Anja, Dostoevskij’s Secretary

Presentation of Anja, Dostoevskij’s Secretary, by and with Giuseppe Manfridi
Friday 28 February 2020 at 18:00. Sala Pegasus

The Associazione Teodelapio proposes a dramatised presentation of the book “Anja, Dostoevskij’s Secretary” published by La Lepre Edizioni. The presentation will be performed at the Cinéma Sala Pegasus in Spoleto on Friday 28 February at 18:00. Free admission.

An actual time-machine, the novel investigates the deep relation which came into being between Dostoevsky and Anja while writing Игрок (The Gambler). The novel draws extensively on the atmosphere of XIXth-century St. Petersburg and Manfridi enjoys plunging the reader into a true, yet imaginative story, where the author plays with the atmospheres of Dostoevsky’s work which is hinted at, alluded to or directly quoted. The result is a story about love, literature and compulsive gambling that doesn’t just discuss Dostoevsky, it also takes his own language, the character’s inner life, St. Petersburg’s magic, life’s harshness and the existential dramas which make it wonderful and unbearable at the same time.

Are twenty-six days enough to turn an adolescent into a wife? Anja, Dostoevsky’s Secretary discusses the meeting of Dostoevsky and the young stenographer whom he’ll marry. St. Petersburg, 1866. Almost 50-yo Fëdor Michajlovič Dostoevsky struggles with epilepsy and has just signed a straitjacket contract with his Mephistophelian publisher and committed himself into producing a new novel within a month, failing to comply which would lead to losing all rights on all his past and future works. Friends advise him to turn to a a school of stenography, which provides him their best apprentice, Anja Grigor’evna, a gracious, curious adolescent who inherited a passion for literature from her father. In twenty-six days, passion ignites in spite of the inconvenient age gap. Anja will remain the faithful keeper of Dostoevsky’s work until her death, thirty-seven years past her husband’s.

Giuseppe Manfridi‘s past production includes participation in Ricky Tognazzi’s Ultrà as co-playwright; his most successful comedies include Giacomo il prepotente (1989), Ti amo Maria! (1990), Zozòs (1994), La cena. He debuted in narrative with Cronache dal paesaggio (Gremese 2006), then published La cuspide di ghiaccio (Gremese). Most recently he published Anatomia della gaffe in 2016, Anatomia del colpo di scena in 2017 and Filastrocche della nera luce. Cronache dalla Shoah in 2018.

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