Incroci di civiltà, the international literature festival of Venice (www.incrocidicivilta.org), is a true “trip around the world” through writing. Each year, authors of the widest variety of backgrounds, languages and cultures come together in the most beautiful city in the world to meet their readers and to discuss the most topical issues of contemporary life.
Incroci di civiltà offers a one of a kind event, a cross-section of today’s global world, a privileged observatory on what is going on right now in so many places, a meeting of genres and of languages. Promoted by the Ca’ Foscari University and by the Municipality of Venice, which host the events in their most prestigious premises, Incroci has found a perfect partner in Montegrappa.
This emerges in that very special moment when, at the end of the meetings, readers queue up to receive the gift of an autograph by their favourite writer in the book dearest to them (a ritual that at Incroci can last for hours at a time, as proof of the enthusiasm of the general public and of the authors themselves). In point of fact, a Montegrappa pen marks this moment and remains with the guest as a prestigious memento of their Venice experience.
Faithful to its name, Incroci (meetings) recognises writing in all its shapes and sizes, as the various authors portrayed in these snapshots demonstrate. It is hard to find points of contact between Vikram Seth, nicknamed the “Indian Tolstoy” for his passionate epic novel A suitable boy, and the Israeli Etgar Keret, famous for his disrespectful comic short stories enclosed in just a few pages.
And what do the famous television journalist and press report Gad Lerner and English writer Jeanette Winterson share? What is the common ground for Rome-based bestseller Alessandro Piperno and V.S. Naipaul, winner of the Nobel prize for literature who over a career spanning fifty years has churned out masterpiece novels and unforgettable travel books? When you think about it, the crowded meetings of Incroci di civiltà suggest a precise response to these queries. The power of writing to conjure up worlds near and far just by putting words onto a blank sheet of paper remains magical and incomparable.
And readers can only hope that new masterpieces issue from those pens, from those hands and from that unique inspiration that only Venice can offer.