Novelist, essayist and critic, born in Turin in 1939. A university professor of enormous culture, he is one of the most refined and profound intellectuals in Europe. He has helped broaden knowledge of Mittel-European culture and literature in Italy.
A translator of Ibsen, Kleist and Schnitzler, he has published numerous essays including: “The Habsburg myth in modern Austrian literature” (Turin 1963), Far from where, Joseph Roth and East European Jewish Tradition” (Turin 1971), “Ithaca and Beyond” (Milan 1982), “L’anello di Clarisse” (Turin 1984), the play “Stadelmann” (1988), “A Different Sea” (1991), and “Microcosms” for which he won the Strega Prize in 1997. As a writer of fiction, he debuted in literature in 1984 with “Illazioni su una sciabola” followed in 1986 by “Danube”.
He was a Senator of the Republic in the XII Legislature (1994-1996) and also Titulaire de la Chaire Européenne du Collège de France in 2002. He has received numerous awards from around the world and honorary degrees from the Universities of Strasburg (1991); Copenhagen (1993); Klagenfurt (1995) and Szeged (1999). He currently writes for the Corriere della Sera.