Conversation with Tahar Ben Jelloun and Fabio Gambaro


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The first event in the festival is a conversation with Tahar Ben Jelloun. He will talk to Fabio Gambaro, who will illustrate the world of the author to whom the 20th Edition of the Festival is dedicated, and highlight the literary value of his vast and varied works, his profile as an intellectual and his concept of literature as a way of knowing one’s self and of others.

Further in-depth analysis may be found in the monograph that the Festival publishes for each edition, which is edited by Gambaro. This publication includes a lengthy interview with the author as well as a previously unpublished work – I am a Japanese writer – which Tahar Ben Jelloun has kindly allowed Dedica to publish.


Dedica’s publication dedicated to Tahar Ben Jelloun, edited by Fabio Gambaro, may be purchased during the course of the Festival or via this site. Price: €5.00.


Tahar Ben Jelloun
was born on 1944 in Fès (Morocco), and grew up in Tangiers, where he attended the French high school, later studying philosophy at the Mohammed V University in Rabat. He made his literary début in 1968 with the publication of his first poem, L’aube des dalles, for the literary magazine «Souffles».
In 1971 he moved to Paris, where he specialized in social psychiatry. In 1973, Ben Jelloun  published his first novel, Harrouda, which was followed by further works which underlined his skills as a refined and sensitive interpreter of the Mahgreb soul. These works included L’enfant de sable (1985), his first success with the public and the critics, and La nuit sacrée (1987)which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt. His subsequent works – which are many and varied – go from vivid creative writing, poetic works with an evocative lyricism, and penetrating essays concerning social themes – have over the years confirmed Tahar Ben Jelloun as one of the most important figures in contemporary literature and as an authoritative point of reference as regards the events and problems in Arab-Islamic life. Ben Jelloun is also very active as a freelance journalist, and he contributes to many of the world’s major newspapers.
The author has won numerous national and international prizes and awards. These include the Prix Goncourt, the Noureddine Aba, awarded in recognition of his works as a whole; the Global Tolerance Award, awarded by the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, for Racism Explained to my Daughter; the United Nations Peace Prize and many poetry prizes, several of which awarded in Italy.


Fabio Gambaro
is a journalist and cultural correspondent for major French and Italian daily newspapers (“la Repubblica”, “Le Monde”), and is based in Paris. He is a close observer of Italy’s modern cultural and social world, and the author of Neoavanguardia (1993), Colloquio con Edoardo Sanguineti (1993) and Surrealismo (1996). Of special interest are Dalla parte degli editori (2001), which contains a series of interviews with numerous publishers, professional writers and intellectuals, and L’Italie par ses écrivains (2002), published in France, in which writers such as Umberto Eco, Vincenzo Consolo, Claudio Magris, Rosetta Loy, Andrea Camilleri, Alessandro Baricco and Bruno Arpaia, with their personal opinions and reflections, bring to the reader a broader understanding of Italy: as described by a critic, «Clear and outspoken views, without any of the usual clichés».

Saturday 8 March, 16:30

Giuseppe Verdi Municipal Theatre

Pordenone - Viale Franco Martelli, 2

Free admission