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10 Questions for Amanda Minervini

"'If this country ever needed a Mussolini, it needs one now,' said Senator David A. Reed of Pennsylvania, during a 1932 address to the U.S. Congress.1 Yet what did Reed mean when he emphasized the need for 'a Mussolini,' and what, in 1932, did 'now' mean?"—from "Mussolini Speaks: History Reviewed," in Volume 60, Issue 1 (Spring 2019)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
My very first published piece, in Italian, was a very immature but imaginative reflection on David Foster Wallace.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
The writer who has influenced my thinking the most is Robert Musil, even if I write in a very different style.

What other professions have you worked in?
I still work as translator (English to Italian and vice versa), from time to time. Many years ago, I used to be a kung fu and horseback riding trainer.

What did you want to be when you were young?
Exactly who I am today!

What inspired you to write this piece?
The most recent Presidential elections...

Is there any specific music that aids you through the writing or editing process?
I normally don’t play music while I write because I would get lost thinking about the music. However, often I  play some music in my head while I write, as it helps with the rhythm. Most recently, I have been “silent listening” to some pieces by Marina Pizzo, an emergent Italian singer songwriter.

Do you have any rituals or traditions that you do in order to write?
I write barefoot.

If you could work in another art form what would it be?

What are you working on currently?
A book called The Saint, the Duce, The Pope: Religion and Politics in an Age of Crisis, which is under contract with Peter Lang, UK.  I am also working on a translation by Italian political philosopher Elettra Stimilli for Diacritics.

What are you reading right now?
Extinction by Thomas Bernhard.

AMANDA MINERVINI holds a PhD in Italian Studies from Brown University. Born and raised in Italy, she started her graduate work thanks to a Fulbright fellowship that allowed her to earn an MA in Comparative Literature at UMass Amherst, with a focus on Italian, Anglo-American, and French literature. Her book The Saint, the Duce, the Pope: Religion and Politics in an Age of Crisis, is forthcoming from Peter Lang, UK.

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