Antonio Scurati

Portrait Antonio Scurati
© Mondadori Portfolio/Leemage-opale

The writer and media theorist Antonio Scurati was born in Naples in 1969. After graduating in philosophy from the University of Milan, he continued his studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris and ultimately did his doctorate at the University of Bergamo with a dissertation on text theory. At Bergamo, he worked as a media theory research assistant at the Centro studi sui linguaggi della guerra e della violenza. In 2008, he moved to the Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione IULM in Milan, where he now teaches creative writing and rhetoric.

His essay »Guerra. Narrazioni e culture nella tradizione occidentale« (2003; tr: War: Stories and Cultures in Western Tradition) was one of the finalists for the Premio Viareggio. The essay not only examines the archetype of the warrior in Western cultural history, but also traces the historical development of the war paradigm – from its origins in ancient epics, its crisis phase in the modern romantic age, its shock in the age of television. Scurati’s novel »Il sopravvissuto« (2005, tr: The Survivor) won the Premio Campiello and the Premio Nazionale Letterario Pisa and was inspired by the events of the 1999 school shooting in Littleton (USA). In 2006, Scurati published an essay on media, dadaism, literature, and humanism entitled »La letteratura dellʼinesperienza. Scrivere romanzi al tempo della televisione« (tr: The Literature of Inexperience: Writing Novels in the Age of Television). A year later, he produced the documentary »La stagione dellʼamore« (tr: Season of Love) about love in modern-day Italy, which adopted the cinematic survey »Comizi dʼamore«, conducted by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1965. In a text enriched with numerous references from world literature, Scurati intertwines two time periods in his novel »Una storia romantic« (2007; tr: A Romantic Story): the days of the Milan uprising before the unification of Italy and the period almost forty years later (1885). This novel was followed by »Il bambino che sognava la fine del mondo« (tr: The Child who Dreamed of the End of the World) in 2009. The novel uses a mixture of fiction and reality to explore the media’s voracious hunger for tragedy. His most recent publication, »M. Il figlio del secolo« (2018; tr: M: The Son of the Century), the first of three planned biographical volumes about Benito Mussolini, was awarded the Premio Strega in 2019 and has triggered controversial debate.

Scurati writes for the weekly newspaper »Internazionale« and the daily newspaper »La Stampa«. In September 2019, »Corriere della Sera« announced the start of its collaboration with Scurati. His first article was dedicated to euthanasia.