Leonardo Colombati

Leonardo Colombati was born in Rome in 1970.
He has published the novels Perceber (Sironi 2005 – finalista al Premio Viareggio), Rio (Rizzoli 2007 – Premio Santa Marinella), Il re (Mondadori 2009), 1960 (Mondadori 2014 – Sila Prize, finalist for the Manzoni Prize) and Estate (Mondadori, 2018), and Bruce Springsteen: Like a Killer Under the Sun. (Mondadori, 2018), and Scrivere per dire sì al mondo (Mondadori, 2021).
He edited the volumes Bruce Springsteen: Like a Killer Under the Sun., The Great American Novel (Sironi 2007) and La canzone italiana 1861-2011. History and Lyrics (Mondadori-Ricordi 2011).
He published a short novel collected in the anthology Smash (The Dragon’s Eggs, 2016).
He has written for Corriere della Sera, Il Giornale and Vanity Fair and contributes to IL, monthly magazine of Il Sole 24 Ore.
He is a member of the Italian Pen Club and, since February 2018, has been called to lead the historic magazine Nuovi Argomenti.
In 2016, together with Emanuele Trevi, he founded the Molly Bloom School of Writing, of which he is now rector.
His latest release for Mondadori is Sinceramente non tuo (2022).

Sinceramente non tuo

Scrivere per dire di sì al mondo

Bruce Springsteen: Like a Killer Under the Sun.

When did Antonello Durante start to sink in? With that sly, crumpled air, he always had the physique du rôle of the rock photographer whose shots, according to one authoritative judgment, “changed the way we look at a concert.”

Too bad that for several years now, because of the advent of autofocus and digital, and then the crisis in newspapers and the recording industry, his standard of living has taken a series of increasingly hard blows; not to mention the separation from Diana, the wife he continues to love dearly.

The fact remains that for four months Antonello has been missing. The only one who knows anything is his best friend, Luca Vinciguerra, a successful novelist, barricaded in habits somewhere between the epicurean and the monastic, whom Antonello has secretly contacted from his “exile” and to whom he has delivered a manuscript in which he tells how things went. How did it happen, for one thing, that Antonello found himself aboard an old Cinquecento in the company of the frontman of a Belgian rock band, dEUS, on a discombobulated on-the-road trip? In search of what? On the run from whom?

Sinceramente non tuo is a novel that is rueful and cultured, bitter and ironic, sharp and disorienting. It is a hilarious journey along the roads of Europe and within the great dream of the 1980s and 1990s, of rock music and of a world, that of today’s generation of 50-year-olds, that has to accept its failures. But which can also count on great strength: the ability to share devouring passions, the pleasure of conversation, the horror of touchiness (and of men wearing sandals), the satisfaction given by mutual mockery. In a single word: friendship.

Reading is one of the most pleasurable solitary vices, capable of making us remember, imagine, and move with an intensity that disregards where you do it (in bed or on a train) and when; Italo Calvino argued that when you read, “you decide time.” The great authors, from Dante to Flaubert, from Tolstoy to Proust, from Kafka to Joyce, through their privileged points of view, enhance our perception and our gaze, and thus teach us to look at the world with new eyes.

Therefore, Leonardo Colombati, writer, literary critic and creative writing teacher, takes us by the hand and leads us on a journey of rereading and analysis of works of genius, investigating-from “beginning” “to end”-the essential components of literary creation: the definition of the self, in appearance that of the characters, in reality that of the novelist and, surprisingly, also of the reader; the multifaceted use of the word that goes to make up the narrator’s voice (or, better said, “the illusion of a voice”); the creation of the characters, some of whom have become true “characters,” such as Don Quixote, Falstaff, Anna Karenina or Lolita, and who ultimately fall into two broad categories, the Ulysses (“with his beard and scar”) and Hamlet (“with his tights and skull”); the management of time, so compressed in books compared to what we experience in our own lives and, unlike in the real world, capable of moving forward and backward at the author’s will; and then love, the only real poetic theme. And how can we not dwell on the role of memory, from Proustian madeleines to the tale of Ulysses at the court of the Phaeacians, and the healing power of reading?

Accompanying the discussion with examples from the greatest novels of world literature, Colombati thus composes a personal ideal library, to be drawn on in search of inspiration and food for thought, and through which authors speak to us and listen to us, in a constant dialogue between narrator, reader and characters.

For more than four decades, Bruce Springsteen has enchanted millions around the world with his unique voice and unparalleled talent for storytelling, establishing him as one of the musical greats of all time. With this monumental work, Leonardo Colombati goes further in his judgment, demonstrating how the narrative power and expressive power of his songs place him squarely in the American literary tradition, along that fine line between Walt Whitman and John Steinbeck, Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver.

In Come un killer sotto il sole Colombati has collected and translated one hundred of Springsteen’s most significant songs, arranging them in not chronological but thematic order, in a montage that allows us to enjoy a true novel. Youth in New Jersey and the flight to a Promised Land in pursuit of that American Dream destined to collide with reality and shatter; the economic crisis, that new Great Depression that spanned the end of the last century and lasts to this day; and, again, maturity and reflection on success: as we read the lyrics – in original and in translation – one after the other, a wide-ranging narrative unfolds before our eyes, an epic in which the autobiographical cue always becomes universal

With the rigor and method reserved for the best literary criticism, Colombati analyzes and comments on each song, reconstructing the circumstances of its composition and the constant references to American culture. Filled with trivia and anecdotes, many revealed by Springsteen himself during interviews and concerts, the book also includes an up-to-date and highly detailed chronology and complete discography.

A passionate and rigorous survey that shines a new light on the work of one of the world’s greatest storytellers. Together with Born to Run, a must-have book for everyone who loves the Boss.