photo©Chiara Stampacchia


Ilaria Gaspari [Italy]

Ilaria Gaspari was born in Milan in 1986. She studied philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, before pursuing and completing a PhD at the Université Panthéon-Sorbonne with a thesis directed by Chantal Jaquet on the study of passions in the 16th century. In September 2015, she published her first novel Etica dell’acquario (tr: Ethics of the Aquarium) in which the egocentric and unhappy heroine Gaia returns to Pisa where she studied years ago, and finds herself embroiled in a maze of lies surrounding the suicide of a former classmate.  In 2020, her second book Leçons de bonheur (tr: Lessons of Happinness) came out – an existential, witty and smart exploration inciting to learn to know oneself in manner of the old Greek philosophers. Gaspari therefore asserts that it is possible to change one’s perspective of life by living according to classical ethical principles. Her latest book, Petit manuel philosophique à l’intention des grands émotifs (tr : A little philosophical manual for the very emotional ones), was published in 2022. It consists of an accessible yet holistic philosophical guide to navigate one’s emotions, entailing a journey into literature, philosophy and history, notably citing Homer, Schopenhauer or Spinoza. According to Gaspari, emotions don’t improve us, nor do they make us weaker, but they tell the truth. They can serve as a fundamental compass guiding our choices.Ilaria Gaspari has collaborated with various newspapers and Rai Radio 3, and runs writing workshops at Scuola Holden in Turin and Scuola Omero in Rome. She is the host of the podcast Chez Proust, exploring the words and thoughts within the pages of the world’s longest novel, In Search of Lost Time.