When we saw that wild arum today I remembered our lecture-group from yesterday. Why? We talked about the Turkish writer Tezer Özlü, which was translating too, mainly the works of Italo Svevo, Cesare Pavese and Franz Kafka. Italo Svevo is an artist name, he was born in Trieste, then Austrian Empire, in 1861, the year, Italy was born as an united nation as Aaron Ettore Schmitz (Now: wild arums German Name is Aaron’s rod). Italos parents were German Jews, that’s why he went to school in Würzburg and talked fluent German (Italo Svevo means “Italian Swabian). He was personally tutored by James Joyce in Trieste, and without Joyce and later Özlü Svevos books would be widely unknown.
Tezer once travelled within two weeks from Berlin via Prague, Vienna, Zagreb, Trieste, Torino (the capital of later Italian king Vittorio Emmanuele) to Santo Stefano Belbo – where Cesare Pavese was born. During this voyage she hardly found any sleep. In fact that pilgrimage-like journey touched the birthplaces of her heroes: Prague = Kafka, Trieste = Italo Svevo, Santo Stefano Belbo (in between of Torino and Genova) = Cesare Pavese. She wrote about all this – in German. Wouldn’t she have translated her own book into Turkish it would be lost.