for Capri


Alberto Moravia
Contempt (Il disprezzo) is an existential novel by Alberto Moravia, published in 1954. In 1963 it served as the basis for the film Le Mépris by Jean-Luc Godard. The penniless writer Riccardo would like to make money through work for the film industry in order to fulfill his wife Emilia's wish to own a home. The producer Battista invites the couple to his villa in Capri, where Riccardo is to write a screenplay for the Odyssey with German director Reingold. The relationship between Penelope and Odysseus merges with that between Riccardo and Emilia.

Sure, it's difficult to highlight a book by Alberto Moravia. And then not even locate it in his colosseum Rome seems wrong? Let's start with Jean-Luc Godard's film adaptation. The images of the Villa Malaparte, the crushing gaze of Brigitte Bardot and Fritz Lang flash up as pure gold. Of course, "Contempt" dazzles without this glittering support. In this masterpiece, the seemingly insurmountable contrast between intellectual subtlety and dreadful wealth finds a resolution, which can still be felt today in the crashing Capri sun between boutiques catwalk and the I Fortini walkway, the terrace of the Hotel Quisisana and the old café Kater Hiddigeigei, the paparazzi piazza and the Walter Benjamin board and Lenin statue. Alberto Moravia's books are "of burning topicality", "like sunburn" enthuses the writer Albert Ostermaier. I do know all about sunstroke, after all.

Lukas Kubina

Lukas Kubina


Lit Cities uses cookies to improve your experience and assist with our promotional efforts.

I accept