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The Diary of Kaspar Hauser



The Diary of Kaspar Hauser

The Diary of Kaspar Hauser – book launch

Italian Institute of Culture 6:30 pm

Followed by the screening of “The enigma of Kaspar Hauser” by Werner Herzog at 8:00 pm


The Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Goethe-Institut are pleased to invite you to an evening dedicated to the mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to talk or walk. The boy had been held captive in a dungeon his entire life and nobody could discover who he was or where he had come from.

The evening will begin at 6.30pm with the launch of “The diary of Kaspar Hauser” by Paolo Febbraro which has been translated from Italian into English by Anthony Molino.

Part notebook, part ethical treatise, part fantasized autobiography, the volume is a striking collection of forty or so haiku-like compositions and diary entries imagined to have been penned by the “idiot” Kaspar Hauser, discovered, by chance, after his brutal murder among the papers of his patron Franz Paul Webern. Both author and translator will be present at the launch.

The night continues at 8pm with the screening of Werner Herzog’s drama “The enigma of Kaspar Hauser”. Remarkably played by Bruno S, a former psychiatric-hospital inmate, Herzog's Kaspar Hauser is a brilliant, compassionate and unforgettable masterpiece.



Paolo Febbraro was born in Rome in 1965. One of Italy’s most acclaimed and innovative writers, he is the author of four books of poetry: Il secondo fine (Marcos y Marcos, 1999), Il Diario di Kaspar Hauser (L’Obliquo, 2003), Il bene materiale. Poesie 1992-2007 (Scheiwiller, 2008) and Fuori per l’inverno (Nottetempo, 2014). Among his critical works: I poeti italiani della «Voce» (Marcos y Marcos, 1998); the anthology La critica militante (Poligrafico dello stato, 2001); and noteworthy studies on figures such as Aldo Palazzeschi, Umberto Saba, Primo Levi, and Seamus Heaney. A regular contributor to the influential cultural pages of Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore, Febbraro has also authored a major critical study entitled L’idiota. Una storia letteraria [The Idiot: A Literary History]. His most recent book is the collection of short stories titles I grandi fatti (Pendragon, 2016).

Anthony Molino is a widely published psychoanalyst and award-winning translator from the Italian. His translations include Antonio Porta’s Kisses from Another Dream (City Lights Books, 1987), Melusine (Guernica Editions, 1992) and Kisses, Dreams and Other Infidelities (Xenos Books, 2004); Valerio Magrelli’s Nearsights (Graywolf Press, 1991) and The Contagion of Matter (Holmes & Meier, 2000), Lucio Mariani’s Echoes of Memory (Wesleyan University Press, 2003) and Traces of Time (Open Letter Books, 2015), as well as two plays: Manlio Santanelli’s Emergency Exit (with J. House, Xenox Books, 2000) and Eduardo De Filippo’s The Nativity Scene (with P. Feinberg, Guernica Editions, 1997, also anthologized in 20th Century Italian Drama, Columbia University Press, 1995). For Chelsea Editions he has edited Magrelli’s Instructions on How to Read a Newspaper and Other Poems (2008), which includes a re-issue of Nearsights.


Date: Friday, May 05, 2017

Time: At 6:30 pm

Organised by : Italian Institute of Culture

In collaboration with : Goethe-Institut

Admission : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura