The Culture Trip: "Lakhous paints an affectionate portrait of the present day Eternal City"
Date: Jun 9 2014
The second bilingual work of the Algerian-born Italian writer Amara Lakhous, Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio was first written in Arabic and then rewritten by its author in the Italian language. In ways resonant of Gadda’s Awful Mess, Lakhous’s book presents the multicultural community living in an apartment building in Piazza Vittorio, Rome, a short walk away from Via Merulana. Life in the building is shaken as of one of its inhabitants, a sinister man known as ‘the Gladiator’, is found dead in the elevator. The novel unfolds as a sequence of all the neighbors’ testimonies, revealing the many-sided and colourful essence of one of the most culturally mixed neighborhoods in Rome. In a delicate style strewn with at times comic, at times bitter and satirical tones, Lakhous paints an affectionate portrait of the present day Eternal City.