BOG CHILD

BOG CHILD

This book was Lorenzo’s choice.
Published by Uovonero Bog child was written by Siobhan Dowd: born in London to Irish parents.

And it is Ireland, in particular Northern Ireland, that reading leads us to discover and get to know.

The so-called “main” story takes place in 1981 and is inspired by real events in Long Kesh.

In some way, therefore, I return to talk to you about The Troubles

In this book you can find Family, Honesty, Friendship, Hope, Sacrifice, but also surprise because very often things are not what they seem.

Siobhan Dowd was winner of the Andersen Prize in 2012, finalist for the Strega Prize and was awarded the Carnegie Medal posthumous.

Unfortunately a cancer prevented her from continuing to write and interrupted her life at the age of 47.

Her personal story struck me a lot and as often happens to me, the feelings I feel lead me to find details that somehow find a relocation in my history and in my world.

In 1984, a year that occupies a particularly important place in my memories, Siobhan joined the PEN International, an organization that celebrates literature, defends free expression (and I emphasize this because lately it is becoming a much less obvious concept), protect writers at risk, support writers in exile, promote linguistic rights.

With the earnings and royalties from the sale of his books Siobhan wanted to give young people the opportunity to read and appreciate literature by founding The Siobhan Dowd Trust to support worthy projects.

Love for writing, love for freedom, love for kids, love for Ireland = maximum esteem.

And as for “Bog child” in Italy the title has been tranlated like this: The little girl forgotten by time… what else can these words mean?

L’ACQUA DEL LAGO NON È MAI DOLCE – LAKE WATER IS NEVER SWEET

L’ACQUA DEL LAGO NON È MAI DOLCE – LAKE WATER IS NEVER SWEET

And here we are again talking about the Strega Prize, even if in this case missing, despite the multiplied predictions and fans in favor of the book Lake water is never sweet by Giulia Caminito Edizioni Bompiani.

Once again for this reading I want to thank Monica who after telling me her impressions told me “but I want to know what you think.”

First of all, I loved the way in which the author got rid of the dialogue / quotes formula by inserting the speeches in direct form in a single uninterrupted stream of words.

More than a lake, in fact a river, a fast flowing current, an enthralling current from which the reader allows himself to be led satisfied with a constant absence of static, which on the contrary constitutes a preponderant characteristic of the lake.

The lake water is also typically cold, and while I really admired the writing, as far as I’m concerned I couldn’t “dive.”

I read the book with that curiosity that accelerates reading, and all the while I had the feeling that I would find something obscure in the following pages, like the lake depths that leave that perennial sense of disquiet, but it was not so.

Or rather, Giulia Caminito described the wickedness in its hidden but latent presence within the human soul. Yet it is as if along with awareness, intention was also sought.

The narration in the first person never reveals the name of the main character, who will appear only as a signature to a letter, and in the same way hides the deep self, which, as much as the underwater nativity scene, lies submerged, manifesting itself only in some moments that remain suspended, logs like piers that only provide the momentum to dive.

There are never consequences, everything flows, everything proceeds in indifference.

So in the end I compare myself to the “lemons abandoned outside the gate” (quote from the book) … wondering if this was not the real intent.

I also recommend the “pro and con” evaluation by Matavitatau that leaves from the analysis of the final notes.

Reading the notes, however, my thoughts have deviated a little course to focus mainly on a theme that is very close to my heart and which leads back to the character that aroused the most empathy in me: Iris.

If you have already read, or will read the book, you will surely understand why. So I wait to know how you find lake water.

Curious coincidence: right about the lakefront of Anguillara Loredana had spoken to me, also giving me the photo of her cup of coffee that in case you find it here

So feel free to send me your favorite cup as well whenever you want: I will be happy to share other nice trips from mug to mug …

TUTTO CHIEDE SALVEZZA – EVERYTHING ASKS FOR SALVATION

TUTTO CHIEDE SALVEZZA – EVERYTHING ASKS FOR SALVATION

This book after Il colibrì – The hummingbird and Febbre – Fever closes Monica’s trilogy on the Strega Awards.

Everything calls for salvation: the title itself already contains a universe of considerations, yet it takes the reader where he would not have thought he would go.

Personally in life I learned early on the intensity of the brotherhood that is born in hospital rooms, when totally unknown people find themselves in close contact and the common condition of suffering cancels the standard paths of knowledge, making sure that within a few hours you find yourself catapulted into the lives of others in a strong and in many cases indelible way.

However, I had never known this type of department, and I am grateful to Daniele Mencarelli for all that he has taught me with his book.

Never look away, never avoid asking yourself the REASON for behaviors that we do not know how to explain, because there must always be a reason, even though, in the blindness of the standard modus vivendi, it is incomprehensible to most.

At the base of it all is suffering, and even more sensitivity. Extreme, in the purest and most intense state.

A sensitivity that finds no explanation in the cynical world and that, ignored, manifests itself in immobilizing forms, or, on the contrary, violent.

I was left with the desire to know what happens after those five days, not only to Daniele, but also to all the other characters, I would like to be able to read that each of them manages to solve the biggest dilemma: life.

I would like the salvation requested to be granted.

In fact, there is no madness without justification and every gesture that ordinary and sober people consider mad involves the mystery of an unprecedented suffering that has not been grasped by men.
Alda Merini

FEBBRE – FEVER

FEBBRE – FEVER

Fever should be the positive sign that our body is fighting an infection, instead it has become something that terrifies.

But there are other types of fever too, such as the constant fever that exhausts those who are fighting their war against a disease

Continuing a bit the speech on the Strega Awards Monica said “you have to read it” and I couldn’t wait.

In this book, I personally found a further dimension of fever, a more occult level, which however is recognized by affinity: anxiety.

And I appreciated the absolute and total sincerity: a value in many cases rare.

Sincerity that turns into a gateway to life lived in Rozzano, a Milanese hinterland.

An unknown world for someone like me who was born and raised in the provinces, a ruthless world, a restricted world, made up of pre-established roles outside of which we become targets.

The author does not discount anyone, much less himself.

Did you already know Jonathan Bazzi

He wrote for a blog and various online publications before meeting with Fandango.
He has a degree in philosophy and in the book he talks about his intense and indispensable relationship with studying.

Another sort of “fever” perhaps more common than we can imagine.
In his case he turns into a trap due to stuttering, which he naturally manages to defeat.

Even in that: a winner.

BEWITCHED?

BEWITCHED?

1947: a meaningful year for me, my mother’s birth year. She, who was used to buy 10 lire of old newspapers just to have something to read. She, who made me grow up in a house with a large library full of books of all kinds.

She, who simply loved to read.

Never any imposition, never any particular advice. It was all natural, I still remember the titles that struck me most as a child, then I still could not know the story, yet they were already in my mind, ready to be rediscovered at the right time.

And one day, just like her, I simply started reading too.

1947 is also the year of the first literary prize Strega which took its name from the liqueur produced in the Guido Alberti family company who was a patron of it and who subsequently, after his marriage to the astrologer Lucia Alberti, began his acting career and was directed by directors such as Federico Fellini Francesco Rosi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Eduardo De Filippo and Roman Polanski. A biography that in itself would seem like a novel.

In the long list of winners of the editions that have followed each other from year to year, respectable names appear and a few days ago I read a statistic published by Gabriella which showed an overwhelming male majority .

I sincerely have to recover several things from the past, but Monica opened a window on the present, also giving me a key to the book that won the 2020 edition: The hummingbird by Sandro veronesi published by La nave di Teseo.

I gladly approached it, without knowing the author, without knowing the previous success Chaos Calmo and without knowing the various dynamics that led to this second victory.

“You are a hummingbird because like the hummingbird you put all your energy into staying still.”

The quote on the back cover immediately offers the first food for thought: suddenly static is considered as an effort, and not as the absence of movement.

The movement of the book is constituted by the temporal jumps with which the author leads the narration according to a very symbolic thread, alternating exchanges of letters and digressions with stories of daily life poised between the apparent normality and a crescendo of paradoxical situations.

I found particularly curious how the rather unlikely events of the main character made me think of Forrest Gump, a sort of coincidence, since I had just written a post about it.

But following the idea of the hummingbird, and trying to fly backwards to review everything from a different perspective, I developed the idea of metaphors to reconfirm the only true certainty we have: life has surprises in store and often revolutionizes plans and certainties.

But for the truth we are not still, we resist, something very different.

I think I’m not the only one to have found a sort of cross with painful personal experiences, of course then everyone continues on their tracks, but the scars remain in common.

This book also gave me a reference to childhood in reading the descriptions of summer places: Toscana’s sea near Bolgheri, Marina di Bibbona, Punta Ala, having also spent my holidays exactly on that same coast, and I found myself facing the thought of how we used to take things for granted until this particular summer, and how we never thought they could vanish.

So “bewitched”? Strega means witch laughing

No, but happy as every time a reading inspires reflections.

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