alain elkann interviews

Vitaliano Borromeo

MAINTAINING A NOBLE HERITAGE. Prince Vitaliano Borromeo is the head of the ancient aristocratic Borromeo family who are still extensive landholders around Italy’s Lake Maggiore, mostly on the Piedmonte side, and in Milan.Vitaliano Borromeo, as well as being Prince of...

Jasper Conran

TASTEMAKER AND HOTELIER. Jasper Conran is a British designer who studied at Parsons School of Art and Design in New York. He has worked on collections of womenswear and for the home, as well as productions for the stage in ballet, opera and theatre. He opened his...

Faouzi Skali

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ABRAHAM. Faouzi Skali is a Moroccan anthropologist and Sufi scholar. The founder of the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music and the Fez Festival of Sufi Culture is a United Nations recognised contributor to the dialogue of civilisations. Skali was...

Fanny Minesi

A MISSION TO STOP EXTINCTION. Fanny Minesi is General Director of Friends of Bonobos - Les Amis des Bonobos du Congo (ABC). Her organisation operates the world’s only sanctuary – Lola ya Bonobo - and only rewilding site for bonobos – Ekolo ya Bonobo. Raised in the...

Jacob Rothschild

"We are united as Rothschilds but this does not prevent competition between us." "Growth? In Europe it will be slow and difficult." Jacob Rothschild, how do you manage to deal with so many different philanthropic organisations, with your own collection, with your art...




New Alain Elkann Collection at the Cornell Library

IES faculty associate Kora von Wittelsbach, senior lecturer in Romance Studies, led the effort to bring the Alain Elkann Collection to the Cornell Library.

“I am proud and honored to have given a large part of my estate to the Cornell University Library – manuscripts, letters, drafts of my novels, interviews and short stories, first editions of my works, as well as the original tapes of my interviews, including those that were the basis for my long volume of conversations with Alberto Moravia,” Italian writer, journalist and public intellectual Alain Elkann told us. “I hope that my manuscripts and other documents can be of help to Cornell faculty and students who conduct research in Italian literature, especially Italian Jewish literature. I am equally proud that it is my U.S. translator, Kora von Wittelsbach, someone very familiar with my work, who regularly teaches it at Cornell, both in her Romance Studies and her Jewish Studies courses.”

Von Wittelsbach, who with the co-sponsorship of the Department of Romance Studies, the Jewish Studies Program, the French Studies Program and the Society for the Humanities, in the fall of 2019 organized Alain Elkann’s visit and a talk at Cornell, first approached the Library about the possibility of acquiring the collection at that time. Her efforts to bring the Elkann papers to Cornell were enthusiastically supported by colleagues from Romance Studies and Jewish Studies, and by the Cornell Institute for European Studies.

“Alain Elkann’s fiction is significantly informed by twentieth-century European history, especially by the experiences of Italian and French Jews, Elkann’s forebears, at home and abroad. His journalistic writings, however, and the scores of interviews he has conducted with artists, political or religious figures and famous thinkers, exhibit unlimited curiosity about the richness of human endeavor,” said Patrick Stevens, Curator in the Rare and Manuscript Collections and Selector for Jewish Studies.



Nonna Carla by Alain Elkann

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