Exploring the Literary Landscape with Loriana Ursich, President and Co-founder of Triestebookfest

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Photography credits: Erin McKinney
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Interview: MK

Every Saturday we’re spotlighting remarkable local females who could change the way we look at the world. This Saturday is Loriana Ursich’s turn, a distinguished bookseller and the esteemed president and co-founder of Triestebookfest. A native of Trieste, she graciously shared insights into her life and the literary world that she passionately navigates.

“Born in Trieste in 1966, my love for books traces back to my childhood. They’ve been an integral part of my life, and eventually, it became my profession,” Loriana explained, reflecting on her journey as a bookseller since 1989.

Trieste Book Fest, under Loriana’s leadership, has become a beacon for literary enthusiasts. “Every time we choose a theme, we bring in authors who have explored the theme from various perspectives. We also incorporate different artistic languages like music, theater, cinema, and photography to engage a wider audience,” she stated, emphasizing the festival’s commitment to diversity and a broad cultural experience.

Trieste boasts a unique cultural tapestry, presenting both challenges and opportunities. Loriana emphasized, “Since the festival’s inception in 2016, we’ve forged collaborations with numerous cultural entities in the city, not just Italian but also Slovenian and German-speaking. We aim to incorporate the diverse nuances of being citizens of Trieste, creating opportunities for people to explore and appreciate our cultural diversity.”

The upcoming Trieste Book Fest in 2024 holds a promising theme inspired by Louis Armstrong’s timeless song, “What a Wonderful World.” Loriana shared her insights, saying, “For our ninth edition, we chose the theme ‘What a Wonderful World,’ focusing on the relationship between Man and the environment. We want to explore how perceptions of the natural world have evolved and its critical role in our future. Expect a blend of scientific and literary events, as nature becomes a protagonist in both Italian and foreign novels.”

Discussing literary influences, Loriana highlighted two Trieste authors close to her heart. “One is Umberto Saba, a poet who beautifully captured the essence of Trieste in his poems and novels. The other is Ugo Pierri, a poet, writer, and painter, whose courage and use of irony in describing the city resonate with me.” Among non-Italian authors, Loriana pointed out Ian McEwan, stating, “His ability to provoke thought and never repeat himself in each novel is truly remarkable.”

Regarding language, Loriana revealed, “Yes, I speak Triestino, especially with my family. The Trieste dialect has played a crucial role historically as a lingua franca for different cultures in the city.” She highlighted the significance of Triestino during the last festival, saying, “We highlighted its importance when the actress Ariella Reggio read a piece in Triestino by Corrado Premuda. The audience’s warm response underscored the continued importance of the dialect in the city’s cultural life.”

In conclusion, Loriana Ursich provides a firsthand perspective on the literary landscape of Trieste and the exciting prospects awaiting attendees at the upcoming Trieste Book Fest. Using direct quotes, she emphasizes the festival’s commitment to diversity, the exploration of the relationship between humanity and the environment, and the celebration of Trieste’s rich cultural diversity through collaborations and linguistic expressions.

With her profound connection to literature and dedication to Trieste’s cultural vibrancy, Loriana invites readers to delve into the world of books and culture. Her journey as a bookseller unfolds as a testament to the transformative power of literature, shaping not only her professional path but also contributing to the cultural richness of Trieste. As Trieste Book Fest continues to evolve under her leadership, it stands as a testament to the enduring importance of storytelling, diversity, and the deep connections forged through the written word. Stay tuned for more captivating insights into the ever-expanding world of books and culture in the heart of Trieste.

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Maria Kochetkova
Editor-in-Chief of InTrieste, Maria writes about culture, politics and all things Trieste in-between capo-in-b and gelato breaks. Email her at editorial@intrieste.com

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