Literary culture does not just mean ancient and dusty tomes, it is a living thing that is of great relevance to the here and now. And this is why Enel is offering its staff the opportunity to meet some of the most famous contemporary writers and engage in dialogue with them. The initiative is called “Face to face with the written word” and was launched in Rome on 7 December.
Opening the series of encounters was American writer Joe Richard Lansdale, one of the most popular, genre-busting authors who delights in blurring the line between high and low culture. The conversation was very informal – the audience had the feeling they were talking to an amusing, friendly neighbour rather than one of America’s best-selling authors.
Born in Texas to an illiterate father, Lansdale soon became a voracious reader of comics, then science fantasy and narrative fiction, especially works by American authors. These texts were his only literature lessons, together with films and spoken stories. Lansdale developed from an omnivorous reader into an equally versatile writer. He made a name for himself with novels, stories and comics, TV and film scripts, ranging from crime to horror, pulp to social satire, noir to Westerns, mixing the genres within one novel but above all always retaining his characteristic ironic stance. His subversion of the hierarchies has also led Lansdale to have an explosive impact on Italian culture, especially at the turn of the new millennium.
For those seeking to acquaint themselves with his work for the first time the writer recommends starting with his novels “The Bottoms” and “Edge of Dark Water,” although he admits he prefers “Paradise Sky.” On the occasion of his encounter with our colleagues, Lansdale presented his biography “Joe Lansdale. In fondo è una palude,” written by his friend, the writer Seba Pezzani, who was also taking part in the event. Another Italian writer, Luca Briasco, chaired the conversation with the audience. Many people from our Group attended, from fans of the writer to those curious to meet this interesting figure, inspiring a lively debate confirming that his success in combining his work with his passion – which makes Lansdale a happy man – is exactly what we seek to achieve every day at Enel.
The upcoming encounters in the “Face to face with the written word” series will feature a number of Strega Prize winners, from Sandro Veronesi to Alessandro Piperno, Paolo Giordano, Vera Gheno, Bruno Mastroianni and Adriano Favole.