Felipe Franco Munhoz


BRASIL | 2023

Felipe Franco Munhoz was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1990. The novel “Mentiras”, his debut, which was awarded a Bolsa Funarte de Criação Literária (a grant from the Brazilian National Foundation for the Arts), was published in 2016 (Nós). It was followed by the closet play “Identidades” (Nós, 2018) and by the poetry-drama mixture “Lanternas ao nirvana” (Record, 2022). About “Identidades”, a “fascinated” Caetano Veloso wrote: “I’ve never found anything similar among what young people give me to read. ‘Identidades’ has a unique place in the contemporary Brazilian literature.” From the Russian, he translated “O Cavaleiro de Bronze e outros poemas” (Kalinka, 2022): a selection of Pushkin’s poetry, which was awarded an ABRALIC prize. He’s received a Sangam House residency (India), a Festival Artes Vertentes residency (Brazil) and an Art Omi: Writers residency (USA); to Art Omi, Tom Stoppard wrote: “An experimentalist in the best sense, a true modernist. His published texts are not like any other texts I have seen: just to look at them tells you he is pushing boundaries.”


I’ve managed to sneak a 1300s Tuscan tower into the book I’m finishing. Not only the Tuscan tower (the tower from where I’m writing this brief note); but, also, a chair made with horns that, Beatrice, you told me you brought to Santa Maddalena from Moscow. Not only the tower and the chair from Moscow; but, also, a Miró’s print, Sun Eater, that’s behind me right now. Not only the tower, the chair, the Spanish print; but, also, a Pistoletto’s Quadri Specchianti, the one that reflects your living-room, in which a woman seems to be dancing with her double. Not only the tower, the chair, the print, the Italian mirror painted; but, also, an epigraph from Henri Michaux, from a poem I read with you / for you, that will appear hung upon a page, like a distorted inscription. Not only the tower, the chair, the print, the mirror, the quote in French; but, also, a peculiar atmosphere.

It feels as if I’m living in the tower for most of my life – it feels as if I just arrived. Since I got here I’ve been with, or in touch with, many colleagues (as your dearest Grisha speaks of fellow writers in “Anectodage”), but I would like to highlight the joy that has been to be around Edoardo and Rasika and Manju and Giana (and Nayla and Riccardo and Firat and Maria Rosa): all amazing people helping to keep this unparalleled and plural and multicultural place so special.

A special place to write. A beautiful place in every aspect.

The vividness, the laughter, the food; new friendships. From musical nights to a reading session; from long conversations to, minutes ago (on my final evening here, Dec 21st, 2023), a FaceTime call with you – I’m having, as I just said [on screen], one of the most delightful experiences I’ve ever had. Thank you so much, Beatrice, for this unforgettable opportunity, for your kindness and generosity. I love you.

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