the matter (button) of love-

«DitePlease tell me the truth about love / Some say that love is a child / and some say that it is a bird / some say that it makes the world go round / and others that it is just nonsense. ” Only a madman could think of answering the poet’s question, and that for centuries, long before WH Auden translated it into memorable verses, philosophers, writers, artists, ladies and gentlemen have been asking themselves.

The cover of «The art of not loving. Sentimental guide to the contemporary couple “by Giuseppe Di Piazza (HarperCollins, pp. 176, euro 16), released on 11 February

That mad, reckless, reckless is Giuseppe Di Piazza; and I admire him for his courage and also for the result, which, to be on the subject, I could define as seductive. But you must know – I know it because I have known him for some time – that the author took a risk because he had three arrows in his pseudo-cupid bow, capable of making the arduous task a little easier.

The first is that, while being a journalist, a profession burdened by his prosaicity, Di Piazza is a novelist. That is, he knows how to tell stories of the only kind that have appealed to the public since the dawn of time, stories of life and love and passion and betrayal, and he has often done so in his successful novels but also in his photographic art, surprising and happy. expression of a multifaceted quality of narrator. A book that was therefore intended to be an “essay”, becomes instead a “novel”, a genre definitely more suited to the theme: the story of two thirty-year-olds, Lucas and Margherita, who meet, attract each other, take each other, fall in love, live together, reject each other, leave each other, for a while they abstain and recover and who knows what else (the story, it seems to understand in the final apostille-letter that I do not reveal, is still ongoing).

Giuseppe Di Piazza (Palermo, 1958) is a journalist for the Corriere della Sera, writer and photographer
Giuseppe Di Piazza (Palermo, 1958) is a journalist for the Corriere della Sera, writer and photographer

The second arrow to the author’s bow lies in his experience on the subject. You can see that he understands love. That he reflected on it almost every moment of his life. Which is the incandescent matter of his being. Marital love, first of all, of the most beautiful and profound kind (in my humble opinion). He himself concludes by admitting the inspiration received from the “love of Roberta, my wife”, to whom the book is dedicated: “Our story resembles, given due proportions, to that of the protagonists”, but in the end “it led us to build that amazing building which is life together ». Then the love for the woman in itself, understood both as the archetype of the other from the male who is the mystery and the reward of every union, and as single and concrete women, admired and obviously listened to, because of their loving way of feeling the author shows full awareness in his narrative gait (one could even speak of a “feminine writing”, in style and approach).

Di Piazza’s third arrow lies in the humility with which he faces the enormous breadth of what has already been said on the subject. Starting from the title, which presents a treatise on «L’arte di non to love “(in the bookstore from Thursday 11 February for HarperCollins): an intelligent way to take the argument sideways, or behind, relying on Ovid to paraphrase, and thus renouncing from the start any presumption or affectation of originality. Indeed, one of the best qualities of the book lies precisely in the fact that the author deliberately raises himself on the shoulders of giants, presenting us with an anthology of thought about love as his story unfolds. We can thus look a little further with him, and scrutinize the fate of this feeling in an era that none of those giants could ever have imagined, no matter how many traps they tend to love, and how many “chicanes” they scatter on the road of lovers.

Love in the time of social media, the romantic improbability of places of the meeting in our post-modern cities, the minimalist domestic geometries where the “flying trapezium” of the first sexual exchange is located, the “distance techniques” that we adopt the following morning in the etiquette of messaging, “Don’t show up and don’t call / talk about everything so as not to talk about love / be afraid of falling in love too much”, because in short, as read on Twitter, “if after the first kiss the prince charming had said oh well, but we’re not together, we would have spared ourselves a lot of complications growing up “, and then” that parasite called jealousy “, and finally the discovery that” little is what is good for lovers / more is what harms; / let them take into account a lot of pain “. The events of all time, yet so different each time, and it took a singer like Di Piazza to update the list of classics on the subject.

Ps: reading suggestion, accompany it with the soundtrack of Dance me to the end of love, by Leonard Cohen, to savor «the unspoken that belongs to every Dionysian dance».

February 10, 2021 (change February 10, 2021 | 21:51)

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