Posts Tagged ‘Goethe Institut


Carta da zucchero


I copy and paste Goethe Instituts comment about Eva’s book “Carta da zucchero”…by teh way, it is the Trieste Goethe, and the meeting took place at Caffé San Marco in November!

Woran erinnert das Blau “carta da zucchero”?
Für die Protagonistin des gleichnamigen Romans von Eva Taylor, ist es die Farbe des Erinnerns; die Kindheit in Ostdeutschland, die Flucht aus diesem Land, das Schweigen, das Warten.

Carta da zucchero (Verlag Laboratorio Fernandel) erzählt die Geschichte einer Familie dies- und jenseits der Mauer und ihre Flucht aus Ostdeutschland kurz vor dem Bau der Mauer 1961. Zeugin dieser und anderer Episoden ist die Tochter, die die Erinnerungen ihrer Angehörigen “aufliest”. Diese  fanden sich oft um einen Tisch zusammen, um die eigene Vergangenheit zu rekonstruieren, um mental sowohl “die Mauer” zu überwinden, wie auch eine Art Verwirrung, die aus der Erfahrung entstand, Flüchtlinge im eigenen Land zu sein.

Ein kleines versilbertes Schiff, das Auto in der Kindheit in der DDR, aber auch die “carta da zucchero”- farbenen Tüten, die der Großvater vom Markt brachte, sind daher nicht einfach Gegenstände: sie sind von Erfahrungen und Emotionen überlagert, die in der Erzählung wieder zum Vorschein kommen.

Der Roman hat den Wettbewerb von  InediTO (XIII edizione) – Premio Colline di Torino 2014 gewonnen.

Eva Taylor ist in Deutschland geboren und unterrichtet deutsch in Italien; sie schreibt auf Italienisch und Deutsch. 2006 hat sie für den Verlag Edizioni l’Obliquo eine Gedichtsammlung veröffentlicht L’igiene della bocca; auf Deutsch sind zwei kleine Bände erschienen, Aus dem Schneebuch (Eric van der Wal, 2008) und Gartenarbeit (San Marco Handpresse, 2010). Die Sammlung Volti di parole (l’Obliquo) ist 2010 erschienen.



Guest in Turin


Germany is the guest of Salone del Libro di Torino, the Italian equivalent of Frankfurter Buchmesse. So I post the first Goethe novel I read (even if mine was published by Einaudi and not Feltrinelli). Today at Fahrenheit, the radio program on Rai Radio 3 specialized on books, Guenther Walraff was guest.


Inventory: loading German!

In a few days I will switch from an Italian-speaking world to a German-speaking one, for good. A loading program could come in handy. My German is no longer what it used to be 20 years ago, but I’m confident. The full immersion will be positive and I will retrieve all my files. Once you learn German you never forget it.

Learning languages is still one of the best investments I can think of. At any age. And latitude. But also a fabulous adventure in the culture of a country.

I am always amazed by the number of Germans who speak Italian. Mainly for the pleasure and fun of tasting our fat, sunny vowels.


Mein Deutsch, bitte!


This morning to shake off  the blues we listened again to the fantastic German language lessons administred by Caterpillar on the occasion of the 9.11.1989 anniversary! They are super-hilarious!

We’re about to leave Berlin and a nice cosy dinner at our friend’s Julita in Moabit was the ideal farewell to the city. And tonight, MeinMann had his very first very long 100% auf Deutsch dinner conversation ! Wunderbar! But he is attending the Goethe Institute’s intensive courses, not Caterpillar’s…eh eh! Continue reading ‘Mein Deutsch, bitte!’


Rome and Berlin, the perfect pair, thanks to Goethe

Rome, December 17th. A day full of winter atmosphere, pretty cold for the heating standards in Rome, pretty messy for the non-existant Winterdienst since we had a few snowflakes too. Here you can see the beautiful Renzo Piano Auditorium, the giant trilobites (or computer mouse, as you prefer) standing around a snowy cavea.

A perfect atmosphere for Rome’s Goethe Institut Christmas party! The hearty foods were a blessing after crossing the town under the icy drizzle…Kartoffelsuppe, Wurst and yeah some mulled wine. A good occasion for exchanging wishes and appointments (“When are you going to be in Berlin? New Year’s Eve?”).  .

The Goethe Institut new initiative “Va bene?!” is epitomized by a nice cards game. For those not yet proficient in the German version of Scrabble but also for those interested in better understanding the other side of the Alps, the “perfect couple” card game shows the two sides of the German and Italian culture. Stollen and panettone. Adventskranz and presepe. Bycicle and motorino. A clever and fun way to learn not only the terms in the two languages, but also the culture which is behind them. Play it online!

Among reportages, movie festivals, literature and history lectures, this is the playful side of a clever cultural project bringing closer the Italian and German cultures. Still this is what the German side is doing. What is being done this side of the Alps? Nothing.

Claudio Abbado during the programme VieniViaConMe has recently provided this list of the European financing to the cultural programmes: “Nell’elencare le cifre dei rispettivi finanziamenti a livello europeo (British Council 220 milioni di euro, Goethe Institut 218 milioni, Cervantes 90 milioni, Camoes 13 milioni e Alliance Française 10,6 milioni, contro i 600 mila euro assegnati alla Società Dante Alighieri), Fabio Fazio ha affermato che «quando si parla di cultura si pensa subito a un bene astratto e superfluo, mentre la cultura per la nostra società è come le fondamenta di una casa, e quando si tagliano le fondamenta la casa crolla». «In Venezuela la cultura e la musica salvano la vita e assicurano un futuro di speranza a migliaia di persone», ha spiegato il Maestro Abbado sottolineando la lungimiranza dei Paesi che riconoscono alla cultura un ruolo importante anche in ambito economico”.

Goethe Institute throws bridges between cultures, creates communities in each city where it is present, brings people together and ultimately, builds a better Europe. Danke.

Photo credits: Renzo Piano’s Auditorium under the snow on December 17th, ANSA-MUSACCHIO-IANNIELLO



BerlinPalermoExpress? va bene!

Tonight we went to the Roman HQ of Goethe Institut to the presentation of the road movie “Berlino-Palermo”. This movie is the brainchild of the Goethe “Va bene?!” initiative, designed to talk and make fun of the respective Italian and German mind sets, luoghi comuni and prejudices.

Beppe Severgnini from Il Corriere and Mark Spörrle from Die Zeit travelled together by train from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Palermo. The movie is hilarious. The two show us their packed luggage and sterotypes already start here, with the extremely previdente – and much younger – Spörrle. Severgnini drags his German counterpart to a soccer match in Milano, needless to say.

We from BerlinRomExpress, a railway-oriented blog, were enthousiastic about the train adventures of the two guys…so many stations, so many unpredictable cockups!

The most hilarious German bit of the movie is Severgnini’s stock taking in a Münich hotel room, where he counts the number of sharp, cutting edges in the furniture and tries to find links with the 4-star hotel businessman personality.

In Italy, the ubuesque ubiquitous presence of some Ferrovie Italiane PR department shadow nannies, haunting the trip form Bolzano to Palermo, provided a sense of otherwordly order which is out of this world and at odds with the normal level of service.

Laudatio for the (Italian) cameraman and the Dolmetscherin, who were athletic and supportive in following the two madmen from the Berlin marshes to Palermo’s beaches. We wonder if a Palermo-Berlin version will ever be produced, this time with a German cameraman…a Vorsprung durch Technik version of the movie!

It was a truly enjoyable evening, hundred of people packed the Goethe theater, un casino pazzesco, nice to see so much people LOL at each other’s clichés and  discovering surprises at the same time!

Counter-cliché: the dolce vita is no longer in Italy but in Germany (we at BerlinRomExpress are Chief Evangelists on this one). Cliché: “ach, das wunderbares Licht!” is always across the Brennero. Cliché: the Italian journalist is by definition simpatico and he does the big portion of the cazzeggio. Counter-cliché: the German is the good looking one! ;D


trinita’ dei monti, aka bernauer strasse

Trinità dei Monti, aka Spanish Steps, aka Bernauer Strasse.

During this week the Spanish steps are blocked by the Berlin wall. The installation is a true visual shock, it blocks the view on the steps and the reproduced graffiti contrast beautifully with the bianco marmorino of the church behind.

By night scenes of daily life in West- and East-Berlin are mixed together with music by U2, Pink Floyd, Queen…


(photos next week…my digital camera is kaputt…back to the old Kodak films 😀 )

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