Thursday, December 07, 2006

Massimo Mongai comes full circle

Remember Massimo Mongai? He's the Italian writer whose lively and insightful English interview in Siamo Roma magazine came to the attention of It's a Crime! (or a mystery ... ) and from there to me. I passed the news on to my Italian correspondent Andrea Fannini, who responded: "Incredible! I know him!" He hadn't read him, though, but now, thanks to this chain of trans-Atlantic blog posts, he has -- a good thing for those of us who don't read Italian, or at least not well enough to read fiction, since Mongai has yet to be translated into English. Andrea talks about Mongai's science-fiction novel Alienati here.

"Curioso il mondo della rete e di internet, " he writes: "Curious is the world of the Web and the Internet." He tells of his acquaintance with Mongai's cultural and political activities in Rome's Garbatella neighborhood, where they both live, and he relates the exciting tale of how a blog finally got him to read a book by his writer-neighbor. And, he says, "It won't be the only one, because Mongai is very, very good."

The book concerns a space gypsy who tries to organize a meeting of creatures from everywhere: "The incredible thing is that (Mongai) makes riveting and not at all boring a novel whose narrative thread centers on the organization of a convention. Thanks to inventions and original creatures who populate this spaceship. To cliff-hangers ... to the antithesis between seriousness and nonsense that pervades the novel."

Sounds like fun.

© Peter Rozovsky 2006

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8 Comments:

Anonymous crimeficreader said...

It's great to see the enthusiasm and networking generated from one ad hoc email that I received, the content of which I decided to include in a post. I knew of some of the enthusiasts out there, yourself included Peter, but I suspected that as Mongai was not yet published in English, the post may be overlooked. That makes it all the more reason to see pleasure in the enthusiasm generated!

December 08, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

I agree. I've got a great kick out of this little story at every step of the way: from the interview that you posted, from Andrea's excitement that I had heard of Mongai, and now from Andrea's post. Thanks to you, Andrea has now started reading the work of a writer who lives in the same neighborhood.

If Mongai gets translated into English, the preface will have to thank all of us!

December 08, 2006  
Anonymous andrea said...

Now I know all the story. Thanks to Peter and Crimeficreader too. Mongai is very good writer. I also agree with you that he will not published in english but I hope to make a mistake.

December 08, 2006  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Hey both,

I posted a comment on my blog some time ago that the facilitator of that interiew is looking for a translator for Mongai's novel right now.

I suggested that he look at the site for Bitter Lemon Press as they list translators of their novels.

Again, I love the enthusiasm that has erupted here.

Best,
CFR

December 08, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Forse sara Mongai in inglese pubblicato, grazie ai bloghisti! Maybe someone will translate him into English if we draw enough attention to his work.

December 08, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

CFR, you might tell him to look at this article http://www.crimetime.co.uk/make_page.php?id=526 , which consists of Q&A interviews with ten translators, some of whom have done translations for Bitter Lemon. The Oonagh Stransky who I think is one of the ten has organized a conference of translators, so she might be able to find one who would work on Mongai.

December 08, 2006  
Anonymous Rob said...

Sorry to comment so late but I've just found this post. I'm the guy who did the original interview. It's great to see Massimo Mongai get some attention outside of Italy so thanks to all of you who've been talking about him. I'll update you if/when there are any new developments.

January 07, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

Don't apologize; I get a special kick out of late comments. They're new life for old posts.

And please do keep me posted about new developments. I also get a kick out of how your interview is generating interest in Mongai outside Italy and in Mongai's own neighborhood.

January 07, 2007  

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