After spending 15 years commuting between Italy and Greece, Maurizio De Rosa has been a permanent resident of Greece for the last seven. The Italian translator?s first encounter with the Greek language — the ancient version — took place in class at high school in his native Milan. De Rosa went on to study Greek literature at the University of Milan, which is where he became acquainted with Modern Greek, taught by Neo-Hellenist Amalia Kolonia.
?Modern Greek has added value compared to the ancient language, because it includes an entire nation, a lively reality which is attached to it,? De Rosa told Kathimerini.
Following his studies, De Rosa collaborated with philhellene Nicola Crocetti?s publishing house. Since 1996 he has translated about 40 Greek novels, including works by Zyranna Zateli, Maro Douka, Pavlos Matesis, Eugene Trivizas and Vassilis Alexakis as well as Ioanna Karystiani?s entire works. He is now ready to take the next big step by establishing a publishing house which will showcase older works of modern Greek literature. According to De Rosa, there is an Italian audience out there interested in all that is Greek.
How did you decide to become a permanent resident of Greece?
My love for the country is channeled through the Greek language. I therefore enjoy living in the land where the language is spoken. Having said that, it is also true that I fell in love with the land and its people right from the start.
Tell us about your upcoming publishing venture.
Along with three friends who live in Milan, I decided to establish a small, flexible publishing house that will focus on the literature of Eastern European countries, including Greece and Russia. The name of the venture is M that is what the Roman arena looks like. Outside the arena, however, there are people working on something different, who are looking for something different. That?s how you get small, independent quality bookstores. It?s not easy for them to survive out there, but they do exist and they are in the market for something different.