Interview with Paolo Giordano, Sicily summer school teacher

An unforgettable creative writing course

Alessia Martino

Source: Trapani Oggi

At the conclusion of the Sicily Summer School, a course for creative writing organized by the Master of the University of Parma in collaboration with the Egadi municipal administration, which was held in Favignana, we interviewed the writer Paolo Giordano (among his books the famous “La solitudine dei numeri primi” and the recent “Divorare il cielo”, teacher of the course.

How did you experience the experience of this course, characterized by a strong and informal relationship with the students?
"That must be the spirit. Writing, above all creative writing, arises mainly from the sharing and the trusting relationship of trust that must be created; creating this trust in a few days, with people who have never seen each other, requires maximum availability, both from those who follow the course and from those who manage it. It worked particularly well, there was a great biodiversity of the participants, and this could have been an obstacle to expressive freedom, instead it was made a strong point, in my opinion. Everyone has pursued his line, his interests, his own experience and this has generated a lot of curiosity around. There was a great opening on the staff that does not always happen, perhaps because we are on an island, that the course was so condensed and that there was the possibility of continuing that dialogue of the classroom also outside it ”.

What is the most important teaching that you think you have left to your students?
"The most important teaching, for me, is always the crisis, as someone in the course has defined it. Writing is a continual crisis of what is known, of what one thinks, of what one believes to be, of everyone communicative capacity, of transmission. If this course already inaugurates a crisis with oneself and with the narration that one has of oneself within the world, it is already a huge result to begin with ”.

What is the teaching that you plan to take home?"It was something I already knew, but somehow it was confirmed more strongly than in other contexts, that is, that this same crisis is received in different ways, and that sometimes it can also be particularly painful and impactful, so the more I do this job, the more I realize that it carries a much wider responsibility than it might not seem, in the sense that by really writing people you are going to move deep ropes that sometimes may have remained there for years, decades, and this is a responsibility that perhaps goes beyond my own, and therefore we must have it in mind ”.

Has Favignana left you useful suggestions for your work?
"Who knows? My next job has to do with Sicily, so in a sense of course yes but it's too early to say "


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