Wednesday, October 6, 2021

From Writing to Porcelain Painting - Interview with Elisabetta Fioritti - by Maria Teresa De Donato


From Writing to Porcelain Painting

Interview with Elisabetta Fioritti

by Maria Teresa De Donato


Today I am very happy to host a friend and colleague-author, Elisabetta Fioritti, an artist as creative as she is multifaceted.

There is a lot to say about her, but, as I usually do, I shall let my guest to reveal herself to our readers.


MTDD: Hi, Elisabetta, and welcome to my Virtual Cultural Salon.

EF: Good morning to you, Maria Teresa, and thank you for offering me this window onto your world.


MTDD: Thanks to you. It is a pleasure. Elisabetta, as I do with all my guests, I would prefer you to introduce yourself to our readers by sharing all the information you want about who you are, your life, your studies, your work, and whatever else you wish to tell us.

EF: I am a person like many others, with my conflicts and uncertainties. I am a mixture of thoughts, aspirations, dreams, inclinations, which have never found a true point of balance. I think this might happen to everyone, but our society imposes roles on us, assigns us labels. Then perhaps, I would define myself as a bit of a writer, a bit of a painter, a bit of a dreamer. Since I was a child, I have always had a double inclination towards writing and drawing. Classical high school opened the world of literature to me and I fell in love with it. I was the one who corrected the papers under the table, perhaps in exchange for a translation into Latin. But inside I always had that unspoken desire to devote myself to art, to creativity. Then I enrolled at the Faculty of Literature, at the University of Turin, moved to Casale Monferrato, and married when I was very young. I could say that I was trained along the way. I studied painting on porcelain with the third fire technique, finding in that pure, candid, shiny substance, the ideal material for my creations. The writing was there, as in an unspoken limbo, it kept me company, it clashed with my shyness and with that typical style of raising children in those days, according to which one had to keep one's emotions to oneself. Then, my inner desire to tell exploded with the publication of my first book, L’odore dei giorni (The smell of the days), partly autobiographical.


MTDD: Although you were born in Puglia, you moved first to Turin and other Piedmontese locations and then to Rome, my hometown, where you settled permanently and still live today.

Was it difficult for you to adapt to so many different places and what were the main obstacles you eventually faced?

EF: I think I am a bit nomadic inside because I have always liked to know new places, different people, traditions, uses, different points of view. I was born in a small town in the province of Foggia, Carlantino, where my father was deputy director in the construction of a dam, the Occhito Dam. I talk about it in my first book, which was my authentic training, three years of my childhood completely immersed in nature and in dreams. Like Pavese, an author I loved very much, I carry within me that being born in a country and that shaped my soul. In a city like Rome, which nevertheless welcomed me warmly, and which remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world, I feel disoriented, it is not my authentic dimension. In my wanderings through Italy, I built my little intimate treasure, unparalleled. Not understandable to those who were born and lived in the same city of origin for a lifetime. In so doing, we give up an important part, thus the connection to our roots, and this will be missed throughout our life. But a broader point of view on things is gained. My places of the heart are inside me, I have never abandoned them, they form my persona, my memories, my most intimate thoughts and flow into my writing. Finally, I feel that home is where the people you love are.


MTDD: Your passion has always been writing which, by your own admission, you carry within you since adolescence. In 2017, you published your first novel, L’odore dei giorni (The Smell of the Days) (Tekeditori).

Starting from its title, would you like to tell us about its content and its message to the public?

EF: The smell of the days is an intimate, coming-of-age novel. It tells about Barbara's life, her search for a place in the world, her world being heroic and customary at the same time. Ultimately, it is a challenge, that of telling the everyday life, the ordinary, showing its extraordinary nature. We are all unique pieces, protagonists, and heroes of our lives and anyone can find themselves in Barbara's story, because life, the real one, is a journey, sometimes more exciting and unsettling than a novel. More than the novel, it certainly requires a lot of courage and a lot of passion. The title of the book comes from the awareness, of Proustian memory, that smells trigger the memory, like or perhaps more than music. I found myself walking in a park, in a city where I had not gone for a long time, and I recovered in a breath of wind all the smells of that place, from the fog to the scent of moss, to the fragrance of wet earth, of mushrooms, of burnt wood. The smell of my young winters, of the first kisses, a smell to remember and tell. Thus the title was born and the novel was born, from a walk in a Turin park. The amazement came later. What I believed to be my personal experience turned out to be common to that of many readers who, according to them, found themselves in my pages. Then I understood that when you publish a story, that is no longer yours alone, it becomes everyone's, it interprets and channels experiences, in a certain sense it is enriched by the reader's eye, creating a thread of union, a sort of imaginary friendship.


MTDD: I fully share your thoughts. In March 2021 you published your second novel, Vite Convergenti  (Convergent Lives) (Bertoni Editore), for which you have already obtained an award.

Tell us about your work, from the title to the issues it addresses and the message you want to communicate to the reader, and any other details you wish to add.

EF: Vite convergenti tells the story of two young people of our time, placed in a difficult context and in a miserly time, which offers little and asks a lot from our children. This generation bears the burden of unsolved problems which we, fathers, mothers, grandparents, are largely responsible for and guilty of. Dario and Chiara try many ways to be able to fulfill themselves professionally, in a complicated path, full of obstacles, but scattered here and there with those little great joys and satisfactions that make life worth living, fought, and savored. In this intricate path, often uphill, strewn with unexpected events, other characters converge, who meet, generating friendships, exchanging experiences, to build the mosaic of history. Vite convergenti (Convergent Lives) wants to remind us that we do not go anywhere alone, we are social beings and each of us is the result of the encounters and events that have shaped us. But it also suggests, between the lines, a strong invitation to hope and gratitude towards life, as a priceless and unique gift, to always be appreciated in all conditions, even when it turns gray, hiding its magnificent colors.


MTDD: These two novels have been flanked by poems and short stories published in anthologies, magazines, and calendars and for which you have obtained various awards.

Would you like to tell us about them?

EF: I wrote and published short stories and poems in various anthologies, which I still write today. They are a more immediate way of transmitting emotions and channeling experiences and suggestions. My poems are free from metrics and rhyme, perhaps I could simply define them as thoughts, emotions on paper. Writing, especially poetry, has a very intense cathartic function. But for now, I don't feel the need to publish them. Maybe in the future, who knows! The awards have value as they objectively recognize what is subjective inside me. I don't like competition, I participated in some serious literary competitions because I felt the need to see myself through the eyes of the reader, to find competent external feedback, extraneous to my enchantment towards words.


MTDD: In the introduction, I defined you as "an artist ... multifaceted" because, in addition to your intense literary activity, you are also a painter on porcelain.

When and how was this other passion of yours born?

EF: I would define myself as an artisan, more than an artist. But I have this confusion, this inner magma, this dissatisfaction of an artist. Here, in this, I am an artist. I studied the "Third Fire in Porcelain Technique" first in Turin, where I learned the use of colors and the basic technique, then in Rome with a good teacher, dear friend, Anna Salvatori, in the charming workshop of the Paolelli family. I still paint, sometimes, out of passion or friendship.



MTDD: While your artistic talent and aesthetic sense are evident in your creations, how have you refined these qualities?

EF: Thank you for the compliment. In both writing and painting, exercise is, in my opinion, of primary importance. So, I would say keep writing and painting, always.


MTDD: Elisabetta, is there any other information you would like to share that we haven't mentioned?

EF: I want to thank you, because, due to my publications, I met, through Facebook, special people, who have helped me in my journey and to whom I am grateful. You are among these people and you have a rare kindness, which I appreciate and consider a virtue, not at all obvious. In the same way, I want to thank my two editors, Tekeditori and Bertoni, because they have placed their trust in me. Thanks to those who have come this far in reading, I hope I have not bored them too much. I find it difficult to talk about myself and my life, but it was nice to be here, with you, in this virtual salon, in friendship, at a distance, and yet in presence.


MTDD: Heartfelt thanks, Elizabeth, for your words with which I agree. It's true, even I have met through social networks like Facebook really special people towards whom I feel not only esteem but also deep affection, and you are among them. I am not going to list them, but – while reading us – they shall recognize themselves.

If there are any readers or porcelain lovers who wished to contact you and/or even buy your works, how can they do so?

EF: My books can be found on all major online platforms, they can be purchased in bookstores, and even ordered there. My FB profile is public, anyone can contact me, even on messenger.


MTDD: Thank you, Elisabetta, for participating in this interview. It was a great pleasure to host you. I look forward to seeing you in the future for your other works, whatever they may be. In the meantime, I wish you great success in all your businesses.

EF: Thanks to you, dear Maria Teresa, it was a joy for me to talk to you and your readers. I warmly reciprocate the wish you make me. For me, success is enjoying what I do and finding feedback in people, to whom I hope to give, through my writings, a few hours of escape, a smile, a tear, a little dream.



Dalla Scrittura alla Pittura su Porcellana - Intervista ad Elisabetta Fioritti - di Maria Teresa De Donato


Dalla Scrittura alla Pittura su Porcellana

Intervista ad Elisabetta Fioritti

di Maria Teresa De Donato


Oggi sono molto felice di ospitare un’amica e collega-autrice, Elisabetta Fioritti, artista tanto creativa quanto poliedrica.

Molto ci sarebbe da dire su di lei, ma, come al solito, preferisco che sia il mio ospite a rivelarsi a voi lettori.


MTDD: Ciao, Elisabetta, e benvenuta nel mio Salotto Culturale Virtuale.

EF: Buongiorno a te, Maria Teresa, e grazie per offrirmi questa finestra sul tuo mondo.


MTDD: Grazie a te. È un piacere. Elisabetta, come faccio con tutti i miei ospiti, preferisco che sia tu stessa a presentarti ai nostri lettori condividendo tutte le informazioni che vorrai su chi sei, la tua vita, i tuoi studi, il tuo lavoro e quant’altro vorrai raccontarci.

EF: Sono una persona come tante, con i suoi conflitti e le sue incertezze. Sono un misto di pensieri, aspirazioni, sogni, inclinazioni, che non hanno mai trovato un vero punto di equilibrio. Credo che questo accada un po’ a tutti, ma la Società ci impone dei ruoli, ci assegna delle etichette. Allora forse mi definirei un po’ scrittrice, un po’ pittrice, un po’ sognatrice. Ho sempre avuto, fin da piccola, una doppia propensione verso la scrittura e il disegno. Il liceo classico mi ha spalancato il mondo della letteratura e me ne sono innamorata. Ero quella che correggeva i  temi sottobanco, magari in cambio di una traduzione di latino. Però dentro avevo sempre quel desiderio inespresso di dedicarmi all’arte, di creare. Poi l’iscrizione a Lettere, all’Università di Torino, il trasferimento a Casale Monferrato, il matrimonio, giovanissima. Potrei dire che mi sono formata strada facendo. Ho studiato Pittura su porcellana con la tecnica del terzo fuoco, trovando in quel materiale, puro, candido, lucente, la materia ideale per le mie creazioni. La scrittura era lì, come in un limbo inespresso, mi faceva compagnia, si scontrava con la mia timidezza e con quella formazione tipica del mio tempo, secondo la quale bisognava tenere per sé le proprie emozioni. Poi è esplosa, questa voglia di raccontare, con la pubblicazione del mio primo libro, L’odore dei giorni, in parte autobiografico.


MTDD: Benché nata in Puglia ti sei trasferita prima a Torino ed in altre località piemontesi e poi a Roma, la mia città natale, dove ti sei stabilita definitivamente e vivi tuttora.

Ti è stato difficile adattarti a tanti posti diversi e quali sono stati i principali ostacoli che eventualmente hai dovuto affrontare?

EF: Io credo di essere dentro un po’ nomade, perchè mi è sempre piaciuto conoscere nuovi luoghi, persone diverse, tradizioni, usi, punti di vista differenti. Sono nata in un paesino in provincia di Foggia, Carlantino, dove mio padre era vicedirettore nella costruzione di una diga, la Diga di Occhito. Ne parlo nel primo libro, quella fu la mia formazione autentica, tre anni della mia infanzia completamente immersi nella natura e nel sogno. Come Pavese, autore che ho molto amato, mi porto dentro quell’essere nata in un paese e che ha formato la mia anima. In una città come Roma, che pure mi ha accolta con calore e che rimane una delle più belle città del mondo, io mi sento spaesata, non è la mia dimensione autentica. Nel mio peregrinare attraverso l’Italia ho costruito un mio piccolo tesoro intimo, ineguagliabile. Non comprensibile a quanti siano nati e vissuti nella stessa città di origine per una vita intera. Si rinuncia a una parte importante, il collegamento alle proprie radici, e questo manca, tutta la vita. Però si conquista un punto di vista più ampio sulle cose. I miei luoghi del cuore sono dentro di me, non li ho mai abbandonati, formano la mia persona, i miei ricordi, i miei pensieri più intimi e confluiscono nella scrittura. Infine, ritengo che casa sia dove sono le persone che ami.


MTDD: Tua passione è da sempre la scrittura che, per tua stessa ammissione, ti porti dentro sin dall’adolescenza. Nel 2017, hai pubblicato il tuo primo romanzo, L’Odore dei Giorni (Tekeditori).

Partendo dal suo titolo, vorresti parlarci del suo contenuto e del suo messaggio al pubblico?

EF: L’odore dei giorni è un romanzo di formazione, intimistico. Racconta la vita di Barbara, il suo cercare un posto nel mondo, il suo mondo eroico e consueto al tempo stesso. In fondo costituisce una sfida, quella di raccontare il quotidiano, l’ordinario, mostrandone la straordinarietà. Siamo tutti pezzi unici, protagonisti ed eroi della nostra vita e chiunque può ritrovarsi nelle vicende di Barbara, perché l’esistenza, quella vera, è un viaggio, a volte più appassionante e spiazzante di un romanzo. Più del romanzo, sicuramente richiede molto coraggio e tanta passione. Il titolo del libro nasce dalla consapevolezza, di memoria Proustiana, che gli odori scatenino il ricordo, al pari o forse più della musica. Io mi ritrovai a camminare in un parco, in una città dove non andavo da tempo, e riavvertii in un soffio di vento tutti gli odori di quel luogo, dalla nebbia, al sentore di muschio, alla fragranza di terra bagnata, di funghi, di legna bruciata. L’odore dei miei inverni giovani, dei primi baci, un odore da ricordare e raccontare. Così è nato il titolo ed è nato il romanzo, da una passeggiata in un parco torinese. Lo stupore è venuto dopo. Quella che credevo essere la mia personale esperienza si è rivelata comune a quella di tanti lettori che, a loro dire, si sono ritrovati nelle mie pagine. Allora ho compreso che quando pubblichi una storia, quella non è più solo tua, diventa di tutti, interpreta e incanala esperienze, in un certo senso si arricchisce dell’occhio di chi legge, creando un filo di unione, una sorta di amicizia immaginaria.


MTDD: Condivido pienamente il tuo pensiero. A Marzo del 2021 hai pubblicato il tuo secondo romanzo, Vite Convergenti (Bertoni Editore), per il quale hai già conseguito un riconoscimento.

Raccontaci di questo tuo lavoro, dal titolo, alle tematiche che affronta e al messaggio che vuoi comunicare al lettore e qualsiasi altro dettaglio tu voglia aggiungere.

EF: Vite convergenti racconta la storia di due giovani del nostro tempo, inseriti in un contesto difficile e in un tempo avaro, che offre poco e chiede molto ai nostri ragazzi. Questa generazione si trova sulle spalle il peso di problemi non risolti di cui noi, padri, madri, nonni, siamo in larga parte fautori e colpevoli. Dario e Chiara tentano molte strade per riuscire a realizzarsi professionalmente, in un percorso complicato, irto di ostacoli, ma disseminato, qua e là, di quelle piccole grandi gioie e soddisfazioni che rendono la vita degna di essere vissuta, combattuta e assaporata. In questo percorso intricato, spesso in salita, disseminato di imprevisti, convergono altri personaggi, che si incontrano, generando amicizie, scambi di esperienze, fino a costruire il mosaico della storia. Vite convergenti vuole ricordarci che da soli non andiamo da nessuna parte, siamo esseri sociali e ognuno di noi è il frutto degli incontri e degli eventi che lo hanno plasmato. Ma suggerisce anche, tra le righe, un forte invito alla speranza e alla gratitudine verso la vita, quale dono inestimabile e unico, da apprezzare sempre in ogni condizione, anche quando si colora di grigio, nascondendo i suoi magnifici colori. 


MTDD: A questi due romanzi, si sono affiancati poesie e racconti che sono stati pubblicati su antologie, riviste e calendari e per i quali hai ottenuto diversi riconoscimenti.

Vorresti parlarcene?

EF: Ho scritto e pubblicato in diverse antologie racconti e poesie, che scrivo tuttora. Sono un modo più immediato di trasmettere emozioni e incanalare esperienze e suggestioni. Le mie poesie sono libere da metrica e da rima, forse potrei definirle semplicemente dei pensieri, emozioni su carta. La scrittura, specialmente la poesia, ha una funzione catartica molto intensa. Ma  per ora non sento l’esigenza di pubblicarle. Forse in futuro, chissà! I premi hanno valore in quanto riconoscono in modo oggettivo quel che dentro di me è soggettivo. Non amo la competizione, ho partecipato ad alcuni concorsi letterari seri, perché sentivo il bisogno di vedermi con gli occhi di chi legge, di trovare un riscontro competente esterno, estraneo al mio personale incanto verso le parole.


MTDD: Nell’introduzione ti ho definita “un’artista …poliedrica” perché, oltre alla tua intensa attività letteraria, sei anche una pittrice su porcellana.

Quando e come è nata questa tua passione?

EF: Io mi definirei un’artigiana, più che un’artista. Ma dell’artista ho la confusione, il magma interiore, l’insoddisfazione. Ecco, in questo sono un’artista. Ho studiato la “Tecnica del terzo Fuoco in Porcellana” prima a Torino, dove ho imparato l’uso dei colori e la tecnica di base, poi a Roma con una brava insegnante, cara amica, Anna Salvatori, nel suggestivo laboratorio della Famiglia Paolelli. Tuttora dipingo, a volte, per passione o per amicizia.


MTDD: Pur essendo evidenti nelle tue creazioni il tuo talento artistico e senso estetico, come hai raffinato queste tue doti?

EF: Ti ringrazio per il complimento. Sia nella scrittura, che nella pittura, l’esercizio è, a mio avviso, di prioritaria importanza. Quindi direi scrivendo e dipingendo, sempre.


MTDD: Elisabetta, c’è qualche altra informazione che vorresti condividere e che non abbiamo menzionato?

EF: Voglio ringraziarti, perchè, a causa delle mie pubblicazioni, ho conosciuto, tramite Facebook, persone speciali, che mi hanno aiutato nel mio percorso e alle quali sono grata. Tu sei tra queste persone e possiedi una gentilezza rara, che io apprezzo e considero una virtù, niente affatto scontata. Allo stesso modo voglio ringraziare i miei due editori, Tekeditori e Bertoni, perché mi hanno accordato fiducia. Grazie a chi è arrivato fin qui nella lettura, spero di non averlo annoiato troppo. Trovo difficile parlare di me stessa e della mia vita, ma è stato bello essere qui, con te, in questo salotto virtuale, in amicizia, a distanza eppure in presenza.


MTDD: Grazie di cuore, Elisabetta, per le tue parole con cui concordo totalmente. È vero, anche io ho conosciuto proprio tramite social come Facebook persone davvero speciali e verso cui provo non solo stima ma anche profondo affetto, e tu sei tra queste. Non le elenco, ma loro – leggendoci – si riconosceranno.

Nel caso ci fossero lettori o amanti della porcellana che volessero contattarti e/o persino acquistare i tuoi lavori, in che modo potranno farlo?

EF: I miei libri si trovano su tutte le maggiori piattaforme online, sono acquistabili in libreria, anche su prenotazione. Il mio profilo FB è pubblico, chiunque può contattarmi, anche su messenger.


MTDD: Grazie, Elisabetta, per aver partecipato a questa intervista. È stato un grande piacere ospitarti. Ti aspetto in futuro per altri tuoi lavori, qualunque essi siano. Nel frattempo, ti auguro un grande successo in tutte le tue attività.

EF: Grazie a te, cara Maria Teresa, è stata per me una gioia interloquire con te e con i tuoi lettori. Ricambio con calore l’augurio che mi fai. Per me, il successo è godere di quello che faccio e ritrovare un riscontro nelle persone, alle quali spero di regalare, attraverso i miei scritti, qualche ora di evasione, un sorriso, una lacrima, un piccolo sogno.



Von der Schrift zur Porzellanmalerei - Interview mit Elisabetta Fioritti - von Maria Teresa De Donato


Von der Schrift zur Porzellanmalerei

Interview mit Elisabetta Fioritti

von Maria Teresa De Donato


Heute freue ich mich sehr, eine Freundin und Kollegin-Autorin, Elisabetta Fioritti, eine ebenso kreative wie vielseitige Künstlerin begrüßen zu dürfen.

Es gibt viel über sie zu sagen, aber wie immer ziehe ich es vor, dass sich mein Gast unseren Lesern offenbart.


MTDD: Hallo, Elisabetta, und willkommen in meinem virtuellen Kultursalon.

EF: Guten Morgen, Maria Teresa, und danke, dass du mir dieses Fenster zu deiner Welt angeboten hast.


MTDD: Dank Dir. Es ist ein Vergnügen. Elisabetta, wie ich es bei allen meinen Gästen tue, ziehe ich es vor, dass Du Dich unseren Lesern vorstellen, indem Du alle gewünschten Informationen über Dich, Dein Leben, Dein Studium, Deine Arbeit und alles andere, was Du uns sonst noch mitteilen möchtest.

EF: Ich bin ein Mensch wie viele andere auch, mit seinen Konflikten und Unsicherheiten. Ich bin eine Mischung aus Gedanken, Sehnsüchten, Träumen, Neigungen, die nie ein wahres Gleichgewicht gefunden haben. Ich denke, das passiert jedem ein bisschen, aber die Gesellschaft zwingt uns Rollen auf, weist uns Labels zu. Dann würde ich mich vielleicht als ein bisschen Schriftstellerin, ein bisschen Malerin, ein bisschen Träumerin bezeichnen. Seit meiner Kindheit hatte ich immer eine doppelte Neigung zum Schreiben und Zeichnen. Das klassische Gymnasium hat mir die Welt der Literatur eröffnet und ich habe mich in sie verliebt. Ich war derjenige, der die Themen unter dem Tisch korrigierte, vielleicht im Austausch für eine Übersetzung ins Lateinische. Aber innerlich hatte ich immer diesen unausgesprochenen Wunsch, mich der Kunst zu widmen, zu erschaffen. Dann die Einschreibung in Literatur an der Universität Turin, der Wechsel nach Casale Monferrato, die Heirat, ganz jung. Ich könnte sagen, dass ich auf dem Weg gebildet wurde. Ich studierte Porzellanmalerei mit der dritten Feuertechnik und fand in diesem Material, rein, offen, glänzend, das ideale Material für meine Kreationen. Die Schrift war da, wie in einem unausgesprochenen Schwebezustand, sie leistete mir Gesellschaft, sie kollidierte mit meiner Schüchternheit und mit jener für meine Zeit typischen Formation, nach der man seine Gefühle für sich behalten musste. Mit der Veröffentlichung meines ersten Buches, L’odore dei giorni (Der Geruch der Tage), teils autobiografisch, explodierte dann diese Lust zu erzählen.


MTDD: Obwohl Du in Apulien geboren wurdest, bist Du zuerst nach Turin und anderen piemontesischen Orten und dann nach Rom, meiner Heimatstadt, gezogen, wo Du Dich dauerhaft niedergelassen hast und noch heute lebst.

War es für Dich schwierig, Dich an so viele verschiedene Orte zu gewöhnen und was waren die größten Hindernisse, mit denen Du letztendlich konfrontiert warst?

EF: Ich glaube, ich bin innerlich ein bisschen nomadisch, weil ich immer gerne neue Orte, andere Menschen, Traditionen, Nutzungen, andere Sichtweisen kennengelernt habe. Ich wurde in einer kleinen Stadt in der Provinz Foggia, Carlantino, geboren, wo mein Vater stellvertretender Direktor beim Bau eines Staudamms, des Occhito-Staudamms, war. Ich spreche darüber im ersten Buch; das war meine authentische Ausbildung, drei Jahre meiner Kindheit ganz in die Natur und in Träume versunken. Wie Pavese, ein Autor, den ich sehr geliebt habe, trage ich in mir, dass ich in einem Land geboren wurde und meine Seele geformt hat. In einer Stadt wie Rom, die mich trotzdem herzlich aufgenommen hat und die eine der schönsten Städte der Welt bleibt, fühle ich mich desorientiert; das ist nicht meine authentische Dimension. Auf meinen Streifzügen durch Italien habe ich mir meinen eigenen kleinen intimen Schatz gebaut, der seinesgleichen sucht. Nicht verständlich für diejenigen, die in derselben Herkunftsstadt geboren wurden und ihr Leben lang lebten. Wir geben einen wichtigen Teil auf, die Verbindung zu unseren Wurzeln, und diese fehlt dem ganzen Leben. Aber man bekommt einen breiteren Blickwinkel auf die Dinge. Meine Herzensorte sind in mir; ich habe sie nie verlassen, sie formen meine Person, meine Erinnerungen, meine intimsten Gedanken und fließen in das Schreiben ein. Schließlich habe ich das Gefühl, dass Zuhause dort ist, wo die Menschen sind, die man liebt.


MTDD: Deine Leidenschaft war schon immer das Schreiben, das Du nach eigener Aussage seit Deiner Jugend in Dich trägst. 2017 hast Du Deinen ersten Roman L’odore dei giorni (Der Geruch der Tage) (Tekeditori) veröffentlicht.

Möchtest Du uns, ausgehend vom Titel, über seinen Inhalt und seine Botschaft an die Öffentlichkeit erzählen?

EF: L’odore dei giorni (Der Geruch der Tage) ist ein intimer Bildungsroman. Es erzählt von Barbaras Leben, ihrer Suche nach einem Platz in der Welt, ihrer heroischen und gewohnten Welt zugleich. Letztlich ist es eine Herausforderung, das Alltägliche, das Gewöhnliche zu erzählen, seine Außergewöhnlichkeit zu zeigen. Wir alle sind Einzelstücke, Protagonisten und Helden unseres Lebens und jeder kann sich in Barbaras Geschichte wiederfinden, denn das Leben, das wahre, ist eine Reise, manchmal spannender und beunruhigender als ein Roman. Mehr als der Roman erfordert es sicherlich viel Mut und viel Leidenschaft. Der Titel des Buches kommt aus dem Bewusstsein, der proustischen Erinnerung, dass Gerüche die Erinnerung auslösen, wie oder vielleicht mehr als Musik. Ich fand mich in einem Park wieder, in einer Stadt, in die ich schon lange nicht mehr gegangen war, und ich nahm in einem Windhauch alle Gerüche dieses Ortes wieder auf, vom Nebel über den Moosduft bis zum Duft von nasse Erde, von Pilzen, von verbranntem Holz. Der Geruch meiner jungen Winter, der ersten Küsse, ein Geruch zum Erinnern und Erzählen. So entstand der Titel und der Roman, aus einem Spaziergang in einem Turiner Park. Das Staunen kam später. Was ich für meine persönliche Erfahrung hielt, stellte sich als die vieler Leser heraus, die sich ihrer Meinung nach auf meinen Seiten wiederfanden. Dann habe ich verstanden, dass wenn du eine Geschichte veröffentlichst, sie nicht mehr deine allein ist, sondern zu jedermanns wird; sie interpretiert und kanalisiert Erfahrungen, in gewisser Weise wird sie durch das Auge des Lesers bereichert, wodurch ein Faden der Verbindung entsteht, eine Art imaginäre Freundschaft .


MTDD: Ich teile Deine Meinung voll und ganz. Im März 2021 hast Du Deinen zweiten Roman Vite Convergenti (Konvergierende Leben) (Bertoni Editore) veröffentlicht, für den Du bereits eine Auszeichnung erhalten hast.

Erzähle uns von Deiner Arbeit, vom Titel über die darin behandelten Probleme und die Botschaft, die Du dem Leser mitteilen, und alle anderen Details, die Du hinzufügen möchtest.

EF: Vite Convergenti (Konvergierende Leben) erzählt die Geschichte zweier junger Menschen unserer Zeit, platziert in einem schwierigen Kontext und in einer geizigen Zeit, die unseren Kindern wenig bietet und viel abverlangt. Diese Generation trägt die Last ungelöster Probleme, deren Unterstützer und Schuld wir, Väter, Mütter, Großeltern, sind. Dario und Chiara versuchen viele Wege, sich beruflich zu verwirklichen, auf einem komplizierten Weg voller Hindernisse, aber hier und da verstreut mit den kleinen großen Freuden und Befriedigungen, die das Leben lebenswert machen, erkämpft und genossen werden. Auf diesem komplizierten Weg, der oft bergauf geht und mit unerwarteten Ereignissen übersät ist, kommen andere Charaktere entgegen, die sich treffen, Freundschaften schließen, Erfahrungen austauschen und das Mosaik der Geschichte aufbauen. Vite convergenti möchte uns daran erinnern, dass wir alleine nirgendwo hingehen; dass wir soziale Wesen sind und jeder von uns das Ergebnis der Begegnungen und Ereignisse ist, die uns geprägt haben. Aber es suggeriert zwischen den Zeilen auch eine starke Einladung zur Hoffnung und Dankbarkeit gegenüber dem Leben, als unbezahlbares und einzigartiges Geschenk, das unter allen Bedingungen immer geschätzt wird, auch wenn es grau wird und seine herrlichen Farben verbirgt.


MTDD: Flankiert wurden diese beiden Romane von Gedichten und Kurzgeschichten, die in Anthologien, Zeitschriften und Kalendern erschienen sind und für die Du verschiedene Auszeichnungen erhalten hast.

Möchtest Du uns davon erzählen?

EF: Ich habe Kurzgeschichten und Gedichte in verschiedenen Anthologien geschrieben und veröffentlicht, die ich heute noch schreibe. Sie sind ein unmittelbarer Weg, Emotionen zu übertragen und Erfahrungen und Vorschläge zu kanalisieren. Meine Gedichte sind frei von Metriken und Reimen, vielleicht könnte ich sie einfach als Gedanken, Emotionen auf dem Papier definieren. Das Schreiben, insbesondere Poesie, hat eine sehr intensive kathartische Funktion. Aber im Moment habe ich nicht das Bedürfnis, sie zu veröffentlichen. Vielleicht in Zukunft, wer weiß! Die Auszeichnungen haben einen Wert, da sie objektiv erkennen, was in mir subjektiv ist. Ich mag keinen Wettbewerb, ich habe an einigen ernsthaften Literaturwettbewerben teilgenommen, weil ich das Bedürfnis verspürte, mich selbst durch die Augen des Lesers zu sehen, kompetente externe Rückmeldungen zu finden, die meiner persönlichen Begeisterung für Worte fremd sind.


MTDD: In der Einleitung habe ich Dich als "Künstlerin ... facettenreich" bezeichnet, weil Du neben Deiner intensiven literarischen Tätigkeit auch Porzellanmalerin bist.

Wann und wie wurde Deine Leidenschaft geboren?

EF: Ich würde mich eher als Handwerkerin definieren als als Künstlerin. Aber ich habe die Verwirrung, das innere Magma, die Unzufriedenheit des Künstlers. Hier, darin bin ich eine Künstlerin. Das "Dritte Feuer in der Porzellantechnik" habe ich zuerst in Turin studiert, wo ich den Umgang mit Farben und die Grundtechnik erlernt habe, dann in Rom bei einer guten Lehrerin, liebe Freundin, Anna Salvatori, in der charmanten Werkstatt der Familie Paolelli. Ich male immer noch, manchmal aus Leidenschaft oder Freundschaft.


MTDD: Während Dein künstlerisches Talent und ästhetisches Gespür in Deinen Kreationen offensichtlich sind, wie hast Du diese Qualitäten verfeinert?

EF: Danke für das Kompliment. Sowohl beim Schreiben als auch beim Malen ist Bewegung meiner Meinung nach von größter Bedeutung. Also ich würde sagen, schreiben und malen, immer.


MTDD: Elisabetta, gibt es noch andere Informationen, die Du mitteilen möchtest, die wir nicht erwähnt haben?

EF: Ich möchte Dir danken, denn durch meine Veröffentlichungen habe ich über Facebook besondere Menschen kennengelernt, die mir auf meinem Weg geholfen haben und denen ich dankbar bin. Du gehörst zu diesen Menschen und hast eine seltene Freundlichkeit, die ich schätze und als Tugend betrachte, die überhaupt nicht offensichtlich ist. Ebenso möchte ich meinen beiden Redakteuren Tekeditori und Bertoni danken, die mir ihr Vertrauen geschenkt haben. Dank denen, die beim Lesen so weit gekommen sind, hoffe ich, dass ich ihn nicht zu sehr gelangweilt habe. Es fällt mir schwer, über mich und mein Leben zu sprechen, aber es war schön, hier, bei dir, in diesem virtuellen Salon, in Freundschaft, auf Distanz und doch in Präsenz zu sein.


MTDD: Herzlichen Dank, Elizabetta, für Deine Worte, denen ich voll und ganz zustimme. Es stimmt, auch ich habe durch soziale Netzwerke wie Facebook ganz besondere Menschen kennengelernt und denen gegenüber ich nicht nur Wertschätzung, sondern auch tiefe Zuneigung empfinde, und Du gehörst dazu. Ich liste sie nicht auf, aber sie werden sich erkennen – wenn sie uns lesen.

Wenn es Leser oder Porzellanliebhaber gibt, die mit Dir in Kontakt treten und/oder sogar Deine Werke kaufen möchten, wie können sie das tun?

EF: Meine Bücher sind auf allen großen Online-Plattformen zu finden; sie können in Buchhandlungen erworben werden, sogar auf Vorbestellung. Mein FB-Profil ist öffentlich, jeder kann mich kontaktieren, sogar im Messenger.


MTDD: Vielen Dank, Elisabetta, für die Teilnahme an diesem Interview. Es war mir eine große Freude, Dich zu bewirten. Ich freue mich darauf, Dich in Zukunft für Deine anderen Werke zu sehen, was auch immer sie sein mögen. In der Zwischenzeit wünsche ich Dir viel Erfolg in all Deinen Geschäften.

EF: Dank dir, liebe Maria Teresa, war es mir eine Freude mit dir und deinen Lesern zu sprechen. Ich erwidere herzlich den Wunsch, den du mir machst. Erfolg bedeutet für mich Spaß an dem, was ich tue und Feedback von Menschen zu finden, denen ich mit meinen Schriften ein paar Stunden Flucht, ein Lächeln, eine Träne, einen kleinen Traum schenken möchte.


Friday, October 1, 2021

Amateur Photography: Walking with Gerardo in the Apulian alleys - Interview with Gerardo Narcisi - by Maria Teresa De Donato


Amateur Photography:

Walking with Gerardo in the Apulian alleys

Interview with Gerardo Narcisi

by Maria Teresa De Donato


Photography is an art and also a great passion of mine. Until now I had not talked about it in any of my interviews.

Today I am happy to do so with Gerardo Narcisi who – he is keen to point out – is not a professional photographer but only an amateur.

With Gerardo we will tour, even if only virtually, the alleys of some towns in the Itria Valley and the surrounding countryside, savoring a lifestyle that has kept intact its ancient charm and seems to have stopped in the mists of time.

The Itria Valley, which coincides with the southern part of the Murge plateau, is also known as the "Valley of the Trulli" and extends between the provinces of Bari, Taranto, and Brindisi.


MTDD: Hi, Gerardo, and welcome to my Virtual Cultural Salon.

GN: Good morning Maria Teresa, thanks for the invitation.


MTDD: Gerardo, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself?

GN: My name is Gerardo Narcisi. I was born in Martina Franca on April 23, 1962, where I live. I am married and currently retired. I worked from a very young age in the engineering sector at the "BELLELI" company in Taranto.


MTDD: By profession, you have, therefore, been a metalworker all your life.

How and when did your love for photography start?

GN: My attraction to photography was born during my military service when I met a fellow soldier whose father ran a camera shop. It was there that I bought my first camera, a Nikon FM2, and photography has become a great passion for me ever since.


MTDD: What do you like to photograph most of all?

GN: What I love the most is to take pictures of nature and landscapes ...


MTDD: Have you ever used photography for professional purposes?

GN: No, but for years I have been a member of the Castrum Martinae Cultural Association, where I currently hold the position of photo and video operator.


MTDD: Let's begin, therefore, our tourist itinerary starting right from your city, Martina Franca, an agricultural center famous for its beautiful Baroque-style buildings, that was born as a village in the 10th century even if it seems that as an area it has already been inhabited since the Neolithic until the 4th century AD.

Would you, please, describe these images of Martina Franca (Taranto):

GN: In the first photo (A) we can admire Piazza Roma where the Palazzo Ducale overlooks. Its center is enriched by the Fountain of the Dolphins. From this square, you can access Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the so-called "Ringo" where the people of Martina love to stroll (photo B)

The other two photos are some of the most evocative corners of the historic center and precisely Via Toledo (photo C) and Via Manzoni (photo D).


GN: Piazza Roma with the Doge's Palace and the Dolphin Fountain


Photos A), B) and C)

GN: Photo A) Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Photo B) Via Toledo. Photo C) Via A. Manzoni


GN: This is the night view of Piazza Plebiscito which overlooks the University building with the clock tower.

MTDD: Let's now continue with the town of Locorotondo, (Bari), which dates back to the year 1000 and is connected to the figure of San Giorgio Martire and the cult of the Madonna della Catena.


Can you describe these photos to us?

Photos D), E) and F)

GN: These photos represent the characteristic of the historic center of Locorotondo; you can see, in fact, wonderful views between houses and whitewashed streets, alleys, suggestive corners with stairways, and flowered balconies.


GN: This is an image that portrays part of the so-called "promenade" viewed from below where you can see the typical "cummerse" houses with sloping roofs.


GN: This photo also shows Locorotondo seen from the distance in spring with the flowery fields.


GN: This photo portrays, instead, Locorotondo with a purely autumnal view.


MTDD: Now it is the turn of Ceglie Messapica (Brindisi), recognized as a city of art and a land of gastronomy, whose territory is famous for its trulli, farms, centuries-old olive groves, and karst caves.

What can you tell us about this equally suggestive town?


Photos G), H) and I)

GN: Indeed, Ceglie Messapica is one of the oldest medieval villages in Puglia, part of the Itria Valley. It stands on a hilly relief in the southern part of the Murge. It is known – as you mentioned – also for the marvelous Caves of Montevicoli of karst origins rich in concretions, stalactites, and stalagmites with imaginative and bizarre shapes.


MTDD: The craftsmanship, including these beautiful specimens of gigantic 'doilies', seems to have survived in these places, in fact, we have some splendid examples both in Ceglie and in Locorotondo, as we see in the following photos.

What can you tell us about it?    

GN: This is the novelty of 2021. In Locorotondo the project was created by artist Bernardo Palazzo in collaboration with the Luzzart Association. The installation is entitled "Firmament" and was commented by its artist as follows: "In the fields and alleys of Puglia, large bales of hay join the doilies as white as full moons. The wheat symbol of fertility in ancient civilizations welcomes doilies similar to large Magdala, ancient drawings, and sacred representations of the Cosmos. Sun and Moon meet timeless in an installation that wants to be a hymn to nature, to its beauty and divine power.”


MTDD: Superb initiative and congratulations to Artist Bernardo Palazzo and the Luzzart Association for making it happen. Of course, when we talk about Puglia, we cannot fail to refer to Alberobello (Bari), certainly one of the best known and famous places for its characteristic trulli, a town that since December 6, 1996, UNESCO has named "World Heritage Site"…

To those who have never visited these places, especially Alberobello, what advice can you give?


GN: At least once in a lifetime it is worth visiting our Apulia and in particular Alberobello with its beautiful and unique trulli, the famous buildings typical of our territory made of dry stone and covered in lime with a cone-shaped roof. The other characteristic of our places is the food and wine that must be explored.


MTTD: The trulli – we want to remember – are very ancient and equally particular conical constructions in dry stone, typical of central-southern Apulia.

My final question to you is: What does the Trullo mean for an Apulian?

GN: Trulli for us from Apulia mean "origins" because they were the homes of our ancestors and where all our traditions were born.


MTDD: Thank you, Gerardo, for this beautiful walk, for your photos, and for having acted as our Cicero (= Tour director) among these evocative alleys and beautiful natural landscapes.

It was my pleasure hosting you.

GN: The pleasure was mine.… Thank you.



Photos: GerardoNarcisi©2021. All Rights Reserved.