Successful Italian publishing is from the province: interview with Maria Pia Selvaggio editorial director of ‚2000diciassette‘

Successful Italian publishing is from the province: interview with Maria Pia Selvaggio editorial director of ‚2000diciassette‘

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Maria Pia Selvaggio is the editorial director of the 2000diciasette publishing house. Publisher but also writer, the Samnite Maria Pia Selvaggio was born in Telese Terme (Benevento, Campania, Italy). Her first work dates back to 2006, Il Sapore del Silenzio.

Following the collection of Borgofarsa short stories (2007); Arcistrea (2008) dedicated to the Janara from Benevento Beauty Orsini; Her name is Anna (2010), a novel inspired by the tragedy of Puccini Street in Rome, which starred Anna Fallarino and the Marquis Camillo Casati Stampa from Soncino; in 2011 she participates in various anthologies with the short stories Larissa and Seven Houres inspired by a true story.

In 2014 Maria Pia Selvaggio becomes part of a European project that sees her engaged with the theater through the works of her Hamida represented in Belgium and France; again in 2016 the second dramaturgical work Kariclea staged in Viterbo, Florence, Greece, Spain, and Brussels. In 2017 she decided to go to press with the publishing house Edizioni 2000diciassette, Le Padrone di Casa. 2000diciassette is a precious publishing reality, the testimony of the commitment and work carried out at the national and international level by courageous and innovative publishers who want to enhance the territory in which they live, together with their talents.

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When and how was 2000diciassette born and on which writers does it focus most? Was it difficult to find a publishing house in the province of Benevento?

The 2000diciassette publishing house was born in January 2017 in Telese Terme (BN) and the name marks the year of birth and personal rebirth of its founder. I had been a pioneer of women’s literature in Sannio, the first woman to publish in Valle Telesina in 2005. It took a lot of courage and I was subjected to a lot of criticism, but I also received a lot of encouragement. The same courage led me, years later, to try to enhance the territory, proposing to the world the reading of Samnite authors. The purpose of the publishing house is to restore Samnite literature, which has seen excellent authors such as Telesio, whose literary traces have been lost, but which sources such as Burger and Beloch cite in their studies, through emerging authors, to be able to project it. in the world and at the same time favor the reading and distribution of national and international authors. Our motto is From Sannio, in Sannio. The founders Marcella De Mercurio, Pier Luigi Perrottelli, Jessica Vitelli, Luigi Morone, and Christian D’Occhio, together with the staff of proofreaders and journalists, try to make editorial proposals always effective and proactive. All the authors present in the editorial series have their own particular spaces and peculiarities, which make their literary works unique in the cultural panorama.

How important is it for the territory and for writers to be able to have your 2000diciassette publishing house as a reference?

The trite and coy affirmation arises spontaneously: „no one is a prophet at home“, but I must sincerely affirm that: yes, it was not easy and it still is not, after five years from the birth of the publishing house to make room in a reality were to contextualize the culture are „patron circles“ closed to literary and cultural novelties, especially if considered coming from „below“. We 2000 seventeen give „ink“ and possibilities to those who would never have the courage to express themselves if not supported, we give voice to the fragile, to those who feel excluded, but who have so much wealth and culture to transmit. We are giving life to dreams that can often be realized only through writing. We are far from techniques of „ego-culture“, of culture made up of provincialism and rushes to the most flashy presentations, far from superficiality and bigotry. We love genuine writing, profound competence without presumption, and openness to large cultural spaces. We have national and international authors and we have recently established a literary network with French poets and writers.

 

How do you choose the authors to publish and according to what parameters?

The authors propose their works and a team of experts, chaired by the curator of each series, decides the publication, after which the work is submitted to the Editorial Director. We have editorial series ranging from fiction, novels, and short stories, to non-fiction; from poetry to modern poems, theatrical works are also present in the catalog. It happens that some titles are born from ongoing events or projects, we have anthologies that touch on various themes: from the importance of chocolate „Je Suis Chocolat“, various authors, to autumn with „Autumn’s“; to alleviate the sense of loneliness caused by the pandemic, in the full pandemic regime we edited „A closed doors“, where authors from all over Italy met in a common embrace, a fatal chain of affection and intentions. What do you think of Italian publishing? The problem of reading in Italy is intertwined with cultural and socio-demographic characteristics; the population is decreasing and the number of readers is decreasing, it is necessary to spread the awareness that those who read are going further. Publishing would need stabilization, new rules, incentives that too often fail. The new publishers are truly heroes in a market that are becoming increasingly competitive and saturated. Basically, those with the most economic fuses survive and small and medium-sized publishers „manage“ to stay afloat. Too often, writers published by medium or small publishing houses are infinitely better than writers who are destined for national fame, but history teaches that it is a phenomenon that has occurred and repeated over the centuries, just think of the pivotal authors of Italian literature, to realize that they died in poverty and someone without the fame they deserved in retrospect. I think it is important to help libraries, which can be those common reading mediation points in the area for all citizens.

Which of your necklaces is the most successful? Among them, there is one called Fragile? Why this choice?

Memory. The series dedicated to the memory represents 60% of the literary drafts we receive, followed by the series of poems, novels and short stories. A series exclusively dedicated to „frailties“, born about three years ago, has become a driving force for those who are often afraid to reveal their stories, to tell each other, to denounce. Bullying, deafness, welcoming foreigners, physical handicaps, depression, all social problems and represented in the first person by those who experience the various hardships on a daily basis. For the first time in Italy an editorial series exclusively dedicated to submerged issues, but which need to be told. In this context, we have moved through a review „ConTesti„, which has received support from all over Italy. Another series concerning the History of Religions, edited by the Theologian Christian D’Occhio, is receiving a lot of support.

Personally, every new author excites me, aware that next to me and among scattered sheets, a soul beats. Can you give us some anticipation on the forthcoming publication and its future projects? In our future projects, the idea of ​​a network with the European publishing world, for a constructive and broad exchange. For next year there are already many proposals received concerning the various genres and the various series. Many young people approach the world of writing and this fills us with pride: being a harbinger of new talent is the dream of all publishers. Many titles will be presented, and among the names that we will propose also foreign writers. The next release in chronological order? Not being able to announce all the releases, which will be abundantly advertised from time to time, I announce mine. For three years I had been working on correspondence from the front between Carlo Emilio Gadda and his aunt Isabella Rappi Lehr, courtesy of the contemporary archive Vieusseux, of the heir of Carlo E. Gadda: Arnaldo Liberati and with the approval of the Sapienza University of Rome which I have finished in these days and which will see the light in January. A difficult job on one of the most complex personalities in Italian literature.

Annalina Grasso
Annalina Grasso
Journalist, blogger, social media manager, art curator. I love writing, art, literature, cinema. I collaborate with Juliet Art Magazine and I manage the cultural magazine '900letterario. I write critical texts for artists. I was born and live in Italy, I like to travel, visit exhibitions and listen to classical and rock music.