After the Bled 46° International Meeting of the Slovene PEN, our International Secretary, Takeaki Hori, and I agreed about this being the right time for him to come to Trieste for a short visit before joining with me the Board Meeting to be held on May 16th/18th in Barcelona.
It has been a pleasure as well as a great honour for our Centre to have Hori-san among us after having celebrated our first Decennial, and an acknowledgment by PEN International of our modest achievements.
We tried to do our best in making his stay in our city significant whilst trying also to make it pleasant: there is so much to be seen in Trieste, and not only in terms of monumental and architectural objects, but above all in the atmosphere, in the different literary and cultural aspects of this multicultural place.
In the official part of this very friendly and informal visit, Hori-san met the City Counsellor for Cultural Affairs Franco Miracco at the City Hall, the Vice President of the Province of Trieste Igor Dolenc at the Galatti Palace, exchanging views about the role of PEN International and the significance of PEN Trieste’s activity.
He was also asked to give a speech about PEN international and its activity to about a hundred interested students at the Classical Lycée entitled to Dante Alighieri. I was very proud to introduce him to the students in the very Assembly Hall in which I gave a speech about Luigi Pirandello on March 16th, 1961. We gave out many copies of the Girona Manifest, of the Bled Manifest of Writers for Peace Committee and the Declaration on Digital Rights in their Italian version.
Hori-san attended also a meeting of the experimental PEN Trieste Readers chapter and found it very interesting. Afterwards he gave an informal speech about PEN International aims to our Members.
We introduced him also to the publishing house Hammerle and had a chat about our new book series “I LIBRI DEL PEN TRIESTE”, of which the second number is currently coming out.
Obviously we could not miss a visit to the famous Antico Caffé San Marco and to the three statues of Joyce, Saba and Svevo walking down the streets of Trieste to their historical places of work. In the one you will find below you may see Takeaki presenting my last book to Italo Svevo :-)
All in all, we had a very good time together. We spoke of literature, of PEN and of some (dishevelled) dreams of PEN Trieste, but that’s another story for another time.
I only regret that the local Italian newspaper, Il Piccolo, did not take note of the visit, whilst the local Slovene newspaper, Primorski Dnevnik, did it and I have to thank them for it.
Below Juan Octavio Prenz, Antonio Della Rocca and Takeaki Hori with Svevo.