East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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A matter of style

cary-grant-style-icon-sitting-in-tux-tuxedo-crossleggedAnd so it turns out I am not enough of a gentleman.
Or something.
I just tried – and failed – for a post as content writer for a male fashion magazine. They needed someone savvy in the ways of an elegant gentleman and I said to myself, what the heck, if it’s a paying gig, elegant gentleman is my second name. Davide elegant gentleman Mana.
So I contacted them, got through the first selection, and then submitted a 300-words sample of my writing on a fashion-related subject, with a reference to Italian style.
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More Italian Style

marriage-italian-style_01Talking about Italian style in imaginative fiction, last week I was part of a debate about what makes Italian genre fiction Italian.
Me and the other authors currently published by Acheron Books were asked to propose a four points guideline, a best practices hit list.

An interesting challenge.
Being the sort of contrary guy I am, I started by pointing out that I do not believe there’s a set of Italian guidelines that differ drastically from, say,  Chinese guidelines, Indian guidelines or Canadian guidelines.
What the reader is ultimately interested in is a good story, and good stories do not follow provincial guidelines.

This said, where I to single out four points that, as an Italian, I strive to keep in mind when writing, well, here’s the list, somewhat expanded to explain each point as best as I can… Continue reading


Italian style

toppi11Many years ago I met a guy that was an excellent comic artist, in a sort of “classical” Japanese manga style.
And I mean, he was really good.
So one day he picked up his portfolio, bought a ticket to Tokyo, and did the tour of the comic publishers there, showing his stuff around.
And the Japanese publishers were absolutely impressed.
There was just a little glitch – they had buildings full of people doing exactly that kind of artwork.
“This is very good,” they said, “but can’t you do something… Italian? Like I dunno, Pratt, or Toppi, or Crepax…”

I thought about this story last week, when the usual “Italians should write Italian stories in Italian” popped up on the web, as it usually happens once every two or three months.

I am in a pretty awkward situation. Continue reading