Books, social and communication



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In this section are collected post on books, publishing, social and communication.


EM



Le ventre de Paris


leshalles


Le ventre de Paris of Emile Zola represented for me one of the most fulfilling moment of read-out, started and finished at Villa Lazzaroni, on Via Appia in Rome.

I had completely canceled myself and from a park bench I lived the spell to find myself among the kiosks of the Halles and Parisian districts, between the gastronomy shops and the fruit carts. I was really immersed in the perfumes and colors of the market.

The ventre is a text characterized by pictorial influences. Zola refers, using the term macchie (spots), to the Macchiaiolis' artists. In meticulous descriptions, there's an homage to Flemish art and the exaltation of detail, as well as in changes of light we find the relationship with Monet's impressionism.

Some criticisms emphasize it's not an absolute masterpiece but just a good novel, but I will debate it from a subjective point of view because I loved it.

I think the beginning is a moment in which the description already reaches high narrative levels while the end, bitter, tears the meat off the body. Within these two points, Zola's microcosm is animated and the interaction between characters takes shape, passing through the tragicomic paradoxes and symbolism such as Florent's thinness which counteracts the roundness of his brother and his sister-in-law, expressions of the opulence of that environment. Food, meant as wealth, is one of the themes which puts together lesser plots and tales.

It's a text doesn't perpetuate only Paris in 1858 - the Second Empire of Napoleon III - but it becomes a cross section of modern society.

The fate brings Florent, escaped from the Cayenne prison where he was imprisoned for being an opposition to the Empire, by his half-brother Quenu, who became rich thanks to the inheritance of their uncle and the good management of his wife, Lisa, who was already uncle's assistant. The couple welcomes Florent lovingly offering him his part of inheritance which he, however, refuses. In order to protect Florent from indiscreet questions and police, the spouses will pass him for a cousin of Lisa.

It will be precisely Lisa, worried the revolutionary nature of her brother-in-law introduces them to new risks, to signal Florent to the authority when, through a series of gossip, his activity becomes of public domain. Quenu, by cowardice, will only be able to cry, leaving the task to his wife and choosing not to intrude; he for whom Florent, when was a boy, in order to guarantee him a future, had given up on the study devoting himself to his education.

How can I not put myself in Florent's shoes?

I can't see difference between the enriched peasants of the last century who come to the Halles to sell their merchandise, and those office clerks animated by parasitic mores described, for example, by Paolo Villaggio. Baseness, hypocrisy and egoism of the characters of the Parisian lower to middle class are the same in globalized society. The roles, the thrones defended for convenience, are movements comparable to the plots that carry the fisher-woman (La Normanna) and the pizzicagnola (Lisa), historical rivals, to contend the trust and gratitude of Florent the needy and then ally against Florent the instigator, when he gets involved in subversive and sterile activities by his friend Gavard, the only one who knows his past well.

Anyone, included in an alien environment, take a reverse path to a conforming order, in most cases will go the way of Florent.

It's the story of the defense of our own space and of its respectability, about the intrigues woven by the honest people working, and it's to these characters more than ever real the author will dedicate the final epitaph.



 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




To life as it is


3565-bel-ami


Everyone fights a sacred war for their social status. Anyone marks his/her territory to protect it from the cause of others who, if subsidized, would undermine that inviolable territory.

I'm not talking about international issues or ordinary politics. I'm talking about life as Ii is. I'm talking about the unconscious ferocity of some subtle blackmail. Yes, I get Indignant as a certain commune think impose me; I create matters, I line up, I abhorred and I am appalled: how can I not be?

I perceive silence to descend like snow doesn't make noise, when I learn of abandoning of his own fate, so much of an old stupid as a beast now grown. Or the end of a friendship which leaves you uncomfortable, and in general for anything no longer useful and hinders the road to someone. It happens not to strike the serenity of a coexistence or just for your own tranquility. The torture of the weaker, after all, in time becomes feeble. It's just life, as It's.

The same Guy de Maupassant in the novel Bel Ami tells the climb of George Duroy in Paris of the nineteenth century. Military on leave, moved to the capital working for Railways, George observes the good life of the high Parisian society and he is consumed for envy. He occasionally meets an old comrade, now editor of La vie française. He encourages him to pursue the career in journalism by presenting him the right people: he is creating a monster. Denying his modest origins, as ambitious man and great seducer he is, Duroy will start a social climbing in which he will manipulate powerful men and smart women. Unscrupulous, George Duroy represents the mediocre determinant who uses everyone and everything to succeed.

In life as it is, success would be represented by avoiding the problems. Habits, even the wrong ones, are adapted to anyone's posture. Everyone has superior reasons, within what Bukowski calls, in Hollywood Hollywood, the human chopsticks of existence. Chronicles develop the intransigence and the sense of justice with regard to the society in which you live. Then, in private, far from the spotlight, you become a judge pleasing to yourself. Chronicles exalt you, it's true, but your balance remains so fragile. Almost anything is enough, when you move in the narrow fringes of panic, to lose the control you believed to have. One wonders, when what's left around you is desolation, marginalization, how it's possible live just the same.

Reflection of low rhetoric. George Duroy is a well-depicted matrix, even unknown to those who haven't read Bel Ami, but his spirit, anyway you want define it, lies in any kind of society human mind can perceive. And, after all, you don't even have to read Maupassant. The lousy Duroy is anyone. It's just life as it is.


© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017 




© Enrico Mattioli 2017