His is a writing that mixes or seems to mix the essay and the narrative element, criticism, memoir and biography: books have come out that define reductive narrative essays, as it would be for some titles by Emmanuel Carrre or Truman Capote. In fact, a fictional essay, or a biographical essay novel, the one that Emanuele Trevi will bring this year to the Premio Strega, Two lives (Neri Pozza), the first candidacy of the 2021 edition of which news is received, presented by Francesco Piccolo.
The two lives of the title are those of two writers who died prematurely, Pia Pera (1956-2016) and Rocco Carbone (1962-2008): two missing friends of which in the book, starting from the discovery of some photographs of youth, Trevi reconstructs with intensity the human figures, the character elements, the literary dimension , friendship is not always simple, and above all the common crossing of life and experiences.
Things that happen around books – explains Trevi, speaking of the candidacy for the Strega – a lot depend on others, also on the great encouragement I have felt regarding this work of mine. I would like to say that I find it exhilarating to bring a mixed prose like mine into the “big tour” of fiction, beyond winning or losing. He claims to have always believed in this mixed style, to which he gladly adds the experience of writing for newspapers, Corriere and Lettura.
There is another reason why participation in the Strega is interesting for Trevi: What I like about the idea of the prize is to slip into a mechanism that produces durability. And this is a problem of duration, indeed “the problem” worldwide of our literary civilization: we are in a culture in which we tend to attribute absolute value to novelty, so much so that today a dairy product lasts longer than a book.
Trevi gives the example of the update bulletins on upcoming news, which by now arrive from publishers, he says, every ten to fifteen days: with each list of news, the titles released shortly before enter the category of the old book. But the duration – he explains – is not a circumstantial element of a novel, essential, like commas or nouns. The text takes some time, as does a drug to release the drug. I actually enjoy an advantage, my books deal with real people, Amelia Rosselli and Cesare Garboli (Dreams and fairy tales, Ponte alle Grazie, 2019), by Pier Paolo Pasolini (Something written, Ponte alle Grazie, 2012) or by Pia and Rocco as in this case, and they last longer (for example, a boy who studies Pasolini can resume my text), but fiction, with this “lack of duration”, is subject to to an extreme dispersion mechanism. I am reminded of a story about “Mickey Mouse”, not surprisingly signed by Susanna Tamaro, in which Donald Duck goes to a conference entitled, in an ingenious way, “Literature of late last year”! However, the candidacy for the Witch gives the book a second life, which is very rare.
A second life that includes, in this case, also a new edition: the essay novel will return to bookstores from February 4 in the Bloom series by Neri Pozza. But the time has to do with it, in Two lives, also for other reasons. Emanuele Trevi evokes Thomas Pynchon who speaks of the experience of being a writer slow learning, slow learning: What I realized while writing the book – continues Trevi – is that literature is different from other arts. I know, a footballer at 18 already knows who. On the other hand, for those who write the dramatic investment in oneself, you can spend twenty years investing (Leopardi’s “crazy and desperate study”) but find yourself at forty still full of doubts: writing a crossing the desert, the thing that devours you , for some people a burning vocation.
One of the structural elements of this book, in addition to the biography and to the memoir, the Bildungsroman. The two friends (three, including the narrator Trevi) cross the publishing environment, the literary world, the culture between the Eighties and the Nineties, face the suffered changes of poetics, epiphanies and blows, in the literary experience and in life: It was very interesting – Trevi remembers – that phase, you saw how your friend was exploring his inner well. And then, to return to the duration, we talked for years and years of our beloved books, of Malcolm Lowry, of Sylvia Plath: and for us there were no books. old, n books new.
Meanwhile, the games for the Witch are open: from 20 January friends can send their applications (until March 5th), while on the Prize website the official proposals will be published starting from February 1st. And they begin to be numerous rumors around possible candidates and candidates.
For Mondadori they concern names like Teresa Ciabatti with It looked like beauty, and by Antonio Pennacchi with The road to the sea; for Rizzoli the name of Silvia Avallone circulates with A friendship. Three authors who would be possible for Bompiani, Paolo Di Stefano with his We, Aurelio Picca with The greatest criminal in the world was my friend, and Loredana Lipperini with The night is approaching. The publishing house and / or could focus on Chiara Mezzalama with After the rain; for HarperCollins the candidate could be Antonella Lattanzi with This impending day; for Perrone we talk about Paolo Zardi with Memoirs of a dictator.
Other possible names for possible candidacies are for Einaudi Donatella Di Pietrantonio with Borgo Sud and Nicola Lagioia with The city of the living; while among the possible authors in the running for La nave di Teseo we talk about Francesca Serafini with The three mothers, Ermanno Cavazzoni yellow card in The killer mother, Carmen Pellegrino with The happiness of others (out on 11 February) and Laura Pariani with Open sea. For Ponte alle Grazie we talk about Lisa Ginzburg with The pace by Stefano Corbetta with The shape of silence; and for 66thand2nd Alice Urciuolo with Adoration.
January 26, 2021 (change January 26, 2021 | 21:47)