August 4, 2020

The triumph of love novels that desperate critics | Culture


Roberto Emanuelli He writes of love, but his books have broken up marriages. Literally. "Thanks to you, I left my husband," one of his fans wrote. Although the author prefers the term "friends". "My followers are a family. When I was lost in the dark, the community that read my blog promised to accompany me and stay with me. That's how it was, "he says in a café in his native Rome. The choice of gender is not casual: Emanuelli recognizes that "99%" of his audience is female. He has not just been explained, although his main suspect is fear: the men of his country, raised by bread and virility, are terrified of being caught reading romantic novels.

Even so, the writer has an audience: in just over a year, his two books have sold more than 200,000 copies. So much so that, after conquering Italy, he disembarked now in Spain and Latin America, with his second novel, Life's two days. Then kiss (Planet). And with those phrases that come out of his pen, they fly like mantras over the Internet and even end up tattooed in the skin of their audience: "The most beautiful place I've been is you" or "We are only for a few".

Roberto Emanuelli, in a promotional image.
Roberto Emanuelli, in a promotional image.

The "cyclone Emanuelli", as Planet baptizes it, is only the last deluge of love that comes from Italy. In 2008, Federico Moccia was the first to flood of sugar the Spanish bookstores. Idylls and failures, tears and butterflies in the stomach, simple and direct language, young and adult protagonists: the door more than open for anyone to identify. Succeeded with Three meters over the sky Y I desire you, it swept even in theaters and it came to Spanishize some of his characters or settings. Critics, meanwhile, laid their hands on their heads. But, in addition to the millions of books sold, locks hung by readers on half-world bridges prove the power of the Moccia phenomenon.

In his path, several authors are walking similarly. At least, in overwhelming sales. Although Emanuelli, Massimo Bisotti, Antonio Dikele Distefano or Francesco Sole share more than success and nationality. For example, the story of his rise: a past suffered, duels, breaks, mistakes, some work without a future, to get ahead. Until they redirect their course towards writing and emotions, their polar star. Some small editor notes, or self-publish. And, suddenly, his career takes a triple somersault. The industry giants sign them, they bring fame and money. And the accusations of not being more than an ephemeral product, a cheap chicken of golden eggs. Faced with this, the prophets of the delicacy react in the same way: they take out the nails.

A reader shows the tattoo of a phrase from an Emanuelli book.
A reader shows the tattoo of a phrase from an Emanuelli book.

"I write what I want. Then, I take advantage of the parts that I consider most fruitful for the promotion. Is it ready? Can. But the book is also a product and nobody does anything commercial without thinking at all about this, "says Emanuelli. The truth is that his plots always revolve around feelings, and with simple words. "The language of the heart can only be simplicity," he says. "My books are my own soul's own productions," adds Bisotti. They tell what everyone lives, and so they conquer legions of fans, who elevate them on social networks. They, in turn, take care of their followers almost as much as their works.

The critics, however, do not give them any caresses. Rather, slaps. There are reviews that look like massacres: Il Corriere de la Sera valued with a 1 a book by Dikele; Sole's poems have been called "antithesis of poetry". Magazine L'Espresso he coined the umbrella of "psychologism of a fat brush". And several blogs about books argue categorically that "literature is something else".


Massimo Bisotti reads his book 'The painting never painted'.enlarge photo
Massimo Bisotti reads his book 'The painting never painted'.

"I rejected many offers of marketing, precisely to be true to myself. I do not give the slightest importance to destructive attacks, I've learned that criticism often does not. There is nothing more banal than to describe feelings as banal. Loving is never silly, "Bisotti replies. And Emanuelli considers it a "presumptuous" attitude, which despises its readers. At least in this, some analysts support them: they may be disqualified, but Sole's poems, titled #Tivogliobene Y I love you, They have sold thousands of copies in a genre usually niche.

Too pastelosos? Bisotti prefers to speak of sweetness. "It is the greatest transgression today. There are too many people who shun feelings. I'm never going to surrender to that coldness, "tercia. And, incidentally, rejects comparisons between narrators, for "useless and wrong". "I'm nobody. I have sold a lot, for insistence, talent and luck. And I'm fine with myself. There are authors who start in pop and then want to make high literature. I do not. I do not care. I like to write simple, reach many people, discuss popular topics and find ways for my books to reach the widest possible spread, "says Emanuelli. For now, they are crossing borders. As his characters would say, after all, love never has them.

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