alain elkann interviews

Paul Theroux

WRITERS ARE UNBALANCED PEOPLE. Paul Theroux is an American novelist and travel writer known for his highly personal award-winning observations on many locales. Over 50 works of fiction and travel writing include modern classics The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old...

Robert Verkaik

AGENT JOSEPHINE: A BETRAYAL TOO FAR. Robert Verkaik is a British author and award-winning journalist. He was the Home Affairs Editor of the Independent and the Security Editor of the Mail on Sunday. He is the author of Defiant: The Untold Story of the Battle of...

Angelo Crespi

A GREAT MUSEUM OF THE WORLD. Angelo Crespi succeeded James Bradburne as the Director General of the Pinacoteca di Brera in January 2024. The main public gallery for paintings in Milan is an outgrowth of the cultural program of the Brera Academy. It shares the site in...

Vera Michalski-Hoffmann

FOR THE SAKE OF THE WRITTEN WORD. Vera Michalski-Hoffmann spent her childhood in the Camargue, France, then studied at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. Together with her husband Jan Michalski, a Polish native, she founded the publishing company Éditions...




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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