The Hero’s Journey of Simone Sbarbati

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Research. And finding links between different things.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being able to do what I really like in the same day: working, passing quality time with my family, reading and relaxing by myself.
What is my greatest fear? Failing to collect and tell someone’s story before he/she dies. This also applies to my own story.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I like too many things and I struggle to focus on one.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I admire many people of about my age who, in my opinion, write very well. Among them: Vanni Santoni and Giulia Cavaliere.
What is my greatest extravagance? My socks, my Hawaiian shirts, refusing to use english words and expressions for thing I can tell in italian.
On what occasion would I lie? When someone asks me about his/her work and I don’t like it but I also know that work is sincere and full of passion I try to express my feeling without hurting the author.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Answering at people who don’t realize/care about what I like and how I work.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Two times: when I realized I could be a good teacher and when I was asked to work on a book and then that book was published.
If I could, what would I change about myself? Be a far better marketer of myself.
What is my greatest achievement in work? Knowing that people read what I write, care about what I think, ask me to teach or speak about the themes I like the most, pay to hear me talking.
What do the words ‘The Financial Freedom to Create’ mean to me? The right amount of time to work on something, the right place to do that work, the right people to work with, the best tools to make and to promote what you’ve done.
Where would I most like to live? I don’t have a favourite place. My idea of a “perfect place” is always changing. Sometimes it could be Berlin, sometimes the small town where I was born, sometimes a lost place in South America. But I really love the place where I live: the Bolognina district, in the outskirts of Bologna.
What is my most treasured possession? My books — I noticed it recently when I was a victim of flooding and many were destroyed.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Maybe the Botanical Garden here in Bologna. I go there often, especially with my daughters, to observe nature, read, write, draw or simply sit there and think.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? There’s a pub where my best friend and I go as soon as we meet, so I think it could be defined as my favourite place.
What books influenced my life and how? “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace. I read it in a few days and it helped me get out of a period of depression, unhappiness and alcohol abuse. Another book is “Limonov”, by Emmanuel Carrère. It made me realize I love biographies — reading and writing them.
Who are my favorite writers? James Ballard, Philip K. Dick, Thomas Pynchon, Italo Calvino, Raymond Carver, J. D. Salinger, Emmanuel Carrère, Jonathan Lethem, Oliver Sacks, David Foster Wallace, Bret Easton Ellis.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? “The marble index” by Nico.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Mr. Fox of “Fantastic Mr Fox” by Roald Dahl.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? The writer Thomas Pynchon. In spite of (and perhaps because of) there is very little information about him.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? 2001: A Space Odyssey.
What role plays art in my life and work? It plays a great part. As a theme, as inspirations, as a lens through which to observe the world.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My partner Ethel. She was and is still the first to believe in me and my potential. She always say: «don’t worry about it. Try».
Whom would I like to work with in 2018? With people who have a big and beautiful story behind them. People who “know their place in the world”.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? I’m working on a personal project about my family and there are possibilities to work on the biography of a very particular man.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? I’ll be in Milan in october for Paw Chew Go. In november in Castiglione delle Stiviere (MN) for a workshop about new publishing at Mutty. In autumn I’ll be in Mantova too, for a presentation of my book “Una straordinaria normalità”.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Sometimes, in moments of particular weariness, I thought to give up, to do some more “normal” work, but then I realized that I will never be able to stop doing what I do.
Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story?
Emanuele Rosso, Sarah Mazzetti, Francesco Poroli, Davide Calì, Fortuna Todisco.
How can you contact me?
My book on Amazon

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