August 7, 2020

The mystery of Elena Ferrante continues to fascinate Italy | Culture

At one o'clock in the morning Italian literary journalists received an email with a code to download the book. The idea was to have a review of the new novel ready Elena Ferrante, from the mysterious author who had not published for five years. The editor pointed out in the note that it was "a beautiful novel" – what was he going to say – and that it took between five and six hours to read it from the pull. So most had to stay until dawn stuck at 336 pages to discover, among other things, that La vita bugiarda degli adulti, (The liar life of adults, e / o, 2019) has nothing to do with the tetralogy of the Super friend which sold more than 30 million copies in countries around the world.

Elena Ferrante is the pseudonym of a writer who has never confirmed her identity but that several investigations attribute to Anita Raja, translator of the publishing house that publishes his books and wife of Neapolitan writer Domenico Starnone, whose nickname was Boy, as the character of the Ferrante saga (Nino Sarratore). A journalistic investigation in 2016 followed the invoices of Ferrante's editorial and concluded that Raja was the one who was hiding behind the pseudonym. The only thing he got, however, is to provoke a huge debate about the right to privacy and harassment to which the media could submit to certain authors. Those involved never spoke in one way or another.

Beyond the mystery and careful marketing behind each Ferrante launch, only comparable to Harry Potter JK Rowling (there is a blind fervor in fans of his universe that also relates them), the writer has followers like Hillary Clinton, Nicole Kidman, Jane Campion, Zadie Smith or Jonathan Safran Foer and has managed to combine the perfect recipe between entertainment and A certain literary contribution.

The mystery of Elena Ferrante continues to fascinate Italy

The new book no longer parades Lila and Lenù, protagonists of Two friends, but breathe a similar atmosphere. It still has the female gaze of the protagonist. Giovanna, a 40-year-old woman, explains in first person her story from the relationship with parents, two teachers with different social backgrounds. The background scenario is still the Vomero, one of the neighborhoods of the upper part of Naples. The plot, as he has published Il corriere della Sera, focuses on a brief period corresponding to Giovanna's adolescence: from 12 to 16 years old. A hectic period in which your life changes and your certainties crack. The model parents, who had loved each other since they were young, are separated from a love triangle that involves the family of their best friends and their daughters, whom she considers as sisters.

The launch is expected in bookstores and literary events as the time of year. The Turin Book Fair, the most important in Italy, has always devoted much attention to Ferrante. Tonight, its director, Nicola Lagioia, organizes a reading of the La vita bugiarda degli adulti in scoop with an actor and the comments of the readers. “We have always dealt a lot with Ferrante from a literary point of view. We are not interested in your true identity. In literature the works matter. We are not interested in the domestic gossip of Shakespeare, but that he wrote Macbeth or Hamlet, ”he points to the phone.

Lagioia, who has talked several times with Ferrante through email, believes that the tetralogy that made it a myth of literature “is a classic novel, which enters the orbit of great Italian writers such as Elsa Morante or Anna Maria Ortese, but with an interesting innovation. ” “Tetralogy combines complexity with readability very well. And that is a challenge she throws. Publishing a novel in four works is very brave, ”he says. Bookstores are the best thermometer of this and expect a large influx of buyers tomorrow.

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