Georgian Magazine ‘Arril’ Showcases Italian Characters and Masterpieces

On October 24, the Georgian National Library hosted the presentation of a special issue of the monthly Georgian literary-societal magazine ‘Arril’ dedicated to Italy and the 70th year of its being a republic.

The issue was made with the cooperation of the Italian Embassy in Georgia with the intention of tightening relations the two nations. It speaks about the Italian genius and offers an imaginary journey from Dante to Umberto Eco, from Dario Fo, recipient of a Nobel Prize in Literature, to film director Pasolini. It features Cesare Pavese’s poetry, translated into Georgian for the first time, as well as music, gastronomy, architecture and history – an ample gallery of characters and masterpieces.

The Ambassador of Italy, Antonio Enrico Bartoli, said: “After World War Two, the Republic of Italy was born. In the referendum, for the first time, Italian women were entitled to take part. The monarchy was defeated. There is some similarity between our two countries– Italy and Georgia are both ancient nations, but quite young republics. By publishing this issue [of Arril], we were particularly interested in what Georgians think about Italy. This is about the past of Italy, but it also implies a vision of the future. Seventy years ago, Italy was reborn. The restored freedom and new republic was followed by abrupt political, economic, social and cultural progress. The October issue of Arril showcases this.”

Levan Berdzenishvili, philologist, writes an article about Dante in which he presents Dante’s hell in a jovial way, seeing positivity in Dante’s ability to remain alive amidst his own hell. “This is a country of design, beauty, football, splendid authors and more,” Berdzenishvili said of Italy. “It is also a country of paradoxes. In 2002, the BBC held a TV survey – 100 best Britons, which included the likes of Winston Churchill and Lady Di. In the Italian version of this list, Italians said that there was no place for Garibaldi or Victor Emanuel in the top ten because the first place belonged to Leonardo Da Vinci. The second position went to Giuseppe Verdi. Italy always prefers form to content, with a special attitude to life, wine, women, beauty… If there were any contests between the states, I think Italy deserves to be a champion country in all aspects!” he added.

In this issue of Arril, Carlo Petrini, founder of “Slow Food,” says that those who think cooking is not art are totally mislead. His idea of eating without haste was born in philosophical and somehow hedonistic talks, but reached the level of art.

Arril also presents famous Fernanda Pivano, translator, who translated Faulkner, Fitzgerald and others to Italians.

The publishers do not forget the Italian architects either, who have contributed a lot to Tbilisi – the most European capital of the Caucasus – in creating its unique air, giving it a multicultural and multifaceted character - names like Scudiere, Moret, Fuksas.

The issue ends, but this is only the start of such bilateral relations between Georgia and Italy. “We have to develop our capacities via talent, love and friendship,” said the Ambassador.

Maka Lomadze

27 October 2016 20:25