Playwright Mario Fratti Wins Capri Award for his 'Forbidden Diary' (Diario Prohibito)
Playwright Mario Fratti has just returned from Italy, where he received the prestigious Capri Award for his "Forbidden Diary" (Diario Prohibito), his only novel, written when he was 20 about the horrors of the German invasion of Italy. Fratti was presented with the award September 26 before the Italian Parliament.
"Forbidden Diary"is a controversial work and was finally published in September, 2013 by Grause (Naples). It tells of the difficult years after September 8, 1943 in L'Aquila (Fratti's hometown), the end of fascism and then the war, the conquest of freedom and the first years of democracy. In brutal prose, it tells of violence, torture and the rape the human dignity in that awful time for L'Aquila and Italy in general, bloodied by the Nazi occupation and the Republicans of Salò. The novel is also a literary testimony of the contribution of L'Aquila to the liberation of Italy from fascism. It includes, as an appendix, Fratti's drama "Martyrs," about nine young freedom fighters, Fratt's friends and contemporaries, who were captured and shot by the Germans in 1943.
Fratti spoke about the book at a civic function in L'Aquila on September 18. The 2009 Abruzzi earthquake shattered that quaint medieval walled city, including the apartment near the town square where Fratti, an expatriate, had sentimentally maintained an Italian residence. He was active in relief efforts for the town and now treasures his remaining ties to it.
The book has not yet been translated into English.
Fratti's play, "The Vatican Knows (about the kidnapping of that young woman)," will be presented by Theater for the New City, NYC from October 3 to 20, directed by Stephan Morrow. In the play, a young girl's fantasies about being fathered by the Pope lead to a brutal kidnapping. Fratti's play is inspired by a New York Times article of May 15, 2012 about the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi, daughter of an employee of the Vatican City State. Clues to the crime have led investigators in many different directions and the unsolved case has become a mystery of particular fascination to Italians. The Times article mentioned that weeks after her disappearance, the Vatican received a phone call demanding the release of Mehmet Ali Agca, the gunman who wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981. Brooding on this, Fratti created a personal vision of a possible scenario in which terrorists plot to kidnap a young woman who lives at the Vatican to blackmail the Pope. The play savors the mystery and then looks beyond it.