Something Written

Rome, early nineties. A young writer who is obsessed by Petrolio, the final, unfinished novel by Pier Paolo Pasolini, goes to work at the Pasolini Foundation. Its founder and director, Laura Betti, was a close friend of the great author and filmmaker, and an actress in many of his films. Now obese and tyrannical, but fiercely devoted to the memory of Pasolini, she is the mad heroine of this book.  The author, whose ostensible job is to put together a collection of Pasolini’s interviews, instead focuses on Petrolio, and with a mixture of memoir, literary criticism, and historical research, illuminates not only an enigmatic novel but a brilliant 20th century writer.

A must-read for anyone interested in Italian cultural history.

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Publication date

11 August, 2016




Emanuele Trevi

Emanuele Trevi is an Italian writer and critic whose essay on the poet Pietro Tripodo won the Sandro Onofri Prize. Trevi has been on the jury… Read more


Something Written turns out to be a good and unusual book … Trevi proves to be a first-rate novelist.’ —Corriere della Sera

‘Trevi has become very skilled in a difficult form of art: the art of losing the thread.’ —PIETRO CITATI, scrittore e critico letterario

Something Written strikes disturbing chords: the story, explored with intimacy and passion that are almost scabrous, ensnares the reader viscerally, from within. Trevi’s attitude couldn’t be more different from the display of erudition characterising current literary analysis.’ —LEONETTA BENTIVOGLIO, La Repubblica

‘The best novels contain gems and weakness, visions and leaps. Some characters don’t know what they should do, and they bump into their destiny by chance; it seems that others come from another planet, and they are here to tell us something we do not understand, and they do not understand either. Emanuele Trevi is a master of disorderly narration.’ —MARCO LODOLI, La Repubblica