Dedica for School


Special award dedicated to Paul Auster
In the “Europa e giovani 2009” competition (“Europe and Youth”)
Proposed by IRSE – Friuli Venezia Giulia – Deadline 4 April, 2009
Man in the Dark, America Confused and Reflections on Europe

“In his most recent novels, and especially in “Man in the Dark”, American novelist Paul Auster speaks of the political and existential crisis in his country, drawing a disquieting picture of an America that is confused, an America that, almost without realizing it, is disavowing its own fundamental values. Base your essay on the way in which this crisis is likely to affect Europe and the prospects after the election of Barack Obama.
(The writer will participate in the XV edition of “Dedica”. Pordenone, 21 March – 4 April 2009).”


This is one of the ideas proposed to undergraduates in the “Europa e Giovani 2009” competition.


Complete details of the competition at Special prize from the Municipality of Pordenone: €600.00. Essays should not be more than 20,000 characters in length (including spaces) and must arrive by mail not later than 4 April, 2009. Address: IRSE, Via Concordia 7 – 33170 Pordenone.

The competition is organized by IRSE – Regional Institute for European Studies in Friuli Venezia Giulia, and is sponsored by the Milan office of the European Commission, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, and a number of banking institutions in North-Eastern Italy.

Thirteen sections, subdivided among University students (from any faculty, and including young graduates under 27 years of age), High Schools, Middle Schools and Elementary Schools.


This is not a literary competition; it is rather a vehicle that young people can use to discuss and examine some of the most pressing issues concerning the integration of Europe, researching the question and expressing their opinions in written form. The proposed themes are in line with the free conferences and study courses which the Institute organizes during the year in the following areas: history and politics, economics and science, language and intercultural training.

As well as Paul Auster, the students can choose from seven other themes: from the ways in which the European Union supports scientific research, to European “noir” best-sellers, and the climate and energy package; from changes in the welfare system to a comparison of different cultures as seen by Peter Sloterdijk; from a comparison of the Great Depression in 1929 with the current crisis, to relations between the US and Europe.

All students will be required to submit an essay not more than 20,000 characters in length (including spaces).


Equally demanding and interesting themes will be proposed to Middle School students, who can choose between inventing a “Train+Bicycle” vacation, or “look at yourself in the mirror from the standpoint of three recent European novels in which you have found, or sought, your contradictions and the best of yourself”. This theme suggests that students read La solitudine dei numeri primi (The Solitude of Prime Numbers) by Paolo Giordano; Gli effetti secondari dei sogni (The Secondary Effects of Dreams) by Delphine de Vigan; About a Boy by Nick Hornby, or three other novels written by authors from three different European countries, chosen by the student.

The essays submitted by upper middle school students should not be more than 10,000 characters in length (including spaces).


Younger students from lower middle and elementary schools are asked to study how Europeans from different countries ensure that their children can walk to school in safety, learn to drive a car safely and reduce speeding on the roads, with the idea of helping their parents to understand the need for care and attention. In addition, using music and dance, the youngsters can invent fun ways of learning a language, socializing with their friends and having fun together in classes that are increasingly multi-ethnic.