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Who is afraid of borders?
Written by Elena Furlanetto   
india.jpgBlending. This seems to be a crucial concept in the philosophy of Anna Nadotti, translator, literary critic and editor for Einaudi. Borders blend: her borders have hopelessly fused with those of India. Considering her “assiduous interaction with the subcontinent” and its greatest contemporary authors, it isn’t hard to imagine how Nadotti might have let the Indian imagery become her own.

Images of hybrid, unexpected beauty are born from such blending: for Nadotti, Indian feminism has “airy roots,” like a Bayan tree’s. If all borders are imaginary, then why are we so afraid of them? Languages blend too: languages and literatures are the world’s only possible democracy. It’s not always easy, in an interview Nadotti remembered when she refused to translate a passage of a novel describing the death of a character: “That way she didn’t have to die, at least in my language.”

 

Genders blend, because great literature is universal and combines both male and female sensitivities. Finally, minds blend: “Writers enter you” Nadotti explains, “and occupy a space that is actually yours”, and it seems like she is talking of an unwanted guest, or describing a funny chemical phenomenon she accidentally witnessed: authors coming uninvited, settling down, conquering our solitude (among Anna Nadotti’s unexpected guests: Anita Desai, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Chandra, Suketu Mehta, Nayantara Sahgal, Ruth Ozeki, Satyajit Ray and A.S. Byatt).

In March, Anna Nadotti lectures for “Cafoscariletteratura”, a new project dedicated to the art of writing, reading, story-telling and translating.

 

«Incontri con Anna Nadotti»
8th, 9th march Ca’ Foscari University, Ca’ Bernardo (sala B)
Info www.unive.it