Jon Fosse and I talking in Dante’s basilica (video)

Jon Fosse and I got together to talk about big topics in Dante’s basilica

Jon Fosse Paolo Gambi

Jon Fosse and Dante

The 2023 Nobel laureate for literature accepted to receive the Dante’s Laurel, the poetic prize that I run and that is awarded every year in the basilica of San Francesco in Ravenna, Dante’s basilica, the one where his funeral was held, just a few metres from his tomb.

On 3 May 2024, with the church packed and full of dignitaries – the undersecretary for culture Gianmarco Mazzi and the secretary of the Vatican department for culture and education, Monsignor Paul Tighe, among others, were present – I brought Dante and Jon Fosse together.

Thanks to the volunteers of Rinascimento Poetico and the Centro Dantesco, directed by Father Ivo Laurentini, we were able to bring the Norwegian writer to Dante’s tomb and we gave him the prize that Dante so desired, but never got: the laurel.

These were unique, indescribable moments that wrote a small piece of history in literature, art and beauty. We defied time and space and brought these two giants together.

Below is a clip of the dialogue we had just before the actual coronation ceremony. We talk about silence, poetry, Dante, religion and literature, Catholicism, rhythm. We speak in both Italian and English. It lasts just over 20 minutes, but they are very intense.

I firmly believe that Jon Fosse is one of the most extraordinary voices on the contemporary international scene, a true Maestro, unique rather than rare. I consider myself lucky and blessed to have crossed paths with his.

Thanks to Alessia Tarantino for the simultaneous translation and to Rinascimento Poetico, who made this possible.

Long live poetry, long live Poetic Renaissance, long live Jon Fosse!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *