Giovanni Orelli in the SLA

Giovanni Orelli
Giovanni Orelli photographed by Peter Friedli in 1993

Giovanni Orelli grew up in Bedretto and studied in Zurich and Milan, completing his dissertation on medieval philology. Until his retirement he worked primarily as a teacher at the cantonal school in Lugano.

His literary career began in 1965 with the novel “L’anno della valanga”, which was swiftly translated into German and won the Veillon Prize. Orelli’s multifaceted work as a writer and commentator is committed literature in the broadest sense, drawing much of its inspiration from regional and national politics.

A solidly humanist education formed the basis for Orelli’s linguistic and formal interpretations of the modern world in all its complexity, spanning a broad spectrum of topics. He produced his own brilliant takes on a wide range of literary genres, from satire to the sonnet. He was the recipient of numerous awards. Giovanni Orelli received the Gottfried Keller Prize in 1997 and the Schiller Prize in 2012 in honour of his life’s work.

Last modification 16.12.2020

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