About 300 people filled a Science Center lecture hall yesterday for an informal discussion with renowned Italian novelist Alberto Moravia.
The 72-year-old journalist, short-story writer, and novelist is known for his simple, clear style and his existential themes. His most famous novels are "The Woman of Rome" and "The Time of Indifference." Moravia is also the author of over 1000 film and book reviews.
Moravia characterized his novels as being not realistic about facts, but about the relationships among characters.
Dante Della Terza, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, said yesterday Moravia is "without a doubt the greatest living Italian novelist," adding "he is a great professionalist; he lives by writing."
Moravia said Dostoyevsky has had the most influence upon his writing. He noted too the influences of Kafka, Hemingway, and Bocaccio.
When asked to comment about America and the great American dream, Moravia said he liked America and its literature. He said "America is the future of Europe technologically." But Moravia added that socially, Europe is further along, citing the variety of political parties which exist there in comparison with the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
An authority on film, Moravia also said, "This is a good time for American cinema," adding that at the moment he rates American cinema second only to Germany's.
Moravia visited the U.S. to attend a conference held this past weekend at Yale on the controversial Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini.