Theatre reading of the works of Nadine Gordimer
with Annamaria Guarnieri, Melania Giglio and Daniele Salvo
coordinated by Daniele Salvo
produced by Thesis/Dedica Festival


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We are seeking the right words. Wounded, unsafe: but clutching a dawn.
Nadine Gordimer


“Tiny and ramrod straight, like a brave little soldier”, Nadine Gordimer has lived, observed and explored the twentieth century in the only way that her nature as a “natural writer” has allowed her: through her novels and stories.

Because for Nadine Gordimer, writing is living.

Year after year she became ever slimmer, and her face became thinner, almost sculpted; she became irritated if some admirer of her huge output of literary work asked to meet her in person.

The essence of the writer is to be found in his or her work, in the stories and the way in which they are recounted; the writer’s personality often takes second place.


This slim, elegant lady spent most of the last century in a light-hearted but courageous fashion, describing South Africa – a country so completely cosmopolitan that it is almost a microcosm of the entire world ­– the struggle for freedom of its men and women, black and white, all with the force of reason and the salve of words. She fought with the courage of a lion and the grace of an antelope, without ever giving any ground but, at the same time, without ever losing sight of reason and logic. She contributed to the re-birth of her country after the fall of the apartheid regime, with an optimism that was realistic and positive, not waiting for perfect democracy right from the start but with the firm conviction of one who has faith in the ability and willingness of men and women to grow steadily.

Writers and poets are the guardians of the moral integrity and identity of a people. For me, exploring the work of Nadine Gordimer was like entering a kaleidoscope – a sensation that I hope to convey to you during this evening held in her honour.

I have been unable to select a single story, a single novel or a single essay. Instead, I have focused on fragments of her work through which I am able to explore her world, the twentieth century and all that I have never known directly.

I imagined an African night, dense with memories and warmth, and replete with strange sounds, anxieties and thoughts. During this unending night, against a background of the loud and frightening noises of the desert and the forest, a fragile woman writes by the light of a hurricane lamp. Her guests are expected and welcome: the poets and writers whom she loves so much, those who have written the story of the African continent. Without warning, a bright light flashes into the room and illuminates forgotten stories of men and women, lost loves, unknown roads.

In order to discern a possible path through this dark night, I have focused on what is simple, without superimposing any intellectual accent, entrusting the reading to the voice of a great actress, Annamaria Guarnieri, whose slight, fragile appearance is reminiscent of the sober, elegant fascination of the great Nadine Gordimer.


Annamaria Guarnieri
stage and cinema actress, is one of Italy’s best-known performers. After many years with the historic “Compagnia dei Giovani” (Giorgio De Lullo, Rossella Falk and Romolo Valli), she has also worked with some of the foremost Italian directors, including Mario Missiroli, Massimo Castri and Luca Ronconi.


Melania Giglio
studied at the Actors’ School of the Resident Theatre Company in Turin. She has worked with many of Italy’s leading theatrical figures, including Luca Ronconi, Giuseppe Patroni Griffi and Massimo Ranieri. In 2007 she was a finalist at the Premio Duse and the Premio Ubu for her rôle in “Fahrenheit 451” directed by Luca Ronconi.


Daniele Salvo
theatre and radio director, has appeared in numerous live performances directed by talents including Luca Ronconi, Cherif, Micha van Hoecke and Jacques Vassalle, with whom he also works as assistant director.

Monday 14 April, 20:45

San Francesco Convent

Pordenone - Via della Motta, 13