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Pier Vittorio Tondelli (September 14, 1955 - December 16, 1991) was an Italian writer who wrote a small but influential body of work. He was born in Correggio, a small town in the province of Emilia-Romagna in Italy and died in nearby Reggio Emilia of AIDS. Tondelli enjoyed modest success as a writer but often encountered trouble with censors for his use of homosexual themes in his works. Tondelli was buried in a small cemetery in the hamlet of Canolo, just outside of Correggio.

Tondelli developed an early interest in reading as an adolescent, reading what one might normally expect from a young adult male -- Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and various Westerns. As Tondelli grew older, his reading tastes would develop and in 1974 he began to write his first narratives, saying: "I have always written, starting at 16 years of age with the usual story about adolescent frustrations". These adolescent frustrations are conflicts between Tondelli's religiosity, his desire to express his artistry, and his homosexual desires as well as a change in Tondelli's belief system, in which he writes: "I find it vulgar to pray to God side by side with people for whom God is different from my God." Tondelli developed a jealousy towards God, who he describes as unique to himself, developing a mysticism all of his own but admitted to losing something as his belief system matured.

Tondelli took his high school exams in 1974 and then enrolled at the University of Bologna's DAMS (Discipline Arte Musica e Spettacolo) where he took courses with Umberto Eco and Gianni Celati, two of Italy's most celebrated writers and academics. In 1979, he sent a manuscript to Aldo Tagliaferri. Tondelli credits Tagliaferri with teaching and guiding him in his writing, reinforcing upon the young author the necessity of re-writing one's work. A year later in January 1980, Altri Libertini was published, and, the following month, Tondelli graduated from the University of Bologna.

In April 1980, Tondelli was called up for military service, a requirement for Italian men at the time, stationed at Orvieto and then in Rome. Tondelli's military service provided him with the necessary experience to write two works: Il diario del soldato Acci and Pao Pao.


Further Readings:

Separate Rooms by Pier Vittorio Tondelli
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Five Star (March 1, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1852427779
ISBN-13: 978-1852427771
Amazon: Separate Rooms

"The author's lyricism and low-key humor successfully contend with the weight of an immense melancholy. And despite its casual texture, Tondelli's prose never deviates far from the 'seam of that other reality that we call art'."-The New York Times Book Review

Leo is an Italian writer in his 30s. Thomas, his German lover, is dead. On a plane to Munich, Thomas' home town, Leo slips into a reverie of their meeting and life in Paris, nights in Thomas' flat in Montmartre and a desperate, drug-induced flight through the forests of northern France. Tondelli's last book is a powerful novel of the strength of love and the trauma of death.

Pier Vittorio Tondelli died of AIDS in Milan in 1991. The author of four novels and a collection of short stories, Tondelli was one of the most gifted Italian writers of his generation.

Queer Italia: Same-Sex Desire in Italian Literature and Film by Gary P. Cestaro
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (November 23, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312240260
ISBN-13: 978-0312240264
Amazon: Queer Italia: Same-Sex Desire in Italian Literature and Film

Gary P. Cestaro's Queer Italia includes essays on Italian literature and film, medieval to modern, and attempts to define a queer tradition in Italian culture. Contributors explore the multiform dynamics of sexuality in Italian texts and aim not to promote the mistaken notion of a single homosexuality through history; rather, they upset and undo the equally misguided assumption of an omnipresent heterosexuality by uncovering the complexities of desire in texts from all periods. Somewhat paradoxically, a kind of queer canon results. These essays open a much-needed critical space in the Italian tradition wherein fixed definitions of sexual identity collapse. Queer Italia will be of interest to a wide audience of Italianists, medieval to modern, and queer cultural theorists.

Verso casa: Viaggio nella narrativa di Pier Vittorio Tondelli (Italian Edition) by Elena Buia
Perfect Paperback: 127 pages
Publisher: Fernandel (1999)
Language: Italian
ISBN-10: 8887433127
ISBN-13: 978-8887433128
Amazon: Verso casa: Viaggio nella narrativa di Pier Vittorio Tondelli

Pier: Tondelli e la generazione (Contromano) (Italian Edition) by Enrico Palandri
Publisher: Editori Laterza (May 3, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Pier: Tondelli e la generazione

«Pier non è tanto l'oggetto, piuttosto l'interlocutore di queste pagine. Per me, il segnale più convincente dei suoi meriti è quanto, ancora oggi, fa pensare leggerlo.»

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)

I love Tondelli's books. Thank you for remembering him and also for the links to the two Italian books about him. I didn't know them!


Dec. 16th, 2013 02:25 pm (UTC)
you are welcome, probably among the few who can read them :-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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