Claudio Magris (Trieste, 1939) is Professor of German Studies (special field of interest: Austria at the end of the nineteenth century) and studied at the University of Trieste and several German universities. As writer and translator he is one of Europe’s leading cultural philosophers. From 1968 to 1970 he taught at the University of Trieste; from 1970 to 1978 at the University of Turin and since then again at the University of Trieste. As of 1990 he is director of the section ‘Literary Language and Scientific Language’ of the interdisciplinary institute SISSA. In the years 1994-1996 he was a member of the Senate in the XIIth legislature of the Republic of Italy. Claudio Magris is a member of several Italian and foreign scientific academies. He writes regularly for the newspaper Corriere della Sera and several other European newspapers and magazines. As translator he introduced the work of Ibsen, Kleist, Schnitzler, Büchner and Grillparzer in Italy. He wrote many essays on Ibsen, Borges, Canetti, Rilke, Kafka and other German and European writers, and a number of novels, such as Inferences from a sabre (1990) Danube (1999), A different sea (1993) and Microcosms (2000). For the last book he received the 1997 Premio Strega, the most prestigious literary prize in Italy. Claudio Magris has won a great number of Italian and foreign honours and prizes and holds doctorates honoris causa at the universities of Strasbourg, Copenhagen, Klagenfurt and Szeged.