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Filippo Bagnasco

In Conversation Editor


First Language(s): Italian
Second Language(s): English, German, French


I’m Filippo, Italian, a bit Canadian, living in Austria and feeling at home nowhere and everywhere. I’m currently pursuing my PhD in American studies, dividing my time between university work, reading as much as I can, writing when I don’t hate it, and working at bars and coffee shops because my love for writing still has to put money in my bank account.


What was your favorite book as a child?

This is a difficult one. I didn’t read much fiction as a child to be honest, not novels at least. Instead I read a ton of Disney comic books and I read them all the time. Seriously, I always had my nose in one and I still don’t know how I never got run over on my way to school. Besides that, I read a lot of books about pretty much everything: dinosaurs, the solar system, pirates, jet fighters, animals, ancient civilizations, weapons, cars, far away places, spacecrafts, plants, precious stones, human anatomy, how paper is made, and the best ways to create explosives.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

I always felt the need to create something. I tried with music in my late teens, but that didn’t work out: I simply didn’t possess the patience, discipline, and single mindedness to practice an instrument everyday, and I still don’t know how people do that. When I finally gave that up, writing seemed the next obvious thing to try. I’ve always been fascinated by writers, not what they do, but how they live. I used to study the biographies of Italian writers, trying to imagine them at their desk, walking around their cities thinking, thinking, and thinking. I imagined them getting drunk at super-duper cool literary parties or locking themselves up in their studies to crack that damn novel. Sure, the stereotype of a lifestyle is not why you get in the game, but I could always picture myself there, it was something natural for me. So one day, I just decided to give that vision a chance, and I’m still here writing.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

This is also a hard one. Spending a day and a night on a beach by the Pacific Ocean during my semester abroad comes to mind. Or driving down the west coast with my girlfriend from Canada to Las Vegas. Or accompanying my dad on a business trip to Vietnam. Or looking at the coast of Africa from the southernmost point of Spain, my own personal end of the world. As you might have noticed, all of my most adventurous experiences come from travelling and, as trite as it might sound, I love to travel. I was born with shallow roots and I need to move, change my surroundings, whether I’m looking for a coffee shop to write in or I’m moving across the world to a new home. I love the thrill that comes from not knowing what surrounds me, the inner feeling of displacement, the goosebumps of the new. One of my favorite quotes is from Bruce Chatwin, the official Jedi Master of globetrotting: “Change is the only thing worth living for.”

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

The answer is yes and no. I didn’t use to, since I’m a strict believer in monotasking, if that’s a word. To read and listen to music at the same time always seemed to me to do a disservice to both. Despite this, lately I’ve begun to listen to quiet, instrumental music when I read, or even when I write, but it really depends on the moment. Sometimes I need it to get in the mood, the flow if you will; sometimes my writing and reading require absolute silence, and music would ruin that. I used to consider listening to music a sacred moment, but in the last few years my relationship with music has experienced a bit of a plateau, we fell a bit out of love with each other, so I’m more able to use music as a background for whatever I’m doing.

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz