From Monday, November 13th to Sunday the 19th, the 12th edition of Book City Milano, the event dedicated to books and reading, will take place. There will be various sessions with authors, readings, prizes, events: through literature, topics of contemporary interest are analysed on a specific theme. This year it will be “The time of dreaming”, that elusive moment that lives in the depths of sleep. Dream is the word that speaks of thoughts and desires, utopias and dystopias, escapes and battles, nightmares and fears. Dream is the word that inhabits every hope and its every meaning crosses private and public discourse, nourishes the history of knowledge, science and the creative arts, shapes the unconscious and creates knowledge. The programme of the edition, which can be read here, is impressive and will also have some events dedicated to Japan.
The inaugural evening will be held on Monday, November 13th, at 8pm at the Dal Verme Theatre. The guest of honour will be the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, who will receive the Seal of the City for the occasion, as per tradition. The author received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. The Turkish writer's works shed light on the different facets of the relationship between East and West, providing often complex narratives, full of characters with cumbersome identities and strong passions, stories poised between reality and imagination. Also speaking on the year's theme will be Alessandra Kustermann, the first woman head physician at the Milan Mangiagalli Clinic and founder of the Sexual and Domestic Violence Relief, the first of its kind in Italy.
The closing of Book City Milano 2023 will be at 8pm on Sunday, November 19th, at the Franco Parenti Theatre, to talk about how infinite the books of dreams are. Vittorio Lingiardi will accompany spectators into the library of dreams: a labyrinth in which to get lost, where Federica Fracassi's voice will be the Ariadne's thread between Penelope's twenty white geese and Elio Aristide's nightmares, Ovid's verses and those of Cvetaeva, the Bible and the Koran, Freud and Jung.
Between these two dates an infinity of occasions and strands with evocative titles such as “Living and inhabiting today's cities”, “Therapeutic writing and photography and readings in the wards”, “Servillo reads Pinocchio”, “Poetry and the City”, “Basaglia's dream”, and “Telling the nightmare. The black chronicle from Buzzati to podcasts”. There are many thematic hubs, from the Triennale to Radio Popolare, from the Sforzesco Castle to the Arci Bellezza. Initiatives for children, for social issues, the involvement of libraries, universities and, of course, bookshops, complete the programme.
Two occurrences discussing Japan are worth mentioning. The first takes place On Sunday November 19th, at 11 am, at the Circolo Filologico Milanese, in Sala Liberty, Via Clerici 10, Milan. The book “Japan in colour” by Laura Imai Messina will be presented: in a kaleidoscope of stories, legends, traditions and with the splendid illustrations of Barbara Baldi. This book has the gentle and disruptive force of travels that changes the gaze.
On the same day, at 4pm, at Pime, in Sala Cremonesi, Via Monte Rosa, 81, also in Milan, there will be a talk on “Mysterious Japan: the fascination of remote islands”, to present the book “Shimaguni. A Narrative Atlas of the Islands of Japan” by Francesca Scotti. Japan is an archipelago country, shimaguni, consisting of more than 14 thousand islands. Of these, a multitude of more or less well-known, made up of solitary, inaccessible, inhabited, uninhabited, evanescent or even disappeared, contain stories rich in interest, fascination and mystery. They house a mix of Identities, colours, and environments. Through the path of this atlas, the writer Francesca Scotti, who has made Japan her second home, reveals stories full of beauty and mystery, with the evocative illustrations of Uragami Kazuhisa, restoring with grace and respect the life and spirituality of a country that never ceases to fascinate.