06. 28. 2006. 10:15

Città di Bari prize for Esterházy

The second Italian prize within months

Péter Esterházy was recently awarded the literary prize of the city of Bari, Italy – an award that had previously been given to authors like the Spanish Luis Sepúlveda, the Israeli A. B. Yehoshua and the British philosopher Eric Hobsbawn in the last few years.

This is the second prestigious Italian prize to be given to the author of Celestial Harmonies and Revised Edition within months. Last November, Péter Esterházy won the prize of the Province of Tuscany, Il Gonfalone d'Argento – together with Josep Borrel, President of the European Parliament, writer Julia Kristeva, and conductor Riccardo Muti. The prize was founded in 2000 by the province in memory of the world's first abolition of capital punishment. The grand prince of Tuscany abolished capital punishment on 30 November 1786.

The publication of Esterházy's Celestial Harmonies in Italy (Harmonia Caelestis, Feltrinelli, 2003) was an important event in Italian cultural life. The cultural page in the biggest Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, called the novel ”a summary of European history”.

The book was translated by the Hungarian-Italian writer Giorgio Pressburger, together with Antonio Sciacovelli, an Italian writer living in Hungary. Celestial Harmonies was not the first Esterházy novel to be published in Italian. Garzanti has published several of his books, and Revised Edition (L'edizione corretta), a sequel to Harmonies, has also been published by Feltrinelli.

Esterházy will receive the prize on 20 July in Bari.

Tags: Péter Esterházy