), in February 2014.

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The Pike e la rete di d’Annunzio predatore

Stefano Bragato   University of Reading

D'Annunzio_4L’ultimo colpo di coda delle celebrazioni per il 150° anniversario della nascita di Gabriele d’Annunzio (non scevre, purtroppo, del tipico tangenziale pasticcio all’italiana) è arrivato poche settimane fa, quando la discussa biografia di Lucy Hughes-Hallet (The Pike, London: Fourth Estate, 2013) ha vinto il prestigioso “Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction”. Tra le ragioni dell’assegnazione, informano i giudici, lo stile ricco e l’insolita organizzazione narrativa (che balza avanti e indietro nel tempo), elementi questi che riuscirebbero a rendere sopportabile un “repellente egoista” come d’Annunzio. Una biografia sicuramente interessante e soprattutto molto godibile, che forse non getta una luce particolarmente nuova sul poeta-soldato, ma che senza dubbio ne sfaccetta abilmente la figura.

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