Edith Bruck nominated for the Strega prize “A beautiful book about an atrocious story”
By Adam Smulevich
Every book written by Edith Bruck is poetry, rousing emotions. Also, and especially when she explores painful and difficult themes. When she bares out her wounds. Il pane perduto (La nave di Teseo), her last work, continues this tradition of outstanding literature recognized also with the nomination at the next Strega Prize. To propose to the direction of the most prestigious Italian literary award, the journalist and former parliamentarian Furio Colombo, creator of the Act that established in Italy the Day of Memory, who speaks of the book as “dense and bearer of truth” characterized by “literary beauty, stylistics, emotions”
The author traces her life, marked in her youth by deportation to death camps. A comparison from which she never escapes, aware of the fact that “illuminating a single conscience is worth the effort and the pain of keeping alive the memory of what has been”, as she affirmed in an interview with L’osservatore Romano to which followed the request for meeting and the recent visit of Papa Bergoglio in her apartment. Il pane perduto (The lost bread) continues Colombo, “is a beautiful book about an atrocious story, and the impossible contradiction makes it even greater”.
The friendship between Edith Bruck and Furio Colombo has been deep for a long time. “We are practically agemates, we remember the same people, the same situations”, Colombo observes. “Edith Bruck is a Shoah witness, but even before that, a bit like Primo Levi, a great writer. When she meets the youths in school, that experience shakes and pulls them. Her words and her poetry are a gift”. “Edith faces a very difficult life moment of loneliness and isolation in a world that is becoming increasingly angry. But she does it – concludes Colombo – with mysterious and extraordinary joy”.
Translated by Oyebuchi Lucia Leonard and revised by Antonella Losavio, students at Trieste University and the Advanced school for interpreters and Translators of Trieste University, intern at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities.