We should use a sentence by an unfortunately forgotten writer to describe “Thirteen moons” (Nottetempo editore, Narrativa series, 2021) the novel by Alessandro Gazoia. It is more or less at the beginning of “I cieli della sera” (Rizzoli, 1970) and the Neapolitan writer says: “(…) I shortened the distance between me and my roots“. Here: Gazoia condenses in his first test as a narrator a stylistic path that led him first to deal with essays (on the publishing universe) and then with fiction (with “Giusto Terrore”, il Saggiatore, 2018) up to his final fulfillment. That of the purest form of narration: the novel.
Proposed by Gaia Manzini at the Strega prize, Gazoia’s work moves on a difficult narrative ground because it is very close to today’s reality: we are in a pandemic and Elsa, who had to stay a week in the North, decides to return to Naples, to her elderly parents . There is the lockdown, a virus that is not understood, life is about to be completely overwhelmed and Ale, the male protagonist who has a job as an editor, knows it well. He knows it so well that he understood it almost by bumping into it, a revelation that comes from watching a Fassbinder film: a year with thirteen moons – as 2020 is – is a year destined for suffering and tragedy.
He would like Elsa to stay with him, no matter the pandemic, as long as thirteen moons can be held in two then everything can be overcome. Everyday life – that of little things, gods small rituals of a couple – can fight against any event. But no: Ale is forced into solitude, constipated in front of the tutorials he watches on Youtube to build masks, flooded in front of the books he is dealing with, at the mercy of the messages he exchanges. And it is in this suspended time – in this time of thirteen moons – that a kind of transition takes place, the one that shortens the distance between the writer and his roots. The one that thins the difference between author and reader in a novel that is not just a novel.
March 20, 2021 | 07:43