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Federico Fellini’s bookshelves

Although it’s become almost de rigeur online, through networks like Facebook, to let people know what you’re reading, the practice of examining someone’s bookshelves to try to get a glimpse of their personality has always been popular. Stroll into someone’s house, and on their bookshelves you’ll get an open display of their curiosities, passions, and weaknesses.

With that in mind, there’s a great exhibition, running in the Fellini museum ( via Clementini 2 ), of the Rimini Maestro’s favourite books (amongst a personal collection of over 2,000 volumes bequeathed to the Fellini Foundation).

The show is divided into three thematic sections:

A lifelong childhood (Un Infanzia lunga una vita)
Some of the works that Fellini referred to as his artistic godfathers: from comicbooks (Little Nemo, Arcibaldo & Petronilla, Popeye, etc.), to the books of Emilio Salgari (author of the Sandokan series), through to the Odyssey with its grand protagonist Ulysses, with whom Fellini identified himself during his school days.

Nothing is known, everything is immagined (Nulla si sa, tutto si immagina)
The fantastic and mysterious are hallmarks of Fellini’s work, and this part of the exhibition gathers together volumes Fellini collected on ‘unknown territory’: magic, psychoanalysis, and religion.

What do you get from a book? (Cosa si prende da un libro?)
A selection of Fellini’s favourite authors, from the Italian authors like Carlo Emilio Gadda and Tommaso Landolfi through to the works of Poe and Kafka. It’s interesting to see the wide varied and open collection of books ranging from classics of literature through to detective novels and science fiction. The eternal questioning, on women, sexuality, ageing, death and creativity, so well represented by his films can also be seen in Fellini’s books.

The exhibition is curated by Oriana Maroni and Giuseppe Ricci. The museum is open from 10.00 – 12.00 and 16.30 – 19.00 daily (closed mondays) and is free admission. The exhibition continues, due to popular demand, until the 16th of August.


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