alain elkann interviews

Charles Zana

CLASSIC WITH A MODERN TWIST. Charles Zana is a highly sensitive architect who imagines each project through the lens of a French lifestyle. He is also a passionate collector like his father, and has done in-depth research on the great Italian design masters of the...

Yinka Shonibare

THE ARTIST IS UTOPIC. Yinka Shonibare CBE RA is a celebrated British artist whose work explores cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. His show Suspended States is at Serpentine from 12th April until...

Jennifer Clement

THE PROMISED PARTY. Jennifer Clement is the President Emerita of PEN International and the author of multiple books, including Widow Basquiat and Gun Love. The recipient of many awards, her books have twice been a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Under her leadership...

Minsuk Cho

ENJOYING A NEW CHALLENGE. Minsuk Cho is the South Korean architect who has envisioned the Serpentine Pavilion 2024, the 23rd pavilion in the series, in London’s Kensington Gardens. It is titled Archipelagic Void as a unique void surrounded by a constellation of...

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...




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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