C-Blog (EN)


Economy is the societys dominant ideological strength and should be rethink about it through the artistic expression.

Hilly Kristal, based on the film CBGB


Foto del 29-06-17 alle 16.13 #2



MY WRITING FOCUSES THE SLAG OF SOCIETY


Welcome to the English version of my blog.

I called it Commas because I like to think that the posts collected here are regulated by punctuation as if they were part of a single preposition.

I will write about literature, publishing industry, books and e-books, music, everyday stories and art in general.

Well, think of my post as a blues song: if I can communicate or get you feel emotion, I did my job.

 

Regards,

Enrico 



About meBorn in a Lazio region’s city, a country capital, crossed by river, built on seven hills, but I prefer not to write the city’s name for a matter of privacy.    

I define myself a voice and not a writer. What I do is sending messages through texts and images. I draw my plots from the conflict between the characters and the surrounding environment. To narrate the jars is what I intend to do with my books. 

If I have to find a definition for my written works, I would say Street book is the appropriate one, even though in urban spaces you can write slogans and not books. The electronic format (besides the paper format) is a consequence, as well for self-publishing which went from being the last to the only possible choice.

After a ten-year experience as a union delegate, I got into themes like job, professions and arts. 

The stories I tell are plausible, set in the suburbs, at the bus stop or little neighborhood train stations, in a mall or in a bar. My characters turn out to be defeated, isolated, disillusioned, inconsistent with the environment, are figures looking for a sense which is either forbidden or adverse. 




BLOG SECTIONS

Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Imaginary stories of rock music

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Notes and insights

Books Translated - My books translated into English

Short Stories My short stories

Utopias Between dreams and reality

Debate - Controversy and a bit of malice

Remark - My thoughts collected. 

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Letters from the Johnny's pub



Unknown





The events narrated in this format are the result of imagination and affection for the characters treated, but exist only in my fantasy. It’s all finction, of course. The Stars here described are based on stereotypes, produced works and public statements.


Johnny B. Boogie is the owner of this unique pub where he can meet his idols even for a few minutes. It's everyone's dream, basically, and he manages to make it happen in his mind.

His name comes from the famous song by Chuck Berry, Johnny B. Goode, because according to Johnny B. Boogie,in the rock and roll scene everyone should be called "Johnny something" and, somehow, this consideration is a tribute to the great Chuck as supposed father of rock music; so, even the waiters are called Johnny B. Strong, Johnny B. Bup, Johnny Stand By, Johnny B. Cool.

Johnny B. Boogie is an eccentric fan, but not a dangerous one, a gloomy guy who has shut down to escape the greyness of life and who loves so much rock stars to accept their limits, excesses, contradictions; even the betrayals: who can show such loyalty?

Johnny has an excessive respect for them, a devotion that, in the long run, irritates the VIPs. He lets them work off their rage by drinking a pint of beer. What he asks them is only a few minutes of regard.

His idols come to his rescue to shake him, to encourage him, as if they were an inner voice or a speaking soul; when they ask him the fateful question, "What's the problem, sweetie?", Johnny gets embarrassed, denies with determination, but in the end must admit his existential problems.





BLOG SECTIONS

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Notes and insights

Books Translated - My books translated into English

Short Stories My short stories

Utopias Between dreams and reality

Debate - Controversy and a bit of malice

Remark - My thoughts collected. 

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers





© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Letters from the pub - Sutcliffe



Stuart Sutcliffe



I cannot sleep tonight. There is a guy who lives in the apartment above the pub. He always comes back home very late, when my shop is already closed. Oh, you know the slabs that divide places: thin as sheets of paper and you could write all the impressions you feel when you don’t get to sleep. Well, this guy who comes back very late and whose face I’ve never seen, is wearing leather boots that, in the silence of the deep night, make a big hustle on the floor. I follow the weight of his steps as he moves from one room to another and it is as if, in that gait sometimes nervous and sometimes slow, he would claim to exist.

 

- It's not easy to live in the shadows, Johnny.

 

The voice I hear comes from the other side of the pub, which is in the dark. I instantly recognize the guy, but I’ve only seen him on some photos: he didn’t have time to show his light. He preceded the greatest musical noise of all time. Never so mocking and indecipherable was fate. Life, in some cases, is so cruel that it is impossible to take stock of any losses. I look at him and smile. He smiles too; He wears dark glasses and carries a sketchpad and a black pencil case that I assume contains crayons and pencils. He is reading a book whose cover I cannot see and keeps closed another book by Gregory Corso.

 

- Hi Johnny – he tells me.

- Oh, nice to meet you.

- Your place is nice.

- Thank you. Can I... buy you a beer?

- Yes, that’s fine.

- Johnny – I tell Johnny B. Strong – two red ales at this table, please.

- They are on their way – he replies.

 

The guy gets up and takes a look at the walls. He caresses them, then he stares at me and smiles again. He pulls out the pastels from their case. May I? He ask me. You can do anything you want, I answer.

 

- Ok, but do not be so complaisant – he laughs.

- Oh, you too with this story...

 

He starts drawing on the only spare wall. He seems possessed. Slowly, the mural begins to take shape: four guys from behind, with insect bodies and human heads, that look at an erupting volcano from where musical notes explode.

 

- Do you like it? – He ask me.

- It’s nice – I answer.

- It's the top of the peaks of the great peaks – he replies.

- Oh... it's nice to have your testimony in my pub.

- Everyone in their own life is forced to slam their feet to prove they exist. So the question is: why do you have to make all this noise to ask for some love?

- Yeah. You are right. Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question.

- Oh, relax Johnny. Neither can I. May we take a sip of your beer?

- Yes: let's drink!

 

He takes off his glasses. He wets his lips. He sips, closes his eyes and tastes it.

 

- Good red ale!

- Really?

- Of course! I think we need another one, Johnny.

- Sure. Johnny? - I say to Johnny B. Strong – Two more!

- They are on their way, Johnny – he replies.

- Thanks, Johnny – I say.

- This is a nice place, Johnny – the painter says, looking around.

- I put all of myself in it.

- It reminds me a lot of Jacaranda, you know?

- Really? Jac...

- Yes, there is a nice atmosphere.

- Your words make me really happy.

- Yes, the words – he says closing the book he was reading.

- Uh... what is it?

- Ferlinghetti.

 

We remain with silence in the air and the fragrance beer in our throats.

 

- Do you know Johnny? I'm sorry I didn’t let you sleep.

- What do you mean?

- I'm the one with the boots.

- Are you the one living upstairs?

- Let's say I was trying to get your attention.

- We're friends now, you can come whenever you want.

- Thanks Johnny. I'll leave you these –- he tells me while taking his boots off.

- Well, they look good at the feet of this mural as a sign of your passage.


THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB


 


© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 



Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Richards, Brown, Belushi


keith-richards-james-brown-john-balushi-1980



The things I have are imaginary, but the things that fuck with me are real. The Johnny's pub waiters, Johnny B. Strong and Johnny B. Cool, the two chefs, Johnny B. Bup and Johnny Stand By, join in free association and claim rights: paid holidays and leave, rests.

From this morning a sterile argument continues in which I try to make them reason.

 

– This initiative of Johnny's pub is like a mission, that is, you should feel involved, we are all Johnny, am I making my point?

– Yeah, but you want to be boss – says B. Cool.

– No... well, I thought it was implied – I answer – after all, among all of us, I am the most...

– The most, what? – Johnny B. Strong asks me threatening.

– … no, just the most...

– So? – Says B. Cool.

– I am the most suitable to manage... after all, the idea is mine!

– And then don’t you dare – B. Bup tops it off – the story of the mission from God has already been written!

– We're a big family, Johnny – I say to all four.

– You're good with rhetoric – says Johnny Stand By.

 

Silence falls on us. Everyone gets a beer to reflect. A white Limo parks right outside the Johnny's pub. Three guys get off and I seem to recognize one. They enter.

 

– Hello?

– Oh, hello Mr. Richards. I'm sorry, it's closed.

– Are you crazy? I came with some friends...

 

I look at all three of them and I remain dumb.

 

– Hello, Johnny, are you okay? – Says the black guy.

– Johnny B. Boogie, my friend, we came for a little partying! – Says the robust one.

– Oh, it's such an honor... – I reply.

– Oh, don’t be so complaisant – say these two in choir.

– We've known that here you can drink and that... you have some good alfalfa – says the robust one.

– Well, yes, but...

– What’s the problem? – Mr. Richards asks me.

– The staff is mutinying me... – I reply.

– How would it be? – He asks.

– We want holidays, permits, rests... – says Johnny B. Bup on behalf of all of them.

– It's fair – the black guy tells me – those brothers are right. Don’t tell me that you are one of those who exploits other’s work or I’ll make you reason with some kicks...

 – Do you know what the problem is with your place, Johnny? – Says Mr. Richards.

– Tell me... – I answer.

– The beer is ok, nice pub, good music...

– … even alfalfa... – says the robust.

– Yes, everything nice – Mr. Richards resumes – but... – he pauses, looks around, baffled and spitting smoke from the nostrils.

– But? – I ask.

– But... you should hire some girl, Johnny – Mr. Richards sentences.

– Yeah – says the black guy pointing at us – you're all men.

– Why are you all men? – The robust one asks us.

Because we're not women... but what kind of a fucking question is it? – Answers Johnny Stand By.

– I meant: why there are no women in this pub, idiot! - Says the robust one.

– And yet – says Johnny B. Strong – you are all men too.

– And so? – Says the robust man – we are what we are.

– Right – the black man adds – you might not want to make a comparison with us!

– Go take it up in the ass! – The four of them say in chorus.

– B. Boogie – the black one tells me peremptory – you’re doing good not granting rights to these four assholes!

– Uh, but we take our rights by ourselves! – Johnny B. Cool shouts.

– Calm down, people... – says Mr. Richards. – Ok, Johnny. You need girls in this place. Women improve life, do you understand?

– Yes, but weed too improves things – suggests the robust one.

– Yes, even weed – Mr. Richards grins.

– So? – I ask.

– So – Mr. Richards continues, – you have to hire girls, Johnny. Your business will grow...

– Eh, but where do I find girls? – I ask.

– He knows a lot of girls – says the black guy pointing to Mr. Richards.

– Oh, I could give you a hand, Johnny – says Mr. Richards. – Come with me to see the other rooms of the pub. Hey guys – he says to the black guy and the robust one – I’m around there with Johnny ...

– Good – they say.

 

We move away and I take him to see the bathrooms, the kitchen and the warehouse too.

 

– I could organize internships, then you choose the girl – says Mr. Richards.

– Well – I answer.

– You know Johnny, I'd put a few more tables, maybe even outside...

– There's no need, Mr. Richards...

– Those would be V.I.P. areas, Johnny...

– What do you mean?

– I like to think that when I come to see you, my table is free. It's a whim, Johnny, do you understand me?

– Yes, I think so...

– And then I would renovate the kitchen, Johnny...

– The kitchen is fine, Mr. Richards...

– I know it's okay, Johnny, but if I say I'd renovate it, you should not contradict me, if you really love me... I explained myself, Johnny?

– Actually, I too believe that the kitchen must be renovated, Mr. Richards...

– Very well, Johnny, as you wish. It means that I will renovate the kitchen...

– OK Mr. Richards. I'll have to call a company.

– No, Johnny, what company... I will do it and you will help me.

– Good, but I don’t know how to be a bricklayer or a painter...

– I'll take care of it, Johnny, you'll just have to look at me… 


THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB

 

 

 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Jagger



034-mick-jagger-theredlist




Bad feelings. I talked too much and when you expos, you're vulnerable. I designed this place for not having trouble. Negative vibrations are diseases that should be nipped in the bud to avoid proliferation: some influences take possession of your mind and this paralyses your body leaving you at the mercy of a threat that is only virtual. The succession of your acts, influenced by that state of tension, is such that those feared things actually happen in the end. Or, much simpler, I smoked too much and the alfalfa was not exactly free of hallucinogenic substances...

 

– Hello Sir.

– May I introduce myself?

– Oh, there's no need...

– I'm a polished man...

– I know well…

– Ok Johnny. Do you like playing with darkness?

– Oh no, I would never dare...

– And yet you did it, Johnny...

– Me? Never, I can swear...

– No, Johnny, don’t swear...

– If you're referring to the meeting with Mr. Richards...

– Keith is my brother, Johnny...

– Well, of course, I know...

– Oh, play with my fame, Johnny, what a misery: after what I did for you...

– Please: what have you done for me?

– I sing for you too, Johnny...

– Oh, well... this seems a bit speculative...

– Johnny, Johnny... how could you do that?

– Well, there must have been a misunderstanding, and yet, I apologize anyway...

– Johnny: don’t be so complaisant...

– I’m duly sorry...

– Look at me Johnny: straight in the eye!

– Oh... oh... uh... ooooo... uuuuh... uah... oh yeah...

– Do you like it, Johnny?

– Oh... Uh...

– Ok, Johnny. You see it? I'm taking advantage of you.

– Oh... oh... by Jove!

– You had your first lesson.

– Which lesson are you talking about?

– An intercourse starts from the head, Johnny.

– Uh... oh...

– Another bit, Johnny?

– Oh...

– No. That’s all. So you learn.

– Oh...

– Second lesson: I always decide, how and when; and how much. Ok?

– Ok.

– Do not forget.

– All right.

– Set up a table and bring me food, Johnny. I'm hungry bastard!

– Do you want to drink too?

– What do you think?

– Red ale?

– Red ale is fine... oh, what kind of place have I come to here?

 

I set the table up and serve him myself. He seems disappointed.

 

– Anyway, I want you to know, that I never played with your fame...

– Uh, no?

– No!

– And what did you say to Mr. Cheeta?

– What a son of a bitch! It was him who said you took his way of dancing...

– Good Johnny. Watch me.

 

He climbs on the ceiling beams like a real monkey, does all his monkey moves, takes a fake banana from the plastic fruit basket and then throws it at my face, claps his hands like a monkey, and then mumbles (and also sings) like a monkey. Finally it freezes. He stares into my eyes.

 

– Have you seen, Johnny? Do I look like a monkey?

– No!

– That's right, Johnny.

– In fact, in my opinion, it is the monkey who copied your way of dancing...

– Sure, Johnny. It's like that.

– Sure. No doubt about this.

– Good Johnny. You had your third lesson.

– Oh…what?

– It is the power of persuasion.

– What is that?

– Oh, let it be. Be a good boy and let me eat...

– All right.

– Hey, Johnny...

– Yes…

– You should stop smoking that junk... you smell like a mess!

– I'm sorry…

– I would appreciate some decency, when they serve me food…


THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB


 

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Cheeta



cheeta



I have many things, but they are all imaginary. If the city is a jungle, this pub is an oasis. After all, we are all like pets. Why pets? Because we just adapted to the place in which we were, if we really lived in a jungle, we would get used to the tribal rituals. And to jungle’s times.

Rock and roll is the sound of the jungle, but it reflects big cities too. The metropolis and the jungle are different and the same, rock captures both souls. If Tarzan had lived in the city, with his wild screams he would have been the front man of a rock band.

 

– Hello Friend.

– I'm sorry: monkeys can’t stay in this place.

– Do I look like a monkey?

– Well... yes…

– No, man, I'm the father of rock and roll...

– Oh... you know how many monkeys think they’re the father of rock and roll?

– I not “think I am”, I “am” its father...

– Oh, of course... well, what can I do for you?

– I want a beer…

– I can’t give you a beer...

– And why?

– Monkeys don’t drink beer...

– And who do you think you are to decide what others drink?

– I'm Johnny B. Boogie and I manage this place.

– Johnny B. Boogie... it has a nice rock and roll sound, good!

– Thank you.

– Listen, B. Boogie: who taught Mick Jagger the dance?

– Don’t tell me it was you...

– Oh yeah!

– Well, Jagger, really dances just like a monkey!

– Sure. Ah, but don’t think it's easy...

– What: to teach Mick Jagger to dance?

– No... to dance like a monkey!

– You say?

– Well, Jagger is really good...

– Yes, he gets by...

– Have you ever been in the jungle, B. Boogie?

– Well, I... no, I don’t understand much about jungle... the only jungle I've seen is the one of Tarzan...

– Yeah, Tarzan... don’t let me start on that...

– Ok.

– No, but I can tell you...

– What?

– No, better not!

– As you want…

– Actually, I want to tell you...

– Let’s see…

– Jane...

– So?

– Her and me, I mean... you understand, right?

– Oh, that’s good...

– It's the truth...

– Mah...

– I’m telling you it’s true! She never had enough... in the end, I had to stop it...

– Really?

– Yes and then…

– And then?

– I was a close friend of Tarzan...

– Yeah, such a great friend that you take advantage of her woman...

– Well, what can I say, when it breaks out, passion becomes an uncontainable feeling!

– Sure.

– In addition, you could perceive the affair from de TV, so when he was jumping through the lianas to go into the jungle leaving us alone, the audience began to giggle...

– Seriously?

– I’m telling you: don’t say you never noticed it!

– Now that you mention, yes, I think you could perceive the affair...

– Of course you perceived it...

– Uh, what can I say? It's life…

– Hey, B. Boogie...

– What's up?

– Would you buy me a beer?

– Why should I buy you a beer?

– We are friends, I could... offer you protection... you know, sometimes unpleasant things happen, when one is without protection...

– Are you threatening me on the sly?

– No... no threat... I'm just warning you, B. Boogie...

– Oh, thanks…

– And where you at with licences and stuff?

– Which licence?

– The licence for the pub...

– All set, no problem.

– I... I'd like to propose a deal.

– What deal?

– Would you like to become the exclusive retailer of a new product?

– What product?

– Alfalfa.

– What?

– It's a plant that grows back home...

– You want to sell that stuff in my pub? I would get in trouble sooner than now!

– No. You just have to use caution: no names. No Maria or Marianna, only alfalfa.

– You are crazy…

– It's all perfectly legal... it is a plant deprived of its hallucinogenic properties that only offers a relaxing effect...

– Really?

– I’ telling you, it is like an infusion, only that instead of drinking it, you smoke it.

– Well, if you make sure it's legal...

– Of course, my friend, I have a little taste with me... try...

– Yes, after all even cats use catnip, right?

– Yes, friend, no problem, you'll thank me, you'll see…


THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB


 

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 



Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Harry



Debbie-Harry-in-the-new-Blondie-video-for-Fun-767812




I have many imaginary things. In this place, I feel at home. I like to sit at the table sipping beer and looking out the window at the afflicted world. I do not have many interests besides music and I only have imaginary things, but maybe I have already said that.

 

- Hi Johnny!

- Hello Miss Harry.

- Such a nice pub...

- Oh, it's not like the CBGB...

- I'm telling you it's ok, Johnny, I've been hanging out on many places...

- Well, thank you... well, I'm not Mr. Kristal...

- Everyone's what he is, Johnny...

- Yeah...

- Why be another when you can be yourself?

- I don’t know where to start...

- You've already started, Johnny...

- You think?

- I trust you.

 

It is a magic word: no one has ever told me I trust you. It instils itself like a mantra. In front of me, the most famous blondie in the new wave scene is saying nice things to me. It does not happen often. People rarely say nice things, they rather keep them for themselves.


- Do you like my boots, Johnny?

- Yes, they go nice with leather pants...

- Well, I didn’t find these in the trash...

- You are very sexy...

- You say?

- Absolutely...

- You're my baby, Johnny...

- Oh...

- You should distract yourself, Johnny...

- Well, it's not easy...

- You should go out, meet people...

- I…

- What?

- It bothers me to see people...

- And why?

- I don’t know, maybe because too many have a high opinion of themselves...

- Is it possible to drink something, Johnny?

- Oh, of course: Johnny – I tell to Johnny B. Strong - two red ales at the table, please.

 

They are on their way - he replies. He is a good waiter, Johnny. It has the ability to forecast the orders, after all it is not that difficult, what can you drink in a pub if not beer? Nevertheless, he really is good. He arrives at the table visibly excited.

 

- It's a real pleasure, Miss Harry - he says - you're beautiful!

- Thanks - she replies.

- Oh, I've never seen him do anything like that to anyone! - I say.

- Come on, Johnny, I bet it's a little game you do with everyone...

- I swear not... I mean, not with everyone...

- Do you like sex, Johnny?

- Well, quite enough...

- Well, quite enough? It seems like you don’t like it at all...

- No... yes, I like it...

- No? Yes? What's the problem, Johnny?

- No problem, Miss Harry.

- So what?

- In my opinion, too much importance has been given to sex...

- You don’t say…

- ...and this is sometimes counterproductive...

- Here it is Johnny and his new punk provocation: Stop sex!

- Uh, you make fun of me...

- You really don’t want to tell me what the problem is, Johnny?

- Maybe I'm a little numb...

- Numb? I bet the gun you have in the holster could cause a massacre, Johnny...

- You say?

- Do you know what the problem is, Johnny?

- Which?

- You think too much.

- About sex?

- No, in general... and when you think too much, things appear more serious than they really are...

- Who knows, maybe it's like that...

- A journey begins with the first step, Johnny...

- Yeah...

- You should distract yourself, Johnny...

- I know, but it's not that easy...

- Try to laugh more. Do you never dance, you, Johnny?

- Oh, no, I can’t...

- You can’t? Anyone can dance, you just have to move a little...

- I feel embarrassed…

- About what?

- Of what I am... I feel uncomfortable when I move...

- You could use a little dance, Johnny...

- I don’t know how to do…

- Close your eyes and let yourself go... follow me...

 

THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB





 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Barret


e767d25f2400bcf715cde1ac4d22382e



Translated by Emilia Maiella


Late at night. A man wanders out of the pub, he has a bag of laundry in his hand. He wears a t-shirt with I am Mister Roger wrote on it. He seems confused, as if he were lost. He stays still and observes the moon. How many verses have been recited to the moon?

In the world of imagination, there happens most of the things, for the rest we live in a state of generic immobility. Someone said that we use only one part of our brain: what happened to the other?

 

The man enters in the pub. He looks mild, he studies the environment, and then he looks at me.



- You're a weird guy – he says to me.

- Did you listen to me?

- Yes, you ask strange questions...

- And you could answer me?

- Well, I was just looking for a laundry to wash my shirts.

- At this time of the night?

- I couldn’t sleep.

- I see…

- ...and then, I like to stay in the laundry, there smells clean...

- Oh, sure...

- I relax in the laundry...

- Yeah...

- Always better than watching television, right?

- You are right…

- You are very complaisant...

- Eh, everyone says so...

- Nice place: what is it?

- It's a pub!

- Uh... and you don’t happen to have washing machines?

- No, we just have some mellow red ale...

- I was looking for a laundry, my friend, however, now that I'm here I'd like some fruit juice...

- I'm sorry. We do not have fruit juices ...

- I see…

- What can I give you?

- Oh... so, what could I take? Do you have some water?

- Yes, I would say yes...

- Then fresh water, thank you...

- Good. Johnny? – I say to Johnny B. Strong – a pitcher of water...

- Fresh, please... – Says Mr. Roger.

- He's daydreaming, Johnny – Johnny B. Strong replies.

- Dude, so you can’t tell me where I can find a laundry to wash my t-shirts?

- No, I'm sorry…

- I'll try to find it by day...

- I'm sure you'll find it...

- Let's hope…

- Here's your water, my friend...

- Thanks, Johnny... it's really cold... and then it's refreshing...

- Yup…

- You know Johnny, I heard you before, while you were thinking... sometimes I happen to dream...

- Uh, come on Mr. Roger, tell me about your dreams...

- Well, they're very short dreams...

- Describe them...

- Do you really want to know?

- Are you kidding? Of course…

- Well, so... I... it's kind of an unusual dream, actually...

- Don’t worry…

- I... in the dream... I play in a successful rock band...

- And do you like it?

- It's the best thing that can happen... but then I wake up and go back on my feet... it's not easy to be in a successful rock band...

- Why?

- You have to swim forward, I'm someone who needs to float.

- It's a confusing image, but it conveys the idea...

- You know, Johnny, the mind is... a wild animal, most people can tame it... it's an organ inside a case, basically, and it tends to free itself...

- Oh... what you say is deep...

- Thanks Johnny. Can you tell me what time the laundry opens?

- Tomorrow morning, Mr. Roger.

- Do you mind if I wait here?

- No, of course.

- This is a nice place.

- Thanks, Mr. Roger.

- Yes, I feel good. It's big but quiet, you can rest... and then, nobody is looking for you.

- Does it bother you when they're looking for you?

- Well, I don’t have much to say... I go shopping, I go out for a walk, I take care of the garden...

- A quiet life...

- Yes, a quiet life... do you mind if I take a nap?

- No, here you can rest as much as you wan ...

- But you wake me up when the laundry opens...

- Sure.

- Maybe I’ll have a good dream...

- Good rest, Mister Roger...

- Oh, Johnny, you're very kind...


THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB





 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




Letters from the pub - Smith



images



Translated by Emilia Maiella


I have things that are imaginary and I have reached a self-awareness: I am satisfied and did not know it. Yes, it is paradoxical, but only in appearance. When ignorance falls, awareness appears in its right size.

I was standing in front of a clothing store’s window looking at sweaters, sweatshirts and trousers with no interest. I thought how long it is since I bought piece of clothing. Years ago, when I did not feel right, I used to spend money buying anything compulsively: clothes, movies, perfumes. I did it a lot, owning my insecurity for a while, but when its level came down, I had to go back to spending. Then, I do not remember when, this process has stopped. I probably bought all the music that was possible and now it is enough for me. I find myself in this place of imaginary things, I do not possess anything concretely, I only have what I need. I do not care about my looking, or rather, I care the reasonable minimum, I am learning to overcome the people’s gossips, I am just what I am. It is true that I am alone, I only frequent the world of fantasy and I cannot keep in time with reality. Besides that, I feel good. 

 

- Oh, it's a nice profile, Johnny.

- The great poetess!

- I'm just one who works.

- The only poetess, actually...

- They warned me that you were too complaisant, Johnny.

- I love who overcomes the concept of celebrity to just be a person. And so are you.

- You too, I like who accepts themselves for who they are.

- You're too complaisant...

- Didn’t I hear this already?

- Yes, it's my charge...

- You drink red ale in this place, right?

- Of course.

- One, please.

- Johnny? Red ale at this table.

- It’s on its road, Johnny - Johnny B. Strong replies.

 



Johnny B. Strong, approaches with two pints of beer. He looks at her and says: it's a real pleasure, Mrs. Smith. She smiles: the pleasure is mine. Johnny B. Strong engages in an improbable bow and gets back behind the counter. He puts music on background: Because the night, which with all the abundance of available material, it must be the first one he found.

 

- Oh Jesus: I've never seen him do something like that, to anyone! - I confess to her.

- Complaisance is the parameter by which you choose the staff, apparently! – She laughs.

- It seems so!

- Nice place, it’s quiet. The ideal place to sit down and collect notes. I live by words, Johnny.

- Oh, your words... many say that music is important, that it comes first...

- It is not a standard process. And then, for me it's different. I've always loved writing, so...

- You have very powerful lyrics...

- Mmh...

- People have the Power is strong, Mrs. Smith. The thing of dreaming and hunting the fools...

- Oh Yeah...

- I've always seen rock music as a great international party...

- What party?

- Politic.

- Ugh... I don’t know if I agree...

- Why?

- I'm not a politician, I just try to communicate. It is the politicians who manage the resources, even if they also have different balances and interests to deal with.

- So?

- Changes always take place over an extended period of time. Following these plots, the rock musician is likely to end up being the donor of vain hopes, he can convince public opinion and lend his face, but then politic has its biblical times. In reality, human beings love to complicate their lives.

- Yes, this last concept sums up everything...

- We have to go on and don’t give up, Johnny ...

- I guess it was not easy for you...

- Well, I had two children when I lost my husband, a bank account in the red like this beer. I had to work and look after the boys. Daily problems like any other woman. It was not like a star's life, rather it looked like a housewife's diary.

- You are…

- Listen: I'm sorry I can’t to respond to the cliché you have of a musician, but...

- Are you kidding? I'm looking for normality in musicians, even if this can disappoint somebody, but not me!

- Good, Johnny.

- Oh, that's right, you can swear.

- This beer is good.

- Well, it's just a normal red ale, like all the others...

- Ah, ah, ah...

- Why are you laughing?

- Oh, don’t be offended, but ...

- What?

- A normal ale like many others: trying to be coherent to please me again?

- No, it's... well



- There is nothing wrong with exceptionality, when it is authentic: this beer is really good.

- Exceptionality... like meeting the Pope?

- He is one who carries his cross, for better or for worse. After all, we all carry a cross, right Johnny?

- You are able to simplify everything: it's extraordinary!

- Nice paradox, Johnny, congratulations...

- Oh, I know, sometimes I'm so awkward...

- No, it's fun. Really.

- Thank you.

- Don’t you have a girlfriend, Johnny?

- Me?

- Yes you.

- No.

- What's the problem?

- I don’t know.

- Mmh...

- I need to feel comfortable, I can not follow the rhythms of life. I observe, but I cannot participate. You know what I mean?

- I think so. Yet, one day you will find a girl, Johnny.

- Oh ... maybe I'll too play them Because the night!

- Nice choice, Johnny. Good luck! 


THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB




 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 



Letters from the pub - Berry



gettyimages-74254317-1- custom-aef94890d4830616c516c0fd20eb120fdb2d7136-s900-c85




   

Translated by Emilia Maiella


I have many things but...

 

- Hey, you: I'm looking for a guy named Johnny.

- Everyone here is called Johnny.

- Yeah, but I'm looking for the most Johnny of all!

- Hey, buddy, try to calm down. Would you mind have a beer?

- Do you think you can buy me with a beer?

- What's the problem, bro?

- I'm not your brother, okay?

- Ok.

- The problem is that there's an asshole who calls himself Johnny B. Boogie, because of one of my songs, which you'll certainly know, Johnny B. Goode...

- Oh, Mister Berry... I'm the asshole!

- Uh, it’s you? I'm about to hit you in the face, boy...

- Well, but I thought...

- Do you know what happens to those who think wrong as you?

- Look, Chuck...

- And don’t call me Chuck, I already said that I'm not your brother...

- How do you want to be called?

- Mister Berry it's fine.

- Ok. Mister Berry, mine is only admiration. For me you are the father of rock and roll...

- What? Don’t even try: Chuck Berry has four children but has no heirs, ok?

- The thing is...

- Don’t you have a personality of your own, asshole? Didn’t your father give you a name?

- Hum, well, I don’t know who my father is...

- Uh... and why don’t you try to find him instead of pissing me off?

- You're right Chuck... I mean, Mister Berry.

- You got yourself into a big trouble, boy...

- I'm sorry…

- Ah, are you sorry?

- How can we do?

- Now I have to hit you, do you understand?

- Oh...

- It's for your own good...

- But...

- But first, is it possible to drink something in this fucking place?

- Red ale?

- Ok, red ale!

- Ah... congratulations, uh, Mister Berry...

- For what?

- Your daughter is a very good actress... and she's also a hot chick...

- I didn’t know she was an actress...

- Isn’t Halle Berry your daughter?

- Who?

- She's a great actress…



- And why would I be the father of all those called Berry?

- Oh, I did a blooper...

- And anyway, if she had been my daughter, you'd have already thought of taking her to your room, right, Johnny? Is that how you bring me respect?

- Well, you said she's not your daughter...

- What does that have to do with anything? If she had been my daughter, I said, and you had the thought anyway...

- Well, but...

- This thing is serious: my daughter, Johnny, do you realize? No, I have to hit you and I'll hit you harder... but after another beer...

- OK, Mister Berry. Hey, Johnny, another beer for Mr. Berry...

- He's traveling, Johnny - he's Johnny B. Strong.

- For me, everyone should be called Johnny in the rock field - I tell Mr. Berry.

- And why? - He says.

- I told you: for Johnny B. Goode. You are the father of rock...

- Ok, all right, Johnny, you understand nothing but I know you're saying certain things out of admiration.

- Of course, Mister Berry.

- Now, though, the beer is over and I just have to do it, Johnny.

- What?

- Hit you.

- Well, after all, it's an honor for me...

- Stop that…

- Thanks Mister Berry...

- Well no…

- Thing?

- You're too complaisant...

- Me?

- Johnny, there's no fun on beating you.

- Don’t say that, Mister Berry...

- You disappointed me, Johnny, you do not deserve my hits...

- Oh...

- I'm going Johnny...

- No, Mister Berry, I beg you, hit me: it's a great pleasure for me...

- That's enough, Johnny, you're also a masochist: how disgusting!

- Ok. Do you know what's up?

- What?

- Mister Berry looks like a McDonald's sandwich name!

 

 SBRANG!

 

- Thanks, Mister Berry, nice shot!

- I warned you, Johnny... and stay away from my daughter!


THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB

 




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




Letters from the pub - Joplin


R-1511689-1314046222.jpeg




Translated by Emilia Maiella


I possess all imaginary things and sometimes I feel I was wrong. I escaped, I isolated myself from the world where I felt inadequate, to take refuge in this place: it is only here that I find my harmony. Loneliness is a drug, I am not able to calmly face the events and so I let nothing happen in my life. I watch it slip away, nothing has changed since I was a boy, is this a good thing?

Everyone has found a way, in one way or another, everyone managed to integrate and grow. There is an irreproachable sentence in the logic of the broadcast, and it is just that I am a good-looking failure, an outcast who tries to hide his condition. Suffering is difficult to manage. 


- This world’s logic is stupid, Johnny.

- Oh, you girl, yeah you: I have to look like a fool to you, right?

- Can you buy me a red ale, Johnny? I heard it is very good.

- Oh, of course: Johnny - I say to Johnny B. Strong - a beer for her. And one for me.

- Right away, Johnny - he replies.

- We were saying? - I ask her.

- No need to repeat - she says - I listened to you. You have no secrets for me, Johnny...

- Oh God, it's such a relief not to have to repeat... I don’t want to bore you...

- Oh, come on, you're my Bobby McGee, sweetie...

- It’s an honor…

- Oh, don’t be so complaisant though, Johnny...

- Eh, everyone tell me the same...

- I know, the word has spread, Johnny... you are our idol...

- No, do not say that, please...

- Na nana nana ... feeling good is easy, when he sings blues pieces...

- Oh, yeah...

- This place makes me feel good, Johnny...

- You make me feel good!

- I'm happy, Johnny. Don’t pay attention to what people say, let them do it, an it’s from the girl one who was elected ugliest man of the campus, when I was at university...

- Well.

- Well, it mustn’t be easy when you’re young...

- No. Well, those memories are bitter... ah, my juvenile acne...

- Yeah…


- Do you know what I envy you, Johnny?

- You to me? And what?

- You are not afraid of loneliness. I was terrified of it...

- I don’t have your voice...

- I was afraid it would abandon me, a fucking fear, Johnny...

- Well, it never abandoned you.

- No, it was just a fear. It seems that your head doesn’t stop offering you bad thoughts... this is what scared me of loneliness, Johnny... but then I realized that those thoughts were just words. And I used them, singing them out.

- Making love with twenty thousand people...

- Ugh, do not get all moralist.

- It was just to say...

- It's the blues, Johnny, it's all here, there's not much else...

- Yeah, easy to say...

- Ah, how good this place makes me feel!

- You can come whenever you want, do you know?

- I know, sweetie...

- Sure.

- Do you know what we're doing now, Johnny?

- What are we going to do?

- We'll drink another beer!

- Of course!

- But you don’t be so complaisant, Johnny!

- No, as if...

- Oh, how I feel good in this place!

- You... you're so beautiful when you're happy...

- You're a good man, Johnny... na nana na... it's easy, when you sing blues songs...

- Yeah...

- Now I'll do one thing just for you, Johnny, but you don’t think about being a failure anymore.

- All right.

- Fragility, what is the use of concealing it? Give some punch in the wind, Johnny. It will be like facing life.

- Yeah.

- And remember: every time I’ll see a postcard with Letters from Johnny's pub, I'll run to see you, Johnny.

- Good.

- Ok? The next song is a readaptation. It's called, Me and Johnny B. Boogie



THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB


   


© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




Letters from the pub - Lee Hooker



John_Lee_Hooker




Translated by Emilia Maiella


The things that I possess are all imaginary and no one can take them away from me. I know two things that fuel the imagination: music and beer. Apart from the sex, which can satisfy (or not satisfy), even if after all, rock and roll is indeed sex, then you return to the starting point.

You cannot say that following the rhythm of someone like Lee Hooker, something does not go off in your stomach that pushes lower, and that then you do not crave fucking. Whether it does it or not, you know that thing can free your inner animal. I know many guitarists who have sex going to the rhythm of someone else's guitar. It is a good workout. What to say? I am short of breath.

 

Is it possible to drink or eat something in this place?


I look at the man. I am paralyzed: he is the King of Boogie! Now it seems to me that just thinking of them, the ghosts materialize.


- I'll take care of it, John: Johnny, bring a beer! - I say to Johnny B. Strong.

- Ok, Johnny - replies B. Strong.

- Johnny, prepare some chips: quick! - I say to Johnny Stand By.

- Five minutes and they’re ready, Johnny - answers Stand By.

- What a mess, Johnny: but is everyone called Johnny in this place? - The King asks me.

- Yes, it's because of Berry. You know, Johnny B. Goode...

- Why this homage to old Chuck?

- Because he is the father.

- Whose?

- Of rock and roll.

- I'm sorry to tell you, Johnny, no one knows exactly who the rock and roll’s father is.

- Oh... you don’t say it for some loose ends with Berry, do you?

- No, not at all. And rock, it doesn’t even have a mother, son...

- Oh... so, will it be a creation of the Holy Spirit?

- Do not be blasphemous, Johnny. My father was a Baptist preacher.

- Oh, I see.

- So, everyone here is called Johnny.

- Yes, it's one of our quirks.

- Yeah. And what are the others?

- Well ... actually, this is the only one quirk.

- Uh, it's a nice quirk.

- Really?

- No... but your beer is fine.

- Rise up your mug, to your health, King of Boogie.

- Yeah, that's how they all called me.

- There's something excellent about this.

- Excellent? You speak like a lord, son...

- You don’t agree with me?

- We are all kings, somehow.

- Well, not everyone.

- Why? Are you not the king of this pub?

- In a sense…

- Not "in a sense": you are actually the King, in this place!

- You're convincing me - I reply. Then, I turn to Johnny B. Bup: - Hey, Johnny, bring me another draught. Immediately!

- Can’t you take it by yourself, Johnny? I have to help Johnny B. Cool to get the beer drums off. They weigh like a damn!

- How dare you, Johnny? It's an order!

- What's wrong with you, Johnny?

- I'm the King of the pub, here’s what’s wrong!

- Well, so if you're the King of the pub, I'm the King of the beer counter, Johnny. So take it by yourself!

 


I look at the King of Boogie, astonished. I did not found confirmation of my new, alleged, self-consciousness. He says: - Don’t get mad, Johnny. After all, everyone is the King in something. Do you understand?

- I'm afraid so. So it's no use being a king - I answer.

- It's for yourself, Johnny. It’s needed for your self-esteem.

- Well, but...

- Listen, Johnny: I was not the King of Boogie because I was good or for a divine right. It's just that when I sang, I took your pain, I put it on my shoulders and I helped you carry it. In short, it's a metaphor, Johnny. That's why they said I was the King of Boogie.

- Oh... but nobody tells me I'm the king of this pub!

- I say so, Johnny. This is a wonderful place, where I can come and stay in peace to refresh myself. And for this, you are the king of this pub.

- Oh, thank you very much. Actually, yours is a different vision.

- It's the blues, Johnny, a way of life, like meditation or praying or whatever you believe in.

- I do not have a thing to believe in.

- Well, you believe in blues, in rock, in music, in beer.

- This is true.

- Of course it's true.

- But there's something I don’t like.

- And what?

- That sooner or later, a king has to abdicate, before someone takes the throne from under his ass.

- It's not like that, you know Johnny? Not in music...

- What do you mean?

- Well, you think I'm dead, but let me tell you something: it's not like that.

- Isn't it??

- No: I live in the soul of all those who still listen to my guitar playing, do you understand me? So, I'm still the King of the Boogie, despite everything.

- You know why I chose to call me Johnny B. Boogie?

- Of course I know. It is no coincidence that I have come here. This blues is for you, Johnny B. Boogie.


THE POSTS FROM THE JOHNNY’S PUB

 





© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 





Books, social and communication





Welcome to my blog.


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

EM




BLOG SECTIONS


Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Imaginary stories of rock music

Music and events - Notes and insights

Books Translated - My books translated into English

Short Stories My short stories

Utopias Between dreams and reality

Debate - Controversy and a bit of malice

Remark - My thoughts collected. 

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers




Karl Marx between consumerism and meditation




In my book Dear costumer, I write that Comrade Terapia, sifting through the analysis of the capitalist society operated by Marx, repeats the concept that relationships between people are mediated through goods, which are therefore not authentic.

Listening him, there is the imperturbable and dopey cashier Vacca, for whom, with the word “Marx”, you can only define the classic chocolate bar with mou caramel, and that he could not care less about the difference between the value and price of an item. Since neither do I have to write an economics essay, in the following post I will just stick to the fact that relationships between people are not authentic.

Who has dedicated his life - or part of it - to work, achieving the present goals, have marked their territory with those efforts. The position reached, in our society as it is conceived, also regulates social relations. Common sense, combined with some brain, suggests to always relating to the best ones because they will help you improve yourself more. The idea of the guy who leaves his born country in search of fortune and, once he finds it, returns to his hometown to show it, is not just a stereotype.

However, many people, both those who live on salary and those who could live on annuity, have felt a need to go further. Paraphrasing the song by Roberto Vecchioni, Stranamore (Strangelove N.d.T.), he catches the symbolism of the man who conquered nation after nation, and when he was in front of the sea, he felt like a fool because nothing could be won beyond that line.

Who follows me, knows about my passion for the Beatles whom, at the peak of their success, or using the incautious words of Lennon, when they were more famous than Jesus Christ, had to go to Rishikesh, India to follow a path of transcendental meditation.

When the logic of the society in which you live takes over, there arises the need to save yourself and to dissolve tensions, anxieties and angsts, we leave for a weekend, we go to the gym, we immerse in a hobby. We even get to relax. Then, all these moments pass and returning to our things, the tensions that seemed dormant, resurface.

We are all a bunch of badly tuned frequencies, our strings need stimulation. This is what happens, for example, with music. Its social function has reached unthinkable levels at the dawn of modern society. The prima-donna behaviour, the communication, the messages, the image, the representation of a model in which everyone can recognize themselves, replace, especially for the young audience, a fugitive educational figure. Musicians, and showbiz people in general, as well as the sportsmen, take on a role that we cannot define spiritual, but at least represents a goal to be pursued or a prototype to be traced for the audience.

Sometimes these archetypes do not have the depth to stay committed to the role that, in spite of themselves, had assigned. Other times, if they are not a danger, society itself, through the press and information organs, imposes them a models for the masses. Indeed, when fame reaches very high levels, it can happen that politics look for them for its use.      

 

When a piece of music catches your attention, isolating you from what you're doing, you do not understand the mechanism well and maybe you do not care, but it connects you with someone you should be, or at least, approaches you. Or maybe it's none of this, it simply shakes your feelings.

Something similar happens with meditation and training. You feel two opposing feelings: get away and get closer. Actually, you move away from what already held you away from yourself to get closer to yourself. We are talking about that worn-out and abused term called alienation with which philosophers and sociologists already have worked hard. It is an aspect that affects your way of doing and living, your way of speaking: it is the conformism of the is everything ok?

I call it the conformism of the is everything ok?, but actually it is the dialectic adhesion to a common way of synthetic and, at the same time, polyvalent speaking. Our usual dialogues consist entirely in is everything ok? Yes, it is; Oi, hey; yeah; c’mon; cool; great; the newcomer ciaone (not translatable Italian slang, literally “big hello/goodbye” used in a mockery way N.d.T.) and ma anche no (not translatable Italian slang, literally “but also not” translatable in something like “you don’t want to” or “why not consider NO?”, always in a mockery way N.d.T.); and all the possible translation from English. Mind you, it is not serious: it seems original, perhaps irreverent, it is actually compliant.

It is only our body that get the better of our mind. It is the first one who makes the decisions, and not the second one. I recently read a book on meditation that dealt with this aspect so I reflected on something that happens to me every day.

In my place of work, I have to go through a door that requires a code. I cannot remember it by heart. Often, we colleagues forget it and everyone asks it to the others. Nobody remembers the code and yet, every day, many times a day, we pass by that door. In the exact moment we have to type the digits, the fingers slide on the keyboard as if the mind was turned off: we memorized the movement of the fingers, not the numbers. It is something that happens to me even with the computer keyboard. Over the years, my vision is no longer the one of a twenty-year-old. Sometimes I forget my glasses but I keep typing. Oh well, written this way, it is not a great help for my books, but ... I made my point, right?

In my books, I threw up all the unacceptable, until I was empty. The characters of my stories, from Nick La Puzza in The revolution that is not there, passing through Leopoldo Canapone in The exitless city up to the precarious Renato Calloni in The big baby, all of them (and the others I do not mention only not to digress) , they are in contrast with the environment around them, they react differently, but they are looking for themselves. Some succumb, others tell only their stories, hoping for the solidarity of the reader; still others will find a dimension, not without suffering a battle or risks.

The most important meeting of our life is the one with ourselves. Entering into ourselves everything is possible, everything is right. Yet, many people I have spoken to answered me: nooo, will I leave my husband? Will I run from home? Will I abandon everything I do? Will I close the family business? These are legitimate doubts and fears, but they concern habits, not ourselves.

Living to work or work for a living?

For Karl Marx, work would be the only manifestation of human freedom, however, for the German philosopher, in capitalist society, man is expropriated of his own value as a human being because he enjoys only a minimal part of the product of his work. It is the capitalist, his employer, who holds the reins of his existence.  

Today, every person who works as an employee, and does that job to make a living and not because they like it, perceives this feeling. It also happens to those who do a job that they love.

Actors, for example, know it. They understand how it feels because they are prepared to come and go. If an actress has to play the part of a waitress, maybe she starts to work as a waitress for a while because she has to understand how thinks, how feels, how struggles someone who serves at the tables.

The politicians never do it. They cannot do it, they cannot understand how is experienced an increase of any kind, from a car tax to a health ticket, because it will always seem sustainable to them as they travel on different economic trajectories.

They cannot understand what it means to attend the local public hospital or book a performance and wait, because they do not get sick and when they do, they have other solutions ready.

Who decides the fate of the human being, does not understand a thing of the life of that human being. They do not know what a strike is, how to get through a traffic jam, they do not know what public transport is. They cannot understand a protest, they cannot know what it means getting up at four in the morning or losing your job or not having one at all.

Never as in this historical period, at international level, there are folks who have overcome difficult obstacles or have made memorable feats. No wonder, the myth of the superman is more alive than ever. Never as in this historical period, the human being can and must also be beautiful, well-groomed, fit.

These perpetuated models do not take into account – because they cannot know – those people who have to deal with them. Indeed, these models think that such a concept is only low rhetoric because they think that the poverty line is a social fault that fate gives to that part of society with demerit.

Now if there is people in this society that thinks that anyone who has some merit in any field must also have the right recognition, this is unexceptionable. But if someone think that, in this society, the selection criteria are operated only by meritocracy, well this is debatable. If someone is convinced that to be born in the West, in the Middle East or in Latin America, to be born heterosexual, homosexual or wolf-man, is an acquired merit (or demerit), this is illogical.

It is difficult to live in a society where preached doctrines and proposed disciplines only serve to control the masses and not to free the individuals from their chains or invisible cages.

 

A cold beer is not enough anymore. You wait for the evening, maybe the sunset, you try to close your eyes, and to reflect on everything that flows inside and outside of you. The breath becomes regular, the mind relaxes, and your body follows. You reflect on your existence, on your lifestyle, on your reactions. Everything is clearer.

There is that place, that point where time is not there and you are still you, where you let that absurd external world ruled by others continue to flow and you connect with your universal consciousness where nobody can enter without asking permission.




 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




So you want to be a writer, uh?



Translated by Emilia Maiella


Art in human life has a fundamental function, whether it is an element of evasion or culture, it represents a gaze on the past, on the present and on the future. Creative expression helps to understand existence whose meaning often escapes. 

A few years ago, I wrote a post (The book is dead) in which I claimed that neither Dante nor Manzoni, in their time, could not brag about crowds of readers. We are talking about times when most of the population could not write and read. 

In 1861, the year of the Unification of Italy, illiteracy was near to 75 percent. When I refer to these data, I do not mean to neglect the credit, for example of Manzoni, in the literary circles and gatherings of his time, but just that literature was not a mass phenomenon, at least in the current meaning of the term. 

In Fermo and Lucia, 1821, the first rough draft of The Betrothed (Italian: I promessi sposi), Manzoni perceived that the language used and the exposition were not realistic compared with his times, so he opted for the generic option of the Tuscan. In 1827, he made a trip to Florence where he stayed for four months, noting how the expressions of the Florentine nobility resembled those used by common people, so he chose the Florentine language. In 1840, the publication was definitive.

The Florentine vulgar, already used by the great Alighieri in The Divine Comedy, about five hundred years before - between 1306 and 1321, the dates about Dante are approximate - established the Tuscan dialect as the Italian language.

The Divine Comedy determined the birth of the poetic movement developed in Florence between the end of 1200 and 1310, called Dolce Stil Novo, which marks the transition from the vernacular language to a more refined and high style. Dante overcame his time not only for the immortality of his piece of work, but because with it, he went beyond an imaginary cultural bar.


Characterized by an allegorical form, the world in The Divine Comedy is divided between in an actual historical reality and the overworld, which is the same reality transferred on a moral and otherworldly level, this a lot before we had ever talked – nowadays in completely different circumstances – about the above world and the middle world. Forcing the terms, we can say that Dante broke through the wall of the real and the virtual already in 1300.

Joking aside, Alighieri and Manzoni can be equated because of their hard work and their desire to be understood. Doing a rapid calculation, Dante's work required about fourteen years of writing and study, the one of Manzoni, considering the first draft and the final publication, about nineteen.

The creative and language researches, the revisions, the documentation work, testify to the effort to elevate their works beyond the effective method of the respective epochs.


When it comes to giving advice to young writers, in my opinion, there is not too much to add, even if Dante and Don Alessandro do not represent a parameter (otherwise no one would write anything more). I quote them with extreme synthesis because they represent my scholastic reminiscences, aware that their incidence and their depth require much further study.

Arriving in our day (more or less), Jack Kerouac, On the road’s glorious author, led a life very similar to that of the characters he described and did not care about life itself; like him, Charles Bukowski: people went to literary readings to see Buk, waiting for him, hammered to the marrow, to throw a bottle on someone's head. Besides being appearance this too, and in this sense those were numbers included in the ticket, everything was authentic, first of all him, Bukowski.


Raymond Carver, even with the same alcohol problems as the other two, led a less nonconformist life, but the things he wrote were coherent with his life: stories of people in difficulty, struggling with an imminent danger, the almost physical role of the electrical appliance. His work was characterized by stylistic research, by omission or essentiality and yet the good ol’ Raymond did not like the minimalist label, a term in which he never recognized himself.



I often happened to hear artists, whose creative field is not writing, to affirm now I want to write a book, and all this reveals the unconscious consideration that many have of this artistic form, as if the approach to it were simple or trivial and all it takes is enough time to waste to deal with it.

At other times, more depressing, I heard the same concept out of the mouth of professionals who practice jobs pretty distant to any kind of creative expression.

The following are my personal advice to those who are preparing to write, but first of all I have a question: why doing it?

Many writers have spent a good part of their existence in severe tight circumstances, in poor health, waiting for a notoriety that reached them at old age; some simply had a short life.

If you really have to write, then, remember reading, coherence and authenticity; the patience. And to walk, because walking helps digestion but also reflection.

« Somebody at one of these places [...] asked me: "What do you do? How do you write, create?" You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it. »

Charles Bukowski

 



 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018


 


Is Facebook dying?



Unknown


Facebook is dying. I am not talking about numerical issues that I assume to be thriving – recent surveys by industry experts confirm this because FB holds 77% of social network traffic, along with its sister companies Messenger, Whatsapp, and Instagram. The giant of Harward which characterized these years is fading into what is the essence of the socialization and virtual interaction. Facebook is a container of personal data and information, of existences entrusted to the web so that they do not remain forgotten. We are all involved in an alleged immortality.



In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. The prophecy cleverly recycled by Andy Warhol is outdated. FB offers notoriety and does so whenever we need to make it know that we exist, in a constant, illusory, collective need.

Publishing selfies, reflections, and parables become an entertainment that gets sublimation when we check for approvals and follow up. And we do not admit it, but we regret to go unnoticed. An event makes sense only if it is immortalized and even the relationships are affected by just one application present on a telephone. Whoever doesn’t install it, is out of the game.

Facebook is the story of a novel, our own. It is our existence told by ourselves that lack of neutrality.  It is the ideal life that we want to show, hiding the worst and showing trophies for the posterity.

We are Facebook as well, we are the use we make of it. FB is dying because when you post messages addressed to the dead, do you expect a response from the dead? And when you turn to your cat, do you think it understands? When your child mimics your duckface, are you satisfied? Keyboard dilatation, of course that makes FB a necessary uselessness.

Now, save money: Mattioli, why do you have a Facebook account then?



Let me be clear, I write about FB and its bad use because I am certainly not better than others. I have spread the web with personal profiles with the hidden excuse that having an activity, I mate promotional use of it. I am feeding this cemetery for living ones by uploading pictures and epitaphs, where everyone plays and sings about themselves, trying to catch the interest of others by winkling or provoking, flaunting quotes that are fashion.

I am at the end of the line, yet I remain anchored to an old principle that is currently losing the race: when you have nothing to say, say nothing.

In other words, mine is just a declaration of awareness.




 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



How to stay writers without editors nor readers




Putting independent publications or small publishers in order in the ocean is a bold project, to say the least. There are a lot of websites, groups, associations, which aim to increase and spread the reading fever. In another post, I questioned myself whether there has ever been a thriving period in our country to read. Have Manzoni, Alighieri - as not to distance themselves from the classics and clichés - in their time seen their works being consumed by hardened readers?

The first fact is that a work – whatever it may be and whatever its subject matter is – needs time. I don’t know how much a publisher does enough to resist a book of traditional publishing. We live in the hit-and-run age and consumption. It’s hard for a publication to fail to do so. Let’s be clear: a book is a product, the great publisher says the opposite (and could not be otherwise), but that’s it. A product has its seasonality; a work stands the contrast with time.

For these reasons (and for many other) an author who chooses the road of self-publishing must not to have haste, but work to make sure that his masterpiece (everyone believes he wrote one) resists. How? I don’t know it, otherwise, I would be one of the most read.

An advantage of self-publishing, moreover, is that you can always update your own book and practice what you learn over time. For now, I have only done so with a title, Stelle di Polvere (Stars of Dust). It works (the method) even if it still doesn’t sell. Oh, at least consistency is safe.

The second fact is that often works (of independent authors and small publishers) are lost in the sea of groups, websites, and associations that promote reading and to which I have referred at the beginning. How can you highlight your work? I have to repeat myself: I don’t know. Also, in this case, there are countless tips, the web is fundamental, but dispersive as well. An independent (or not) writer must learn to write. To do this, it may take a lifetime.

Writing means building a story, documenting oneself, collecting notes, rewriting several times. And then reviewing, proofreading, and perfecting editing, two aspects that are different. And I write in this way, in synthesis. An independent writer, in addition, must learn a path of promotion and all that already done by the recognized experts.

Often, more, and more often, reference is made to the uselessness of writing and it is an aspect to consider, at least not to give in to frustration.

I believe that if not everything, much is tied to one's ego. Why do you write? Do you want to be read or do you want to receive satisfaction with selling some copies? Yes, because selling and reading are not things that go hand in hand. If you are satisfied with being read, there is the possibility of writing for free on the web and possibly, write shortly. However, it is not always the case that the results are there. In short, say it: writing is self-injurious!

Writing and publishing are mainly different works. You have to learn them both if you are independent writers. We can experiment with new approaches, but we must make mistakes, try again and observe ourselves. And wait for time to take its course and for the passion to resist, as well as the work. 

We need to reflect on the role of the writer in society and in his own age. In a system and in an historical period in which every aspect is consumed and thrown away, where they have taught us that time is money and therefore, this too comes and disappears, why should anyone else spend money indeed, time to read?

I have already written it and I repeat, regarding promotion, marketing, and patience on the path of your own book that it is not wrong to consider religious texts or sacred scriptures. We are talking about group readings that have passed the complicated temporal space.

Someone might consider you crazy, but everyone should invent a personal speaker's corner, equip themselves with a wooden box (which is resistant), climb and read out their book. At the park, in a subway station or at a bus station. If you are shy, wear a pair of glasses. It helps. Sooner or later a bystander will stop to listen to you, but make sure that they do not wear a white gown. 

In recent years, with the arrival of the self-publication, it has been thought that the publisher was an outdated figure and that a writer could do without it. Now, I ask myself: can a writer do without the reader, too, and remain a writer?  

Luciano Bianciardi, one who has given us some ideas, wrote Do Not Read the Books, Let Them Tell.

So, to be self-referential, an attitude that I do not recognize myself, I have begun to publish on the web some films in which I read short passages of my writings. This did not bring too exciting results because I had to learn to read what I had written.




 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




A writer should write less; better if nothing



Young writers are a species which receives endless tips for their work. It is unlikely to make a mistake given the countless book published so that these (young writers) have a clear road. Wise writers are unable to give up the edition of the creative writers for newcomers. We are a people of sailors, explorers, and even councilors.

And, yet despite the fact that the suggestion buffet is always rich, young writers keep on asking for more and new ones, as if the past is not to their liking. That’s a scene that remembers that guy who keeps changing doctor because his one has forbidden him to drink.

Writers aren’t wrong. Often they meet the publisher who asks them for financial support, or the publisher who doesn’t pay, often the publisher who doesn’t publish because of the poor quality or lack of the same. So? There is just the self-publication left as an option that thing that everyone can do because there is no filter.

It is now easy, inevitable, and even holy to debate the role of the filter and the workforce in a sector which is now in crisis and which only keeps on scrabbling in the barrel. Just remember the depressive climate of the first day at the Fiera della Piccola e Media Editoria (Small and Medium Publishing Fairy) last December in Rome.


The free way to selfies? New opportunities are emerging. Pure industry professionals, editing expert, proofreaders, and file processing join under the wing of the international giant, creating virtual publishing houses: the publisher under the shadow of the American Amazon. Unfortunately, one fact emerges: costs do not encourage online purchases. Although the author (or the new publisher) decrees the price of his work, it raises the cost of shipping. The kinds of the well-known stars and stripes portal that sells every good say that if a price is too low, the book will not have its exposure in all channels (and if a product lacks visibility, the consequence is logical…) because production costs exceed the economic return.

According to a common thought, this society is enslaved to a general degradation that cannot be compromised also because we don’t read that much or at all as if when the literacy rate was directed downwards more than at present, we would have read with feverish action. I wonder if there even has been a time when books were being devoured.

Emil Cioran announced that books must be dangerous, have to leave a wound and change the life of the reader. That’s the point, perhaps. Is there anyone who wants to change their existence?

I often read articles from editorial marketing gurus which reveal the secrets of the strategies, the aggregation tactics, and the reader hunt; explorations regarding the most debated themes and topics of greatest interest.

In my mailbox, I often receive delirious posts. The communication system is collapsing. What does matter is just the click, the sharing, the aggregation. A group of apostles is created (usually more than 12), dedicated to what they like and to the recommend this post. Each of them expects all the others to pay attention.


It also emerges the energetic and resolute figure that usually verbally threatens, politely insults and warns who dare to contradict them because at the next time he will unfollow them.

The common denominator is the artifice. More or less as in those portals for self-publishing where we comment on each other and add stars to others’ books after the author has done the same. Sometimes you even exchange the purchase as soon as you have identified who bought your purchase. That’s it.

I may move forward.

There is a difference between fiction and plausibility. In writing and publishing her personal Pretty Woman style novel, the young writer will get contracts, gain visibility, perhaps increase his own account. And what about literature?

Starting from the assumption that every artistic expression is a fiction, in fiction itself, we talk about dreams, aspirations, of the one in a million. This is a kind of art that serves the individual. Feeding dreams for the silent majority have always been an interest-bearing market. Let’s be clear: there are bad books about plausibility and realism, there is no doubt. We are just trying to highlight the attempts, the task, the intent.

Now, I always hope that a prostitute will meet the prince charming, that a thief will mend his way, that a terrorist will put flowers in his rifle, but life is different. You don’t know how, but definitely, it is not a penny dreadful. I believe that the writer needs to understand what he wants to do with his activity and where he wants to go with it. It is necessary to question the role of the writer or the poet in society, what is notoriety and not the reason you have to despise it, but the reason you have to sacrifice your work to achieve it.

A writer has to write less, better if nothing. That’s it. Why? I don’t know. It seems to be paradoxical as much as the general situation of publishing, including demand, supply, and needs.

And that’s why I regret everything I wrote and published. Writing techniques have taught us to write the same concepts for centuries, inventing, if possible, new ways to express them: I will tell you, in the most original way possible, do not buy my books and spit on me.




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



Bloggers and writers





Blogger or writer? I also ask myself the same. Technically, the blogger runs an online diary and writes posts, something similar to newspaper articles or rather comments on the news. More or less – because someone might contradict me – in the common imagination it is a definition pretty close to reality.

The writer is also a writer who writes a shopping list (thanks, Wikipedia), so who writes books, as we understand it, is above all an author of texts. So, much so as not to inflate the market of the self-styled writers, I have tried to isolate myself. I left the field and started to think – for what nature allows me – and juggle with the (few) means available to me.

The publishing situation is what it is. Having passed the phase of self-publishing – which I have not discarded, but where I am reluctant not because of the technical work needed to produce a text, as for promotion (it seems strange, but if you do not tell people that you have written something, you cannot blame the others if it remains in the dark) – today I am at ease in a dimension such as online publication, trying not to be invasive, nor to piss off the others.

Moreover, there is something that you prefer not to consider, but you have to face; everyone thinks that their works are special, but sometimes (I write sometimes, but it’s almost always!) that’s not the case. Pause.


Well, I wrote it. I would like to add: what you write is not always fundamental for the others. He or his neighbor can (would) do without it. If you have written something great, sooner, or later someone will discover you. Maybe. Or not. That could even be an advantage. I do not want to frustrate anybody, but if you are satisfied we may agree on a definition such as a world does not necessarily realize your genius and may prefer to remain empty and poor of your masterpiece.

After all, I was not who said that justice is not in this life, but in another. Which one? I would not know.

The hardest work is to accept the limits of one’s existence and also to accept anonymity. Maybe you will have your fifteen minutes of glory or you will be just for one day.

Do not poison your life (and that of others). Have fun, play, read. Read.

Pocketbook writers with a manuscript in the drawer. All publishers write this way. Is that a metaphor for publishing in Italy? Maybe. In the drawers and closets, there are only manuscripts and skeletons. Before sending or publishing the masterpiece, pull the skeletons out. Just to clean.    




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




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 




Music and events





Welcome to my blog.

In this section are collected posts related 

to music and events.

EM



BLOG SECTIONS

Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Imaginary stories of rock music

Books, social and communication 

Books Translated - My books translated into English

Short Stories My short stories

Utopias Between dreams and reality

Debate - Controversy and a bit of malice

Remark - My thoughts collected. 

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018



Andy Warhol



images


Back from the exhibition on Warhol at Palazzo Cipolla in Via del Corso in Rome (last day yesterday, one hour in line), I was left fascinated by his figure. In my opinion, Andy represents the artist of the future by antonomasia, he proclaimed and created a series of crazy things in a serious way managing to be credible.

Having already written about shopping malls twice, raising questions about consumption and mass production, I could not be unimpressed by his aphorisms on products and brands associated with democracy and not because they are fundamental, but because they always raises a reflection.


 

Buying is more American than thinking, and I'm as American as they come.

I looked at myself in the window of a shop and I noticed that I’m really flashy on the street.

An artist can slice a salami, too!

I think an artist is whoever knows how to do one thing well; cooking, for example.

I don't know where the artificial stops and the real starts.

The way to be counter-cultural and to have a mass commercial success is to say and do radical things in a conservative form. Like McLuhan did: write a book to say that books are obsolete.

I started as a commercial artist and I want to end up as a business artist.

The idea of America is wonderful because the more one thing is the same, the more American it is.

The masses want to appear anti-conformist, so this means that anti-conformism must be produced for the masses.

What is really great about this country is that America has started the custom for which the richest consumer buys essentially the same things as the poorer. While watching Coca-Cola advertising on television, you know the President also drinks Coca-Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca-Cola, and you can drink it too.

Tutti gli scandali aiutano la pubblicità, perché non c'è migliore pubblicità della cattiva pubblicità.

The most beautiful thing in Tokyo is McDonald's. The most beautiful thing in Stockholm is McDonald's. The most beautiful thing in Florence is McDonald's. Peking and Moscow don't have anything beautiful yet.

If people collected all my sentences they'll see I'm an idiot and they'll stop asking me questions.



He was the incarnation of paradox even at the point of his death, when during a gall bladder operation - he feared death and yet he was fascinated by it - to avoid the pain he asked for a very strong dose of anaesthetic that was fatal for him.

Personally, I consider his way of thinking starting from the obsessive premise of consuming as a lifestyle: Andy Warhol is the modern icon that embodies the times we live better than anybody else does. If on one hand he artistically eats mass industry, on the other he certainly does not throw soporific messages to the mass.

We are speaking of a silk-screen printing plant as a parallel to the industries that produce consumer goods. More than one advertising poster has been inspired by the style adopted by Warhol, more than a music cover and even the modern photographic effects on our smartphones’ apps or PCs take into account the lesson of Andy. And not to mention all the television formats about various factories, from gastronomy to music, whose authors, aware of it or not, in some way (indeed, definitely in another way) pay tribute to Warhol. But he was a dangerous artist, you did not want to cross the artistic fauna that frequented Andy's farm, or at least it was for the right-thinking America that, although becoming more lenient because of the revolution of the '60s, was always heir to the star-spangled dream.

Finally, I dare, there is something sinister and devastating even in his last name: if we add a last vowel, we get war hole, the war hole or the hole war.

With regard to the countless aphorisms found on the internet, I think that Chinese proverb suits him perfectly: those who lie always find the truth in their hands.

I conclude with the sentence about the famous fifteen minutes of fame (which was only attributed to him), a prophecy that appears as a moral serigraphy of a society that offers countless instruments of arrival to a short fame through the web and social networks. Chances are that Andy in his madness had already foreseen it.  


© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018



Rock novel




All the money we made them make was ending up in little black boxes, then mounted on those fucking American bombers to bomb that fucking North Vietnam. I would have preferred the Mafia to Decca Records.

Keith Richards said it, when he found out that their record company, which had accumulated huge sums with the group of Jagger and Richards, reinvested part of these in the weapons industry. It is, unfortunately, the metaphor for the trick of rock music.

The rock that had its field of expression in the America of the 60s (in particular the music coming from England - the British Invasion - which had to establish itself in the United States, as a controlled origin trademark), is not the rock that we listen today. It is a matter of authenticity.

Maybe it is a rough example, but for me honesty in rock music is Vasco Rossi, an Italian rocker, who sings conta sì il denaro, me ne accorgo soprattutto quando non ne ho (yeah money counts, I realize it especially when I do not have any). 


There is a phrase used by Charles Bukowski at the beginning of Hollywood Hollywood, when Chinaski, driving his Volks through the marina towards Marina del Rey, defined those characters who messed about on their boats: they were all people - Buk writes – who succeeded in some way to get out of the grinder of human existence. And I, of course, was not even in their thoughts.  

Those figures described by Charles Bukowski remind me of the boss of bosses of rock and I consider the grinder expression an absolute stroke of genius. Dreams and ideals break on that rock represented by the bills to pay and the dimension of being outside the human grinder, to enjoy the celebrity and a possible immortality, are luxuries that few humans can boast. All of this is so far from the riots in the streets, the barricades and the conventions of the 60s. 

At that time, rock (and all its dramas), could have seemed like a mass party, but when the industries of concerts and records enter the counterculture and infiltrate like a disease, the essence fades.

The fact is that rock, for record companies, is a formula. Sam Phillips, producer and disc jockey, knew it well. He was the one who founded Sun Records. At the beginning, it was just an old garage equipped by Phillips as a recording studio. The place was born to welcome amateur musicians who wanted to record a record and then look for a label.

Actually, Sam Phillips did not hide the project of finding white people who played like black people to invade the market. If this can be considered a dream, it was Uncle Sam's dream (God, how I like, in these cases, to write American-like!).



Therefore, we must admit that, in addition to the formula and the business, for many entrepreneurs in the sector there was the component of the dream, too. If we add the “mom factor” to all this, the deed is done. It is not very rebellious as an image, and it is therefore necessary to explain it better.

Phillips' studio, which was not yet called Sun Records, was located at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis. On July 5th of 1954, a young truck driver from an electric company, Elvis Aaron Presley, was on the road for work commissions. He fortuitously noticed Phillips's studio and was left thrilled by it. Soon it would have been Mom Presley's birthday and the boy wanted to record a demo for her entitled My Happiness. The coincidence got married to the Fate, as Sam Phillips listened to the tape. The die had been cast. Sam realized his dream and Presley became the king. 

Many remember records with Sun Records as Elvis' most fruitful period. Some also write that the Sun recorded the first rock and roll record in history. It was Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston, a song written by the great Ike Turner. But here we are already entering in the field concerning the discovery of the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. The how, who, when, where and why on the birth of rock is a matter as infinite as the primordial spark of the universe. 

 

- Rock hasn't changed things – Rigatone says – but I like to think it was a trend. The big stars today are multi-millionaires, in practice they are companies, but have summarized the thoughts and frustrations of girls and boys who until the middle of the past century waited for a nod to enter society.

Punk music shocked the old-fashion-way in Great Britain, and the poet Dylan sang of another America, the psychedelic with its excesses, incited to widen the horizons of the Mind; The “Who” wanted to die before becoming old, concept unrelated to human factors; The sorrows of “Waters” linked to the war-related developments and how it became insensitive and of ice. The visions of Jim and the doors in America engaged in Vietnam, the disillusionment of the Stones compared to the role of stars acclaimed towards the contradictions of a world visited on tour.

Well, girls, I've lived all this inside my room listening from a new stereo from time to time I could afford a better one and then, at some point I saw them all, at least those who are still there, from behind the scenes of a stadium or a palace, but still in front of me.

It was all fascinating and amazing, when you see them in a few steps you think of nothing other than people like you, and that now, just as we are talking, exist and are doing something in the other part of the Earth, like us at the moment.

The fundamental thing is the message, always the message and this makes them, or makes what they have done, special because it has been listened to by millions of people all over the world.

In a nutshell, the common denominator of all these messages was the uncompromising NO to the war and to what devastates our society. Rock had tried to imagine a better world, perhaps using illicit means like drugs, challenging as long as he could. It was a phenomenal propulsion for a new thought. The lives of millions of people would have been different without rock music. Without those illusions and even violent visions, our society would be stuck in the past century.

Even politicians, who decided our destiny, had experienced a rock myth in their adolescence. Too bad when they come to legislate, they forget about it. If there's a limit to music, it's not being able to climb the last ramp of stairs, those that lead to management or, to use a poetic term, the scale and the heaven's door. Rock dies not because there are no more musicians or myths to be framed, but because this new generation that had to change the world and who had been fed up with all those messages, once they cross the threshold of the buttonhole, they think all messages received are childish and without implementation plan, more or less like the generation before them, which had them classified.

In this way, Girls, to paraphrase Neruda, you die slowly.


Taken from On my generation



 

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




On these stone, she founded a rock band


Handmann,_Euterpe

Euterpe, goddess of music


November 1960. If the British government had not announced the end of compulsory conscription, the history of rock music would have had a different path.

Many could not know it at that time, nothing had happened yet, but that announcement simultaneously united thousands of teenagers: each would have had a two years more in addition to the norm to cultivate their recklessness before society would step in with its solid arms, generating practical men. If we consider that lives of many people would have certainly been different without rock music for its propulsion to youth culture, we can say that the decision of the British government represents the cornerstone of the British revolution. Moreover, even Elvis, forerunner of the star-spangled rock and roll, finished his fuel when he left to serve in Friedberg, a US base in Germany, where American troops remained for twenty years after the end of the Second World War. The Pelvis certainly became more reassuring. 


To reflect better, maybe a real youth culture did not exist. Before that time, there were the tufts, the hair wax and the college time, macho symbolisms of those who had emerged victorious from a distant war, and strived to impose their status on the rest of the Western world, including what seemed to arouse indignation in the moralists and conformists at home. However, more than a youth culture, I would refer to that as a period of preparation for the adult world, an age and a state of mind that inexorably, before or after, they would abandon.

Those two gift years from Fate (or whoever for it), young Keith did not know what to do with, after all. Life in Dartford (Kent, twenty-five kilometres from London), did not fostered particularly fascinating perspectives. 


Yet in Roman times, Dartford had been fundamental for the intersection of two roads: the London-Dover and the one that from London led to East Anglia, in other words to the continent. At the end of 1961, instead - a few centuries later - history passes through Dartford station, on a commuters train. It is blues as background, outlining the dream of two eighteens. There is the emphasis and a halo of mythology surrounding the events of life. In reality, they happen by chance and escape previsions. The meeting between Michael Philip Jagger and Keith Richards takes place right at the station on an ordinary day of British life and seems to be come out of a Joyce novel: Dartford… ers.                                                                                                              


Jagger with a stack of records from Chess Records and Richards with his guitar. Chess Records, the label who launched Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Chuck Barry, Little Walter and company. Muddy Waters, author of Rolling Stone. Mick and Keith meet again because, in reality, they were friends from elementary school. 


Jagger spends every Saturday morning at the Carousel with friends. It was a place with the jukebox. One January morning, Keith goes to visit him. Great shindig and invitations to every party. And then, there were the records and the blues, the days spent listening and disassembling tracks looking for the right sound. Until the arrival of Brian, Bill, Charlie, Ian Stuart. And the mutual friend, Dick Taylor. On these stones Euterpe, Greek goddess of music, founded a rock band. Later, there was the Marquee Club in London, before the afternoon at Jermyn Street, when Lennon and McCartney moved to Studio 51 and gave them I wanna be your man, whose composition ended up in the next room. And even before (I can’t get no) Satisfaction or anything else, first of all and maybe even of themselves, there was unconditional love for the blues.


  

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




That most excellent order of rock



Unknown



Pack leader of a falsely soporific Liverpool where hundreds of bands exported the Mersey's sound in addition to the stagnant mould in their cellars, the Beatles became kings of that London very chic by day and joyful by night, where a starving press was hot at their heels, waiting for a parable for the masses of teenagers. In those days, the image of a Beatle on a toilet bowl in front of a leg crossed journalist sitting on the ground, rather than an ecological hallucination, was something that could have happened. The rest was done by rumours and democratic confidences, mythology and time passing by. The inaccuracies are the starting clues for the game of true or false.

Even the dates are wrong. Some Italian sources report 24th October, the British ones, obviously more accurate, declaim as unchallengeable the 26th October 1965 as the day when the Epstein’s boys (Epstein was the manager of the Beatles) received the honour of Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. It was the Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who proposed the nomination of the band. Wilson was hunting for consensus because at that time those four, through sales of music and gadgets, were the most requested English product abroad. As the investiture was announced, there was no shortage of protests: colonels and RAF soldiers, who had received titles for war efforts, gave them back, indignant.

The boys were about to release Rubber Soul - December 1965 - and were about to set the limits of rock music with a decisive leap forward that would be confirmed the following year with the release of Revolver. But this, for the residents of Buckingham Palace, was less interesting.

The crux of the whole issue was Lennon's statements about the fact that the four smoked a joint in the baths of the Royal Palace. A phrase does not mean anything, especially if pronounced by arrogance or, like everyone else at the time, by a victim of Beatlesmania, like John himself. The incident was later denied by George Harrison and never commented by Ringo and Paul.

Actually, at that time the Beatles used to smoke weed, introduced to consumption by Bob Dylan during a meeting on their ’64 US tour. Details, if the fact actually happened, we will never know.

John's sharp led further. There was a law in Britain that punished cannabis smokers, but also the owners of the residences where the crime took place. In fact, Queen Elizabeth became liable to condemnation. Three or four years later, the law was modified. 

All rock music stars had trouble with justice due to the use and possession of drugs. The Stones know something about it, since they were more busy dodging accusations than producing good ol’ English blues at the end of that decade, and they know something about it the baronets of Liverpool themselves, which, for the honour achieved, were led out from the scandals by a service door and subsequently, as a seal of their perseverance, they were prosecuted like their colleagues. 



Returning to that October day, John, to complete his work, told Alistair Taylor, Brian Epstein's assistant, that he had brought with him two LSD tablets with the intention of slipping them into the Queen's tea. Plan not completed, of course.   

The existence of a rock star is permeated by an alone halfway between the business-class migrant and the citizen of the world, which indefinitely places him in the jet set of the rich and roll. All or almost all of the stars of the showbiz are among the biggest taxpayers of their origin countries. They become businesspersons, merchants, patrons, and even incoherent, bourgeois, sometimes they are a danger to themselves, but represent, at least at the beginning of their careers, a contrast to the shady consciences and the established order. Each one in their own way, according to their ability and in relation to the placement of their audience.

In the fab four case, all this began to take shape into Taxman (album Revolver, 1966), the rancorous piece by George Harrison against the tax authorities that was the reason why the Beatles were invested with the MBE. They were the top list of the Exchequer, having to pay a surcharge of up to 95% on all their entry, being the Wilson government engaged in a policy of protection of the welfare state, of deflation and equality. The Beatles found themselves in the paradoxical situation in which the more they gained the more they were hit by taxes. The conferment of the title of baronets, therefore, was in fact a sort of hypocritical compensation.



The piece is a tirade against the high tax burden, there's one for you, nineteen for me, and against the Government, yeah, I’m the taxman, and you’re working for no one but me: if you drive a car I’ll tax the street, if you try to sit I’ll tax your seat, if you get too cold I’ll tax the heat.

Even rich people cry, especially if they are not born rich. The social extraction of the four is essentially proletarian, only Lennon came from bourgeois origin, in spite of his not so quiet childhood and adolescence. 

Taxman could be considered a flag to wave in the face of greedy and pimping institutions, in fact the author explained how he felt. George said: When you are born poor, you find a job and start making money. You're so happy to get rich and you think you've done nothing wrong. All those taxes stated the opposite, that it was impossible to change one's condition in an honest way for those who came from the working class

The Beatles, at that time of an average age of twenty-five and in the midst of the madness that involved them, were looking around, observing society and the contradictory aspects of it. In the midst of an apparent happiness, John wrote Help!, the demonstration that the essence of the messages got lost in the collective adulation which in some time would have found its end with the end of the tour and the live performances, opening the second era of the fab four, studies and the definitive consecration.

In 1969, John Lennon returned the MBE medal to the Queen. It had been kept by his aunt Mimi in a living room shelf at 251 Menlove Avenue. John asked it back without explaining his intentions, then sending it at Buckingham Palace to protest against British involvement in the Biafran War and the support to the United States in Vietnam. To crown his sarcasm, he added that he was outraged because Cold Turkey, his second solo single with references to drugs, was sleeping at the bottom of the charts. The Queen did not understood his sign and maybe not even the sense of humour.



  © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




Rock around the clock


Unknown



Surely Rock and roll hasn't changed things in the world, but surely many people's lives would have been different without rock and roll. More or less I wrote this (sometimes I don't remember even the exact text of my books) at some point in On my generation. Namely, when I'm sad and things don't go well, I often console myself with a beer, tobacco and a blues disc, the root of rock (and so many other things). People who invented rock and roll and many of those have changed it, or who have been fundamental for it, have done it in a short time and almost without realizing it when they were doing it, and all this is amazing.



In the movie Cadillac Records are described the events of Chess Records, the record company of Chicago founded by Leonard Chess and his brother Phil. They promoted people like Muddy Waters, the harmonica player and singer Little Walter, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Etta James and others. The movies titled Cadillac Records because Leonard used to give a Cady to his musicians. 



Chess was the dynamo of what today we can call Chicago Blues, the electronic one. All these people have alternated in the time frame of fifteen years. This movie proves, if needed, the rock matrix was black. These guys, peasants, children of peasants (like Muddy Waters, nickname gave him by his grandmother because the little Muddy liked to swim in the mud of the Mississippi shores) worked in the cotton fields of white people and at the end of a hard day, sat in the verandas of their houses, they pinched the strings of their acoustic guitars literally with their hands dirty of ground. Pretty soon they found themselves from the fields to the registration halls, thanks to the guys of Chess. Full of money, full of women, a great talent in their hands and that bother called success, to be managed. It's a wonderful period, the moment of purism. People who went around with their fingers full of rings and the gun in the holster, just not to forget who they were and where they came from or, maybe, why they didn't realize what they had become. At some point in the movie, there's Muddy Waters out of the studios, leaning against a wall with a foot, smoking a cigarette. He looks like a character of "Poveri ma Belli", but he isn't. Five English guys, who came to Chicago to visit Chess Records Studios, got out from a taxi. He welcomes them, greets them and brings them their suitcases: those guys are the Rolling Stones, overwhelmed fans of Muddy Waters!


In that frame, however, we were already in '64, when that boys had the privilege of playing in Chess studios in Chicago after their initial successes in homeland. In that moment (until then Stones played only covers) they started writing their own pieces. When Muddy's fairytale started to decline, Dartfort's guys will pay Muddy's English tour. Besides, they had to return the favour to the author of Rolling Stone, hadn't they?

Years later, many years later, there's the story told by Keith Richards about his recent meeting with Chuck Berry. An airport somewhere in United States. Richards sees him and he walking toward him to greet him. He approaches him and says: - Hey, Berry, what's up? - But old Chuck, who doesn't love being disturbed, throws a punch on his muzzle, then says: "Hi, sorry, I did not recognize you...

Eh, eh, there is only a throne, the place for only a person in this world.

Oh, rock and roll is the son of a big bitch, surely among all these persons there's a father, but no one knows who he is. The great Chuck Berry, the one of Johnny Be Good, could be its the king, if the great storm didn't fall on the world. It's Elvis's moment and there will be no one else left, the hour when the big mass appropriates rock as a popular phenomenon, and for those under contract with Chess Records comes down the sunset, the whites steal scene and paternity. The white man who sang like a black or a black man who sang the country music of the white men, this was Elvis on the radio. The time most people love, people like Lennon for example, was the Elvis pre-army, the period before his military service, the one of the records for Sun from 1955 to 1958. Three years, only three years which changed the history of rock music. The rest, what happened in the following period, is frankly mortifying for his figure: his meeting with President Richard Nixon, the denunciation of The King to US authorities about the fact the Beatles represented a threat to US youth. Your Majesty, Berry would never have done it.

The fact that the chronology of events is so "close" between the Elvis phenomenon and black rock must not mislead. It was like a tempest: a storm in a part of the city while the sun shines on the other side. At the beginning, they were local phenomena (Elvis, on the other hand, "entered" in all US homes only when Colonel Parker - his manager - contracted with television) and the United States is an extremely wide country. Events happened in a too fast succession and they were so many. But every thing ends if you don't feed it or, if you feed it too much, it ends for excess. The sunset of the period of Chess Records and the decline of Elvis bring us to an equally fascinating event: the British invasion.

Often we wonder about mass reactions and fanaticism. It's February 7, 1966, when a Pam flight left New York City to London. Only three months earlier, John Kennedy was murdered (Dallas, November 22, 1963) and that year Christmas was a recurrence few Americans had the spirit to celebrate. From November until the beginning of that snowy February, media were obsessed only by the amateur video about the president's murder.

Murray the K is an American disc jockey of WMCA radio station in New York. On the plane flying from London to New York, there's an English music group (absolutely unknown in America) and all its staff. On the morning of that February 7, Murray on the radio gives the starting whistle to what will be the madness of the century: It's 6:30 AM, the Beatles Hour. they left London For thirty minutes. In that moment they are on the Atlantic Ocean, heading to New York. The temperature is 32 degree Beatles.

Within a month, the Fabulous Four will have four 45 laps to top positions in the American charts. The single which had upset the young Americans in the radio was "I want to hold your hand" and, in a manner of speaking, it was like the whole country was holding his hands. The rest is history, chronicle and legend. The British invasion had been a little bit planned (guys screaming at New York airport had been gifted with a dollar and various gadgets), but all the rest was come about by accident, thanks to lucky and mysterious circumstances. Beyond any reasonable point of view, it seemed what the world needed at that time.

They leave their own music, a kaleidoscope of innovations, and their strength lies in sounds that often don't vanish, not the big hits, but what remains unheard to the big part of people. Then remain stories, legends, someone who dies for fake and others who die for real, anecdotes and affairs which increase mythology, as the one related to the delivering of MBE. On October 26, 1956, Queen Elizabeth awarded the Fourth with the honour of Members of the Great Order of the British Empire. In England there is the law which punishes the homeowner if drugs are consumed within the house. Liverpool kids, event never denied or confirmed, consume a joint in the bathrooms of Buckingham Palace.


When you did it in America, you did it everywhere. No singer or English group, up to that time, had reached the top in United States. In that moment it seemed almost impossible to get visibility if you hadn't been of British nationality. There are exceptions, one, bigger than others, is called Jimi Hendrix. Complicated childhood, hard dues to emerge, Jimi represents what we could call the highest sacrifice. Hendrix and its reverse path, from United States, Seattle, its city, to England. It's September 23, 1966, the guy embarks from Kennedy Airport and landed at Heathrow, London, next morning. He's stopped at customs because he has not a work permission. He get in touch with the London scene and give birth to Experience. Four years scarce, between arguments, anger and band changes, four albums produced, until the his still obscure death, on September 18, 1970, almost four years after his first landing in London. Jimi, on the horseback of his Fender Stratocaster, was able to fly over the sky. The way to play guitar hasn't been the same in rock music.



Talent deliver a musician to immortality. Somehow, I think the threads which bind him to his origins are broken. An artist belongs to everyone and becomes universal, despite the fact everyone, as a human being, tries to remain faithful to their origins and often he/she refers to them when ground begins to burn under their feet. A turbulent and elusive existence goes forward a slim balance between success and personal life. This can make us understand excesses and vices. This balance is a fragile and often is enemy of the art. So, Is he a musician a sort of lay monk who sacrifices himself on the altar of music? Rhetoric, emphasis, words, better, bombast. There are so many artists who have made the balance their solid foundation of their work and life. But those who, in a short time, have written their names indelibly and have flown to a better luck, will have a special place in our hearts. Those who, in one way or another, have "sacrificed" themselves. They are cursed artists and in their madness there's all the meaning of existence. Pardoned and unlucky, balanced and unbalanced, as far as I was concerned, as he/she sang, I loved them all.                  

It's impossible quantifying musical and artistic heritage. We could venture into lists of albums, artists, but we wouldn't finish. Have those years changed the world? I'd say they do it, but not in an institutional sense. Maybe, as I wrote at the beginning, lives of many people would have been different, those people would be other people. What's left? Well, just music.




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



The Banksy sign



IMG_0398



I go down the stairs. The lift is needed by the workers who are working on the condo drain and in the next two tenants are grilling the janitor, worried that the column is not tampered with. I peep into the mailbox, where deadlines and bills look at me, but leave the warnings lying until I get back from going out.

Full on summer in Rome, you fight solitude and enjoy a habitable city. In front of the newsstand, people are abandoning news because the new management has removed the newspaper review and therefore free reading. This is the only new thing, in addition to the fact that the championship is about to begin: if football is the opium of the peoples, a newsagent becomes the pusher of the neighborhood.

I meet an old friend of my father and I stop to talk about the cost of living. I learned I look a lot like dad. Same pauses, same sighs, same step. I had dreamed of dealing with other things in my life. Musician from youth and then, with age, writer. I was hoping to stay away from everyday business, and now I'm just like everyone else discussing things about everyone, as like happened to my dad. He had a serene retirement, except at the end. Since he’s been gone, I look like a normal person and I don’t mind.

Elderly groups walk aimlessly, looking for shade and a fountain. Along the tree-lined boulevard, a curious crowd fixates upon the wall of the fire brigade. I approach. They are looking at a stencil drawing with two firefighters holding a pump from where fire comes out instead of water.

 

 “Banksy, Banksy made this, it can only be him!” yells a small boy with rasta hair and a Marley sweater.

 “Who?” asks an old lady with a shopping trolley.

"He is the greatest exponent of Street Art, Madam, who makes a drawing on the wall and then flees, prefering to be anonymous," he explains the one I will call Bob Marley.

 “Well… like Zorro,” says the old lady.

 “Eh, but what does this thing mean?” says one old man to another.

“But what does it represent? It’s a work on the ambiguous role of institutions in society,” explains the rasta.


The small crowd has gotten bigger. Reporters from a radio station arrive. One approaches Bob Marley, “Is it you who phoned us?”.

 

 “Yes, it was me. Look here: this is a Banksy original!”.


Everyone takes pictures with their phones. A group with television camera salso arrive. The crowd thickens. I discuss it with a boy from the radio station.

 “You’re missing out that it’s about Banksy,” I say to him, “because he would never dream of attacking firefighters, a body that stands by the people with safety and civil defense. And then, honestly, Banksy here at the Quadraro…”.

 “Well, I don’t want to say that,” says the reporter, “actually it would be plausible that someone like Banksy would appear in the suburbs, after all”.

 “But listen, we have experts on Street Art,” interrupts the boy with the Marley sweater, “why are you saying that it’s not him?”.

 “Well you explain, then, how you can say it is him”, responds the jouranlist.

 “I am a Banksy scholar,” replied the rasta, “and so, I know his moves!”.

 “His moves. Are you talking about Diabolik?” says the journalist.

 

Bob Marley goes away, offended. He sits on the edge of the path, smokes a cigarette, thinks. Then he gets up and heads to the television crew. Talk to two of the group, he gestures. After five minutes he releases an interview, saying the same things he said earlier, adding that he is also a writer. And it does not feel much lower than Banksy. In the end, obssessed, he launches a live challenge, staring at the camera.

 

 “Oh Bansky, you have to give me a chance, I’m here with my face and my voice, but I certainly don’t hide behind a mask…”.


I walk away. I go back to the door, pass the guard, where a radio is tuned to the station that sends the unlikely news of Banksy's presence in our neighborhood. In front of the lift the door the janitor is again cleaning up the footsteps left by the workers. She is exasperated: - These come, they make noise, they get dirty and go. Do you know that I missed those I saw?

 “Maybe it was Bansky, madame, actually, I would say this is truly the sign of Banksy!”.

“Who? Bless he who wants to joke around with this kind of heat…”.

 



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018





George Harrison: a gardener’s life



George Harrison Beard



"I am a very humble person. I don’t want to stay in the music industry full time, because I'm a gardener. I plant flowers and watch them grow. I don’t go to events or parties. I'm at home and look at the flowing river.

Many claim that George Harrison was the least interested in being a Beatle and accused him of having been caustic towards the dramas of his Fab period. Others claim he was crushed by John and Paul's fame and creativity. My friend Nicola, when George expressed less than flattering impressions about Oasis, told me that was bitter in his opinion because he was aware of being forgotten.

It is unique that as one of the most reserved people in the rock and roll jet set, he in reality created a lot of bitterness.

Unravelling the ribbon of the story, the Beatles were a phenomenon that suddenly exploded. They emerged from nothing and returned to nothingness. It was unrepeatable and unrepeated brillance. All four of them were the Beatles, in spite of themselves: John with the impetus, Paul with enthusiasm, Ringo with his loyalty and the ability to keep the pieces together; George with the strength to listen, patience to wait for his turn, originality.


When George was enthusiastic about something, he had the strength to have others follow him, as was the case with India and the Maharishi. We have him to thank for introducing the sitar into music. The first great benefit rock event, the concert for Bangladesh, was his work.

Regarding the frustration, it was partly about the group but a notable percent was due to hysteria. The Beatles appeared to the world's public in '63 but the partnership began in '58. Their relationship was first of all adolescent and then adult which became, in the years of success, a business matter.

George lived his development and personal growth in the shadow of John and Paul and many dynamics, caused by enormous success, remained the same as adolescence: how can he not suffer?

He had contradictory passions that spanned from Formula One to meditation and women; from music to gardening and cinema. George was the one who, during a night with Paul playing She’s Leaving Home, asked, “Beautiful, what is it?”



When his son Dhani, after his schoolmates ran over singing Yellow Submarine and discovering that his father was part of the group, asked him why didn’t you ever tell me that you were in the Beatles? George replied: "Sorry. I suppose I should have talked to him about it.

But George was also what he wrote All Those Years Ago and When We Were Fab. He had a profound sense of irony and the alleged lack of interest in the wonderful period, in fact, a need to dissect a demon.

To understand George Harrison, one would have to accept what was really important to him. George's existence has oscillated, like a few others, between the materiality of earthly things and the pursuit of spirituality. For him, the Beatles were a happy and even tormented period of his life, but his life didn’t stop with the Beatles.


All experiences, whether positive or negative, are fundamental if they teach you something. If they teach you nothing, they’re nothing.

George Harrison 



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017   






BOOKS TRANSLATED




Welcome to my blog. 

In this section you will find 

my traslated books. 

Greetings

EM


MY WRITING FOCUSES THE SLAG OF SOCIETY

I try to remain faithful to two principles inspired by Emil Cioran and Raymond Carver, which I quote in the subsequent lines.

Enrico


What is a book?

A book should open old wounds, even inflict new ones. A book should be a danger. What should books be used for? To learn? No, of course, just go to school if you want to learn. No; I believe that a book should really be a wound, that it should somehow change the reader's life. 

Emil Cioran 

 

Side effects.   

If we're lucky, writer and reader alike, we'll finish the last couple of lines of a story and then just sit for a minute in silence. Ideally, we will reflect on what we've just written or read; maybe our hearts or intellects will have been moved off a little ahead from where they were before. Our body temperature will rise or fall by a degree. Then, breathing evenly and steadily once more, we will recompose ourselves, writers and readers alike, we will get up, "created of warm blood and nerves" as a Chekhov character puts it and go on to the next thing: Life. Always life.

Raymond Carver




Stars of dust

Are we the architects of our destiny or do the plots of our lives escape us lefting us impotent in the face of fate? Sometimes it happens that, despite a fierce commitment, the results are not those hoped for. In the attempt of having no regrets you can sacrifice your whole life to realize that time is not a good friend for anyone. Riccardo Nola, the main character of Stars of Dust, after a cruel childhood, discovers as a teenager that acting can have therapeutic effects. The undergrowth of the show business, however, turns out to be a dark forest, where you cannot easily orientat yourself. Rick has a natural talent for choosing bad partners and workmates. This gift accompanies him along the path of his artistic career. Actor graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Rome, his worry is to only work on commercials, due to the bad offices of a manager who brings a nefarious name: Al Sapone. Yet, his friends love him, envy him, confuse his precarious life for adventure. After making little artistic experiences, Riccardo is forced to get by by working in the local market, but you cannot control your heart: being bored, he is charmed by a vague project of his friend and colleague Thomas Albergari of Polonghera, from noble origins and wealthy family. The plan consists in bringing on stage (actually, on the road, on public transport or in the squares), monologues taken from a book about the Expedition of the Thousand of Garibaldi, which led them from the capital to Sicily. While the General managed to unify the country, however, the paths of Thomas and Richard will take different directions.

Dear customer

Why is a nickname more indicative compared to our name? In consumer society, where all echoes are adulterated - Karl Marx is the man of chocolate with the caramel layer and Che Guevara has killed Spider-Man - identity becomes a main topic. Keeping it and being involved as little as possible by the obsession with buying, is a primary matter. 

Leopoldo Canapone, protagonist of Dear Customer, every day witnesses the procession of customers infatuated by the commercials and promotional offers. He also knoews a lot about nicknames and, above all, he had an identity. Aspiring actor, he was sure in the end he would enter the Cinecittà Studios. He wrong a few hundred meters. Years later, he stamped the card in the supermarket near to the film establishments.

“ The customer is a fucked customer and not a fucking customer " - Leopoldo Canapone. 


On my generation

What is the main activity in our existence? To grow up? Be someone in our society? Find a road of your own? 

Whatever this task is, Emilio Santini - the main character of this story - and his friends, do not want to learn to move forward. They hang on, the only street they know is the one of the front door, where they have been living since the '70s, when they were kids, in a suburb of Rome. On the background of a season marked by social tensions, they observe the flow of life with indifference, convinced that getting busy does not help in this system because nothing can change. They have sterile motivations, they have childish justifications, life is good for them as it is, they have settled in the front row of daily greyness to attend the cycle of seasons.

In the messy chronicle of reported events that lead to the transition from the first to the second republic in Italy, Emilio and his old friends are preparing to live the new course supporting the rise of a rampant politician. Soccer and rock music are their only reasons for living, but they believe they can find in the congressperson Andrea Franzoni, a dear old friend of theirs, a shortcut to the difficulties of human life.

Emilio - a Beatles enthusiast - earns little money as a guitar teacher, the Reserved works when he feels like it, distributing advertising fliers, the Blasphemy works in the deli of a relative, always after 10 a.m. and never past 1 p.m., the Cobra makes a living as a driver in poorly licit works, and Rigatone is a rock music photographer.

There is an unfinished business, however, that everyone has with the politician and this will awaken them from the long sleep, giving an assist for the revenge and stem the maturated cynic.

History of a generation afflicted by Pete Best Syndrome.

"No one could be John, Paul, George or Ringo, but we all are Pete Best and in one way or another we had to live with what was left".

Emilio Santini


Cages

Are we really free or are we prisoners of ourselves? Reading the reflections of Omar Mumba, the protagonist of this story, we live recluse in our mental restrictions and we stay this way for much of our existence, learning to move in the narrow spaces of those same bars.

In every type of system, there proliferate contradictions that become traditions to be respected. The society in which we live has applied the norm that says we can be happy, even if the others are not: all you have to do is not to be among those others.

It is a simple equation, basically, yet Omar does not seem to learn. It keeps a singular pastime, if we can call it so: keeping inside a big envelope, all the letters coming from those structures and associations present in forgotten places, where every need is absolute. He reads them continuously, even when he is in the hotel where he works and for this reason, he is mocked by colleagues and superiors. The attitude towards the neighbour in difficulty makes him intransigent, but above all leaves him alone. His days pass between listening to U2 music and household chores, work and a recurrent accusation: who gets his boss’ flat tyre?




Estrellas de polvo

Incursión en la maleza del arte y el entretenimiento. Ricardo Nola tiene un talento natural para equivocarse a la hora de elegir socios y compañeros de trabajo.



BLOG SECTIONS

Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Imaginary stories of rock music

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Notes and insights

Short Stories My short stories

Utopias Between dreams and reality

Debate - Controversy and a bit of malice

Remark - My thoughts collected. 

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers





© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Stars of dust




BookCoverPreview



Are we the architects of our destiny or do the plots of our lives escape us lefting us impotent in the face of fate? Sometimes it happens that, despite a fierce commitment, the results are not those hoped for. In the attempt of having no regrets you can sacrifice your whole life to realize that time is not a good friend for anyone. Riccardo Nola, the main character of Stars of Dust, after a cruel childhood, discovers as a teenager that acting can have therapeutic effects. The undergrowth of the show business, however, turns out to be a dark forest, where you cannot easily orientat yourself. Rick has a natural talent for choosing bad partners and workmates. This gift accompanies him along the path of his artistic career. Actor graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Rome, his worry is to only work on commercials, due to the bad offices of a manager who brings a nefarious name: Al Sapone. Yet, his friends love him, envy him, confuse his precarious life for adventure. After making little artistic experiences, Riccardo is forced to get by by working in the local market, but you cannot control your heart: being bored, he is charmed by a vague project of his friend and colleague Thomas Albergari of Polonghera, from noble origins and wealthy family. The plan consists in bringing on stage (actually, on the road, on public transport or in the squares), monologues taken from a book about the Expedition of the Thousand of Garibaldi, which led them from the capital to Sicily. While the General managed to unify the country, however, the paths of Thomas and Richard will take different directions.


NOTES

Documentation work meets many resistances. Few people willingly accept that an outsider insinuates himself into their operating environment to try and reproduce it. Many will find in that attempt aspects treated marginally, they will question their authenticity. Stars of dust, is a story on the show business environment. The compulsory claim of the maximum result with the least effort is a widespread seed. Instead, it would be advisable to repeat that you do not always achieve certain results: it is a wrong equation. Sometimes, unfortunately, even in the case of prolonged efforts, things do not happen due to disparate or unknown reasons.

 

Read chapter two

Read chapter three


Available on

Amazon

GooglePlay

Kobo

EbookRepublic

Feltrinelli

StreetLib


© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018



Dear customer


BookCoverPreview.do


Dear customer - ebook or paperback version on Amazon 

Dear customer - Create Space Paperback version

Read this free preview





Why is a nickname more indicative compared to our name? Personal details are the result of the choice of others. Sooner or later, when we enter the world of work, those letters will become numbers. On the other hand, a nickname is linked to a really happened event or to a personal trait. In a manner of speaking, it reveals our true identity.

In consumer society, where all echoes are adulterated - Karl Marx is the man of chocolate with the caramel layer and Che Guevara has killed Spider-Man - identity becomes a main topic. Keeping it and being involved as little as possible by the obsession with buying, is a primary matter.

Leopoldo Canapone, protagonist of Dear Customer, every day witnesses the procession of customers infatuated by the commercials and promotional offers. He also knoews a lot about nicknames and, above all, he had an identity. Aspiring actor, he was sure in the end he would enter the Cinecittà Studios. He wrong a few hundred meters. Years later, he stamped the card in the supermarket near to the film establishments, but after all, also it was art because, as a sales clerk, he had to wear a mask and smile to the audience.


“ The customer is a fucked customer and not a fucking customer " - Leopoldo Canapone. 




Barnes & Noble

Apple iTunes

Google Play

Street Lib

Kobo

Bookrepublic

Libreria ebook

Read chapter two

Read chapter four


  © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Dear customer - chapter four


BookCoverPreview.do



Dear customer - Amazon - ebook and paperback version

Dear customer - Create Space Paperback version

Barnes & Noble - Paperback version

Apple iTunes - Ebook version

Google Play - Ebook version

Libreria ebook - Ebook version

Read this free preview





The Saturday Bus Stop. If I missed this intersection with Belinda, the day was going to go wrong. That day, I saw her getting on the bus next to mine. Everything seemed to be against me.

On Saturday, volunteers from Caritas arrived to collect cans for refugees or the third world populations. They had those Franciscan ways, and we used them. Even if you had to go through a mineral water bed and they were in the middle, you will not disturb them. The boys had their own tables at the entrance to retrieve the envelopes of the customers who intended to participate. The clientele was intrigued, dazed by the news from television on dioxin chickens and mad cows. At some moments, real psychoses were created. People were suspicious.

 

- Look at this chicken: doesn’t it look too bloated?

- Madam, it's not a chicken. It's a guinea fowl.

- Really? I had no idea you imported meat from Egypt!

 

This reflection, ended a week of stress, crap, and rain.

Monday. The week started with another promotion. The opening environment was neat and clean, the shelves in order and the offers looked like fragments of inlays: stacks of items tied together with the base of four parcels horizontally, under another four vertical parcels, and so on. La frutteria was a little vegetable garden flourishing and the pork store, a rural wine cellar. The scent of hot baking bread spilled across the corridors.

 

At the end of the day, the rush hour noise didn't fade: it moved inside your head. From the outside, I heard the horns of cars at the traffic lights, while there looked like a country demolished by an earthquake. The posers of the offers were exchanged, and the stacks were in disorder. The counter outside seemed attacked and bombarded. A bottle of rustic past lay disintegrated on the floor, another oil in there. Papers and leaflets on the ground, packs of meat were abandoned on the shelves for detergents. At the exit, there were full envelopes that someone had not had time to hide. The crates resonated with the typical computer rhythm of our end-of-day accounts. It was paradoxical that craft: one had to create a magnificent exposition that attracted the attention of the public, knowing that success would be determined by its disfigurement. The opposite of the theatre.

Sometimes my grandfather came back to my mind. He told me about the years of the war, of his country, he likened misery to a circular cheque, equal everywhere.

There was this conflict somewhere in the world. The television broadcasted it. The Western World also participated. The supermarket was filled with people who were suggestive, old people who were hoarding all sorts of items: sugar, pasta, flour. Patients were standing in line, and nobody complained. The music was turned off, for my relief. The coffee rack was empty. There were grains stored in open containers. An old man approached slowly. He stopped, looked around, and with a brush dropped a mixture of dust and coffee in the empty bag.

It was elder Mr. Alfredo Toffolo. He seemed out of Sciuscià or some Bicycle Thieves, but he didn't have the bike, and his shoes were peeling with mended laces. He lent a helping hand through her white hair, which was kept good by a stream of water. Coming down to the supermarket with the spirit of a boy, and trying to trick the same middle-aged lady, accompanying her and holding her bags, seeing that she got home safely. They kept each other company.



 

Alfredo gave me his poems: "You always have to read," he said.

 

Green meadows where red poppies grow.

That's where I’d like to sleep, exhausted.

No plates and no marble.

 

- Keep my poems and every time you see a red poppy, call it Alfredo.

 

She winked at his cheeks and came out of the chocolate department. He seemed to have prepared the plan for the robbery of the century, but he only sought an emotion. Those sweets were for grandchildren. He pretended to be there by chance, when I was throwing off the waste from the fruit Orchard Department. Alfredo held a bag stacked in the raincoat pocket.


Read chapter two





 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Dear customer - chapter two


BookCoverPreview.do - Versione 2



Dear customer - Amazon ebook and paperback version

Dear customer - Create Space Paperback version

Apple iTunes - Ebook version

Barnes & Noble - Paperback version

Google Play - Ebook version

Libreria ebook - Ebook version

Read this free preview 





Contact with the audience was intriguing and perverse. The customers were tormented with the idea of gifts such that, the more they spend, the more they accumulated points. Paradoxically, they were only supposed to know how good those gifts were, in reality. They demanded the full share of their spending to know if they had reached the score; otherwise, they would have taken some other article to round up. It was fundamental to create a dependency, sealed by the loyalty of the club card.

The concept of fidelity had its pleasurable aspects. A young married woman, with two children, was shopping on the first morning. She went in and greeted everyone. Then stood in front of the mirror of the underwear department and looked at it, after which she settled down, loosened the fourth button of the blouse showing a generous décolleté. She was silent though, if you greeted her when she came in with her husband.

We would have rewarded all of them very much. The director, on the other hand, was convinced that the young man stole tricks and perfumes. She made love with her husband and perhaps, weighed the already fattened meat on the scallops of the fruit garden under the endive voice. I saw her and called her Lady Endive. She realized that I would not betray her and smiled horribly, showing me a few inches of her boobs. In a sense, it was also a game. It was a stage. We created loaves for customers and this occasionally, changed. Sometimes it is anvils or hammers. One day, who knows, my lady would have hammered me in place of Mr. Dal Canto.




I escorted the customers to the escalator.  From the window I saw a guy walking around with the dog, Dr. Carloni re-enters the studio, the secretaries of the insurance office get out of the bar gesticulating and having fun.

The business was booming for the city's transport company, because public transport was full. Everything went smoothly.

At break time I wandered without a definite goal. My colleagues went home for lunch, as I entered the bar and stared at Pirelli's calendars, saying that one year was really twelve months old.

Donna Boccione, our most loyal customer, complained, like every day after lunch with the bartender because the espresso served was hot. Knowing Boccione, I agreed with the poor man, glancing at him with understanding.

Words were as useless as my actions. I had the impression of spending time when everyone was running. Suddenly, something abducted me... but yes it was her, she was the one: the girl with the dimples on her cheeks!

She walked fast to the bus stop. I could not follow her zigzag motion between the cars at the traffic light, and when I decided to poke her, she headed for the green. I could have considered it a sign of destiny, but I decided not to abuse it because the girl was going to work and that was her habitual journey. I walked away and thought of her. Belinda, she resembled Belinda Carlisle, the California singer. I would have expected her the next day. I did not listen to Carlisle's music, but I followed the Carlisle that was in her.

I went back to work. I waited for Belinda and visited Gatta. She waved at me without moving the lips, saying only L-L-O instead of a sunny and open hello.

Gatta repeatedly did not consider herself a colleague with a disadvantage like me. Once she came up against me with Baron, his CISL trade union official, because I had made fun of her.

Read chapter four



  © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




ON MY GENERATION



BookCoverPreview.do



Read Preview Google Play

Amazon

Google Play

iTunes

Ebook Republic 

Street Lib Stores

Kobo

Feltrinelli.it

Create Space - paper format




What is the main activity in our existence? To grow up? Be someone in our society? Find a road of your own? 

Whatever this task is, Emilio Santini - the main character of this story - and his friends, do not want to learn to move forward. They hang on, the only street they know is the one of the front door, where they have been living since the '70s, when they were kids, in a suburb of Rome. On the background of a season marked by social tensions, they observe the flow of life with indifference, convinced that getting busy does not help in this system because nothing can change. They have sterile motivations, they have childish justifications, life is good for them as it is, they have settled in the front row of daily greyness to attend the cycle of seasons.

In the messy chronicle of reported events that lead to the transition from the first to the second republic in Italy, Emilio and his old friends are preparing to live the new course supporting the rise of a rampant politician. Soccer and rock music are their only reasons for living, but they believe they can find in the congressperson Andrea Franzoni, a dear old friend of theirs, a shortcut to the difficulties of human life.

Emilio - a Beatles enthusiast - earns little money as a guitar teacher, the Reserved works when he feels like it, distributing advertising fliers, the Blasphemy works in the deli of a relative, always after 10 a.m. and never past 1 p.m., the Cobra makes a living as a driver in poorly licit works, and Rigatone is a rock music photographer.

There is an unfinished business, however, that everyone has with the politician and this will awaken them from the long sleep, giving an assist for the revenge and stem the maturated cynic.

History of a generation afflicted by Pete Best Syndrome.

"No one could be John, Paul, George or Ringo, but we all are Pete Best and in one way or another we had to live with what was left".

Emilio Santini




NOTE

The generations following the 1970s - so also mine - have no characterization. I mean that in the '60s they talked about flowers’ power of flowers and universal love, the 70s were marked by controversy and terrorism, but also by social gains.

There was good socialization, a sense of belonging that expressed itself in extremism and aversion to the opposite, but that made people join under a flag or a color. 

And then? In the 80s and in the following decades, an ephemeral spiral blew on the fire of individualism and self-realization.

Being heroes for only one day and having fifteen minutes of notoriety for each, they have outlined - and they still do - the collective imagination.

In the third chapter of Stories of anonymous apathy-holic, I tried to synthesize all this with the speech to his friends from the future politician Adrea Franzoni:

Ideologies have come to an end. The earlier you will convince yourselves the better it will be for everyone. What did ideologies produce in history? Nothing, indeed, only disasters. I don’t say it: it's history. Of course, some can say that only an ideology can make you feel alive, solid, in full communion with the human race. Do you know how I answer? With another question: do you prefer a sweet lie or a rough truth? And the truth, my friends, is that if you do not help yourselves first, you will never be able to help anybody else


In the book, some of the guys including Emilio Santini, The Blasphemy and The Quiet, don’t find it hard to share the concept since they lack political and social passion. Inside them, this theory finds fertile soil. Cobra and Archimede, on the other hand, are initially suspicious just because they still have an ideological conscience, even if they side opposing deployments. In the end, they too will surrender and will be flocked by the politician’s manners. 

The opportunism of Congressman Franzoni (The Infamous) is their primary education of the adult world where the boys will find an easy and convenient landing in the island of apathy and indifference.

What happens next is fiction. The kids will have the chance of a payback even if the lost time will not come back. 

Pete Best's disease is the fear of failure. In the life of each one of us there is no room for wrong moves.

Pete Best was The Beatles’ first drummer. When I talk about Liverpool kids, I talk about them as one of the major mass media phenomena that have ever existed and not because I want to impose them on someone. 

I think Pete Best's story teaches you more than any other anecdote. Drummer in charge until the first record (Love me do, '62), he is replaced because they thought he couldn’t deal with it. One minute before world renown, the boy has suffered a historic theft from the fate that will prevent him from glory and immortality. 

What else could go worse? - It's the question.

I could be Pete Best - is the answer.

It's really a heroic act to stay alive.


One aspect I wanted to highlight is the strong impact that the rock music message has had on this century. I often repeat to myself that many people's lives would be different without rock and roll music or maybe just without this or that group. It has been the soundtrack of these last sixty years and it is the main (perhaps the only) aspect that links today's generations with those of the 60s or 70s. 

 


 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018



CAGES


41AOw1geyTL. SX331 BO1,204,203,200



Read this free preview on Google Play

Read this free preview on Amazon



Are we really free or are we prisoners of ourselves? Reading the reflections of Omar Mumba, the protagonist of this story, we live recluse in our mental restrictions and we stay this way for much of our existence, learning to move in the narrow spaces of those same bars.

In every type of system, there proliferate contradictions that become traditions to be respected. The society in which we live has applied the norm that says we can be happy, even if the others are not: all you have to do is not to be among those others.

It is a simple equation, basically, yet Omar does not seem to learn. It keeps a singular pastime, if we can call it so: keeping inside a big envelope, all the letters coming from those structures and associations present in forgotten places, where every need is absolute. He reads them continuously, even when he is in the hotel where he works and for this reason, he is mocked by colleagues and superiors. The attitude towards the neighbour in difficulty makes him intransigent, but above all leaves him alone. His days pass between listening to U2 music and household chores, work and a recurrent accusation: who gets his boss’ flat tyre.



NOTES

It’s a delicate tale, a rear-wheel drive, which means that it’s counterbalanced by a heavy project on its back. 

The main character is a mean, I needed a character in which I could pour hidden resentments, fears and also neighbor’s curiosities. 

Omar doesn’t tell a story of integration because he’s already an Italian citizen. Born in Rome from an Italian mother and a Kenyan father, his is an incident of deep introversion.

Omar learnt from his parents, both doctors, not to conceive a job just as a living source, so he divides the salary as a hotel operator in small donations to the onlus associations that operate in poor countries. In his mailbox there arrive letters of structures that there are in those lands, where every need is absolute and he can’t do anything but attend depressed to the contradictions of the society in which he was born, he grew up and lives. 

The constant activity for those in difficulties makes him inflexible on others’ superficiality and his ability to look far gets him to lose contact with things close to him, isolating him much more. 

The cages are brain-made and concern limits of each one of us. They influence us as dead weights, they don’t let us fully live our lives. 

What is best about Omar, his solidarity to the others, is also his flaw, the absence of lightness.

Mumba also deals with the concept of faith. It’s a concept he can’t grasp, suspended between his own materialistic confusion and a vague benevolence that guides him. It’s the predicament on the sense of existence, that contrast on the promise of a better life in another realm and the immediate answers needed on Earth.  



 

 Available online in ebook version on

Apple iTunes

BookRepublic

Street Lib Store 

Kobo 

Libreria ebook 

Amazon 

Google Play 


Available in printed form on 

Create Space

Amazon


 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




ESTRELLAS DE POLVO



BookCoverPreview



“Estrellas de Polvo”

Escrito por Enrico Mattioli

Distribuido por Babelcube, Inc.

Traducido por Yaiza Cañizares

Diseño de portada © 2016 Enrico Mattioli



Ricardo Nola tiene un talento natural para equivocarse a la hora de elegir socios y compañeros de trabajo. Actor diplomado por la Escuela de Arte Dramático, su drama real es tener que ganarse la vida haciendo anuncios publicitarios gracias al pésimo trabajo que realiza su representante: Al Sapone. Aun así, sus amigos lo adoran, le envidian y se toman sus desgracias como si fuesen las aventuras de un explorador. El único motivo por el que Ricardo va a las fiestas de sus amigos es porque dan de comer, y cada vez que va, todos los asistentes tienen ansias de saber en qué lío se ha metido esta vez: un chat erótico junto con su amiga escritora Eva Pop. Aventura que, al igual que las otras, dura más bien poco. Por esta razón, Ricardo se ve obligado a alejarse de los escenarios para trabajar en el mercado, con el único propósito de poder sobrevivir al final de cada mes. Cansado de esta vida, se deja enredar, una vez más, por un proyecto misterioso que lleva a cabo su mejor amigo, Thomas Albergari de Polonghera, proveniente de familia noble y culta. El proyecto consiste en llevar a la escena (en realidad, se trata de teatro de calle) monólogos extraídos de un libro que trata sobre la Unificación de Italia, y recorrer las hazañas de Garibaldi. Sin embargo, mientras que el General consiguió unificar el país, los caminos de Thomas y Ricardo se separarán. Con tal de no tener que arrepentirse, está justificado sacrificar toda una vida. Pero por desgracia, el tiempo no es amigo de nadie.


Leer el primer capítulo

Leer el capítulo tres



Disponible en línea en la versión del ebook

Barnes & Noble

Street Lib Store

Apple iTunes

Kobo

Feltrinelli

Libreria ebook

Libreria Universitaria

Bookrepublic

GooglePlay Libri

Disponible en formato impreso 

Paperback


 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017





Short stories




Welcome to my blog. 

Here my short stories. 

Greetings.

EM




BLOG SECTIONS

Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Imaginary stories of rock music

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Notes and insights

Books Translated - My books translated into English

Utopias Between dreams and reality

Debate - Controversy and a bit of malice

Remark - My thoughts collected. 

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




The doormat




Translated by Emilia Maiella


Old Alvaro’s bad mood, exhausted by senility, shows through when, getting home from a walking, he cleans his shoes in front of the door: if the doormat is not well aligned, it is certain that the atmosphere at Malacostas’ gets menacing.

That rug, a despised present from his son-in-law he hardly can stand, portrays a watermelon, but above all represents his aversion towards that young man named Odoacre, a general practitioner who has the studio on the first floor of the same building and whom, in two years, married his daughter, putting his life upside down. In fact, it was him who forbade Alvaro from smoking not to worsen Alvaro’s emphysema. The old man, however, now firmly asserts that he does not feel how he used to, but it is not clear whether Alvaro means it for the kinship or for the lack of cigarettes. This is why he vent his frustrations by vigorously beating his shoes on the doormat. It seems that instead of cleaning them, he would to slam them on someone's face.


Matilde Malacosta, on the other hand, is the one who takes pride in this relationship with all the building’s residents. She is also Alvaro's wife, clearly, and the doormat often becomes the reason for their disputes.

It is half-morning. The chairs are above the table. In an abrupt, surly way, as she almost wanted to still give a rhythm to her life by those mops, Donna Matilde sweeps the kitchen. It is raining outside. In the background, the radio news: Still no turning point on the escape of the bandits who raided the post office yesterday at noon.

Alvaro sits in the living room, on the armchair just below the picture of his three grandchildren. Hard working, he peels the beans.

From the kitchen, in a tone of reproach, his wife catches him: - Did you notice that the oil is over?

- How come, if I took three bottles last week...

- Are you sure?

- Yes, sure! You, rather: where did you put them?

 

He moves towards the kitchen: - Don’t you see you hold them in your hands? - He tells her.

- I just found them! - She answers him. He shakes his head, she takes the coat.

- You don’t want to go out with this weather, do you? - He says.

- I’m going to the market: fruit is over – she replies, annoyed.

- Then I'll go. You better take care of yourself.

Matilde is surprised. – Are you able to choose the oranges?

- Oh, well!

- Go to Ms. Valeria, who is so nice. She has the stand at the bottom, after the old Marcello.

- At the bottom where? - Alvaro screams.

- After the old Marcello's stand...

- Marcello has moved: now he is right at the entrance.

- Exactly: at the bottom from the beginning!



 Alvaro with a slow gesture takes his hat and umbrella. Matilde recommends: - And do not be late, and do not take all that chili, and leave the doormat in order when you come back because you know that a rug is the mirror of the house: what will people think?

She wanders around the living room and thinks: since Odoacre prevented him from smoking, he got worse: could possibly the smoke strengthen the brain?

Alvaro opens and softly accompanies the door, leaving inside his wife's recommendations that, moreover, he knows by heart. At the same time Mrs. Tabacci from the third floor, comes out slamming her armoured door; the echo shakes the railing of the stairs.

 

- Good morning sir. Alvaro.

- Mrs. Tabacci, you are always in shape...

- The stairs are a wonderful gym for the heart.

- I have to tell my wife. Palpitations, arrhythmia...

- Poor. She must keep it slow then...

- And why? Never seen a shot!

- You’re a jokester as always...

- Madam, I am a victim!

- Back to the market?

- I'm going to get some fruits. Vitamins are needed...

- What are you doing with all those chilies?

- If one day I'll see you for a coffee, I'll tell you!

- You know how to cover your back... Can I leave you the mandate for tomorrow's meeting? I'm always in a hurry...

- Of course. It’s a pleasure.

- Goodbye Mr. Malacosta, I have to go.


The woman flees leaving the old man alone. Always running, always running... - mumbles him.

She arrives in front of the guardhouse. The porter is immersed in reading sports newspapers and does not even notice the beautiful lady greeting him. Alvaro stares at him and shouts: - Ah! Fifteen years less!

 

The porter gives a start, then looks at him and sends him to hell: - Screw you, Mr. Chili...

 

Alvaro stops in front of the mailbox. He searches for the key; he looks around and opens the door furtively. He takes out a pack of cigarettes and goes out. Greet the other retirees on the front door.

 

- Hello, old fogeys!

- Hey Alvaro... is it chili pepper's time?

 

The old Malacosta chuckles satisfied and lights a cigarette. 


At home, Matilde cleans sea breams and basses. Ciccia, the cat, stares at the scraps and rubs herself between Matilde’s legs. Matilde, distracted by a vague buzz, thinks: helicopters! Maybe they're looking for someone or something happened. That dotard just got out, I hope he didn’t pull one of his usual stunts…

She gives the cat the bass’ head, keeping hearing the noise from above, the same feeling of fifty years ago, when a bombing destroyed her parents’ house.

She puts the parsley and garlic, a pinch of chili inside the sea breams; sprinkles a dash of lemon and a tablespoon of oil. She arranges everything and turns the oven on.

She goes out to the balcony to read the newspaper and is not able to do it. Ciccia is at her feet. Matilde looks at the chimneys of the opposite building and higher, to see the helicopter of which keeps hearing the noise.

She is distracted by from the grill. Half an hour and the fish is nice and cooked. Ciccia hangs around her and with her paw she cleans her grey tigerskin fur.

Alvaro is coming back. He enters the door and puts the cigarette pack in the mailbox. He dumps in the vase in front of the guardhouse the cigarette butt he was holding between his lips. He pulls a chili out from the bag: he rubs it all over his coat and starts chewing it. He calls the elevator, which certainly has no silent noise.

Matilde feels her husband coming back and approaches the entrance.

Alvaro turns the key and opens. His wife is waiting for him on the corridor with her hands folded. Matilde takes the shopping bags and checks the shopping, continuing to mumble.

What will he do with all this chili... old dotard!

Outside, the doormat is in perfect order. Ciccia goes out and sits on the rug, with the typical snore like a helicopter in flight.

 



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Armed gang



148283_133602800029677_5898522_n



Translated by Emilia Maiella


A karst river of incandescent lava, here is my current state of mind. I am at the public park, walking with my mother's dog, and I observe the world running slowly around me with the slowness of a pachyderm.

Slightly blurred images depict couples with a three-wheeled sporty stroller, pushed with vigorous pride by the man; a child on the swing with youthful grandmothers who flirt on their cell phones, not giving a shit to the child’s tears; dejection of animals whose only fault is to be companions of uncivilized people; broken glasses; traces of vomit from no future teenagers lead to have so much fun to almost die.

When we were young, we did not even think about death, even if it was dancing around offering cigarettes; we thought our present was scaffolding on which we would have built a future, and yet, to be clear, rather than a scaffolding ours were like barricades from which we attacked and within which we blurred ourselves. We got lost, we lost, and that is what it was, in the end.



In this park, we came when we had to meet without giving too much attention and especially for fear of being heard: we were more terrified by the bugs than by the slugs because that type of insect, even if not attacking, killed anyway, even if in a different way. We were the ones who were wrong.

Lucilla joined the organization directly from the university and at first I thought she was a bug herself, because of her super-fast insertion that I considered reckless. I looked at her with scepticism, and that time was undoubtedly hard for her. I wanted to kill her, I confided my purpose to the others, but I would have made a mistake, I did not have, fortunately, the permission of the group. She served our same amount of years, has never spoken, although she almost always disagreed with us: this was the aspect that I did not accept and that made me ask a thousand questions about her. Who and what made her do the jump?

She would have been a letters teacher if she had not chosen illegality, after all, each of us would have had another life. Lucilla used to bore us with paradoxes and reflections that thinking about it, the only deep thing was her presumption. She argued that the synthesis of our existence lay (it lay, this indeed is an opportune predicate) in the first singular person between present and simple past tenses of the auxiliary verb being. Beautiful discovery, I thought, moreover, was a distorted thought because anyone can say "I am" but no one can say "I was", the dead do not speak, at most, they let others talk.


I look around me, now, here at the park, these blurred images seem so much a lazy flow of the river and they do not belong to me as they did not back then; in the same way, in a certain sense, my life did not belong to me even if those of the others was imputed to me. At sixty-one, I served all I had to. My father died of heart attack, a heartbreak, someone told me, they told me three months later because the news does not filter in isolation. My mother, well, my mother does not even take the dog for a walk.

It was three months ago that I saw Lucilla again. I was on the bus going to the Cain association, created by the Radical Party for the recovery of former political prisoners. Our meetings, during the trials, had been fleeting, just the time for the greetings. My anger had calmed down. She looked at me, however, always with a look that extremely annoyed me. I do not know why, one day I stopped to stare into her eyes. She said "I was right, w...". For a moment, I was irritated like the old times, I had heard her sentence well, but there was no longer any right now, there was only to wait for time to run its course.

I was saying, I was on the bus and I saw her at the bus stop. I was unprepared for the meeting and stayed where I was. In the next two or three days I could not see her. I saw her again the following week and I convinced myself to get off the bus. Freedom or semi-liberty lead you to loneliness, you do not have much space (or even much time) to make a new life, you have to be satisfied because what you already have is a lot, but for heaven's sake, this is not a complaint, just an observation. After all, today's state of mind is the same as in the times of trials: waiting for time to run its course. People know who you are and that you carry your burden, at the beginning I also felt uncomfortable to let a fake smile slip. After so many years behind the bars watching the sun in chess holes, when you know that most of the public opinion, not without reason, would want you dead, all this freedom is something that even scares.

I slowly got off the bus steps, she did not immediately notice me. Another bus stopped and almost everyone got in. We stood alone at the bus stop, except for two old ladies with their shopping bags. Lucilla turned and saw me. We looked at each other for a few minutes, without saying anything or hugging each other. Then she started to move, but without haste. She turned to look at me and I followed her. Walking we loosened up, we talked about this and that, what you do and with whom, I asked, today was her day off, coincidentally, and this reminded me to call the association to warn that I had some accident and that I would be late. His mother passed away the previous month, Lucilla informed me. We walked a bit to the historical centre, more or less in silence with the traffic on the background. An English-style bus, open upstairs, stopped at the traffic lights and the tourists on it waved at us. We laughed, almost incredulous of doing it and we returned the waving: Lucilla was moved (even if I avoided to point it out), as if for anything, even the most trivial, we had to be grateful. We kept on walking and then we stopped in front of the theatre poster under the porticoes to look at the spectacles’ programming. We arrived at an outdoor cafe and we sat down. I asked for a coffee with a splash and she for a simple espresso, they also brought us chocolates. We sat, mute, smoking and watching the coming and going. On the square, a mime improvised a show with a tape player that played movie soundtracks and he imitated the protagonists of the films. The most requested was Charlie Chaplin, the mime made a ridiculous version of it using a huge ball like that of the Great Dictator, which he had deflated sending it in all directions and then clumsily groping to grab it. Some kids looked at him, sitting on the ground with their mouths open.


Lucilla stood up, asking me to follow her, I'll show you where I work, she said, it’s near. She led me around the corner, where there was a conference room. I organize conferences, she said, next week there is "The discreet charm of the goods", if you have time and you want to come, you can find me here. She left and I watched her leave.

While sharing the silence, feeling the presence of the other was comforting, we still had the dry smell of gunpowder, of iron and fire, the moral and juridical responsibility of a country set on fire, the conviction of spreading, through the acts, the social redemption rather than the terror that left us isolated. If Lucilla, with her foresight, perceived all this already beck then at the time of the facts, I am not able to say it today, certainly it is still unclear, if it had been so, the reason of her submission to the armed fight, it is likely, perhaps, that she lived with the conscience of those who knew, in addition to what I listed, they were living in an unhealthy country, as the chronicle and the history have shown at a later time, and therefore, to feel legitimized to... make mistakes.

I am still here, at the park, walking with my mother's dog, among the waste of Easter Monday picnic, couples pushing a stroller, vomit of teenagers who want to die, and how they say, in fact, the slow flow. It was here that, during one of our meetings, they arrested part of the gang and I was one of them. Lucilla claimed to be right, but I was too. I failed to identify it, but there was a bug among us, even if now it does not make sense to revive the past and some things would have happened in any case, maybe in a different way. It is not about losing or turning the world upside down, our world or other’s: it is all about what we waste of those remains we did not care of.



Playing with the dog, I throw a flat ball that he earlier found in the trash. He brings it back to my feet like an keepsake. He looks at my fake throwing with his tongue out, he takes the bite, he goes back on his steps, barks scolding me, and then I make a long throw up to the soccer field where some guys do some goal shootings. Bobby would like to exchange his flat ball for the one they are playing with. The boys pass the ball with quick touches, scared by the enthusiasm of the dog. I tell them not to worry, Bobby certainly does not bite, he is a quiet and playful animal. I recall him, he comes back with the flat ball and his tongue out for the ride. He leaves the ball at my feet again and lies down to rest. I look at the sky, it will rain soon. I start walking back home, Bobby follows me with this ball in his teeth that really does not want to give up. It heavy starts to rain, the April rain characterizes the first days of spring. In front of us there is the canopy of a pub with wooden benches. I cross the road through long steps and I take a seat. So I order a red one. The speakers in the background play the blues song Happy birthday to you by BB King. I always liked the blues, during the school years I played a harmonica. I sip my beer, smoking and watching the rain go down. Bobby is at my feet still chewing the ball. Years have passed, only now I can understand what Lucilla meant with her paradoxical "I was right, we were wrong".

As I think about this, I realize I keep the rhythm of the song by slapping the side of the pub table, while the rain descends and beats in countertops, washing that initial river of incandescent lava. 




 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Women



Translated by Emilia Maiella


At four in the morning, while I’m having a beautiful dream, suddenly the phone in the corridor rings. The one that only rings when a call-centre employee calls to sell me something I don’t want, that telephone that should never ever ring in the middle of the night. I drag myself to answer, saying “Hello?” in a drunken slur, and on the other side, I hear a raspy voice gasping quietly “Sergio?”.

“You got the wrong number ma’am, there is no Sergio here”.

“Sergio…”.

“Look, it’s four in the morning, frankly… have some patience.”



Frankly, have some patience is the best I could process at this time of the night. I just sit on the window chair trying to remember the dream, but the phone call cleared my recent memory history. I haven’t been having good dreams in a long time.  I drag my legs to walking, I stop to look at my face in the corridor’s mirror. A woman tossed across the bed at four in the morning: what can I say? It’s something a phone call can’t erase for sure. I feel the exit less peace of this moment straddling the night and the day. I breathe, I hear the steps of Skittle: he approaches me, sniffs me, licks my hand. I pet his big head while I hug him, feeling his breath on my cheeks. Then he goes towards the door, turns himself and makes a chocked sound. Yeah, c’mon! Let’s have a walk, it’s better! I put on a tracksuit an grab the keys.

Along the boulevard, Skittle walks a few feet away from me. The street lighting is still on. Anxiety wiped out any sleepiness. I have to smoke, while I light my cigarette I notice we already turned the corner and that Skittle is running to a female dog that is walking with her owner.


“Skittle! Skittle come here! I’m sorry!” I say to the man with the dog I recognise as the lodger of the ground floor. “Don’t worry, it’s not a big deal” he says. “It’s the solemn hour of the beast and its owner, isn’t it?” he adds. “I guess so, even though it’s Skittle who brings me to walk” I say. He laughs. “Speaking about time, doesn’t it turn to summer-time today?” “Yes, you’re right, it does today”. “So, now it must be…” “Oh God, I don’t know, it’s too early to be clear-headed”. “But you… you recently moved here, didn’t you?” “Yes, it’s been two months. Well, see you then, have a good morning.” “Well, I grew up here instead. I’m the son of the doorman, when my parents died the condo left me the apartment. Oh, I pay the rent of course” “Yeah, sure. Well, have a good day then. I keep on walking” “No, wait: just tell me your name” “Adriana. I’m Adriana and he is Skittle” “Nice to meet you, I’m Michele and she’s Peggy”. “Ok then, bye Michele, bye Peggy!”

We move away, Skittle and I. So, the summer-time, today is Sunday. I’m out of time and I lost the track. We reach the playground on the square. Skittle drinks water from the fountain then declares war to the pigeons. He runs, jumps, maybe he wish he could fly, barks breaking the silence on the desert square. Pigeons make an army too big for him to fight. Defeated, he comes to the bench I was sitting on. He lies down on my feet. I look at him, scratching his head. My attention is stolen by a flock of swallows over our heads. Fresh air confirms that spring arrived, but I didn’t wake up and I’m a kid even less.  I think I’ve been in a coma for years. It’s the only mood I can accept for myself. I check the time on the phone: a quarter to six A.M.. Skittle decides it’s time to go back home. I get up and we walk back along the boulevard. Soon it will be light out. I pick up the peace, I don’t want to see the sunset, to me the born of a new day doesn’t make sense, it’s always the same thing in the end, it doesn’t matter to me.

We reach the front door, I open it. Skittle sneaks in before I do, he’s not familiar with gallantry. We get through the lobby and arrive in front of the lift. The door of the ground floor apartment opens. It’s that Michele, and now he appears on the door. “I made coffee, do you want some?” “Look, you are very kind, but I’d like to sleep a couple of hours, if I can. But, thank you” “Fine. But next time you can’t refuse.” “Have a good Sunday, Michele.”


He must have sensed our presence: maybe he waited behind the door all the time? There are more things among loneliness then above and over the Earth, dear Michele, and I prefer the things among loneliness. We go up to the fourth floor, I get inside, and undress. I lay down on the bed and try to get some sleep. It’s still quiet in the condo, I don’t even listen to those far sound that in these cases induce rest.

Alessandro chose Skittle from a shelter and named it with Rocky Balboa’s dog name. It was a funny Spinone, he looked just like a skittle. Alessandro liked to go to the city centre and surprise me with a carriage ride. It was an old dimension I really loved, the one of wandering through the closed-to-traffic old town’s streets. There was a particular time of the day, after the twilight, when the daylight was decreasing and the streetlights were turning on: in that very moment, as of enchantment, there was this yellowish filter like an old photo that melted my heart. It was like to be out of time.

Skittle refused to sit in front of us on the carriage and demanded his sit between us. I was laughing as Alessandro pretended to get offended with Skittle: “Silly dog, go find a job and rise a family of your own” he said as Skittle was playfully barking at him.

I was happy, even if Alessandro and I were just a couple and not a family. I liked being with him, I was a lot “into” him: “too much” sentenced my girlfriends. But, when love comes it comes, to me it was a beautiful period of my life and I wasn’t hiding it. Happiness is something you should treasure with reserve, but it’s obvious to the eyes that it manifests itself, you can’t mask it.

Alessandro kept bursts of enthusiasm nearly until the end, even though the chemo sessions wore down his senses. And my - his partner - dignity. Who seeks justice finds laws, doctors just follow practice, it’s the black and white of existence, it took me awhile to figure it out. Nine years, already, but it’s like the time stopped. The demonstrations and the rights of cohabiting couples, the debates and forums that followed by the time, they don’t concern me anymore because at just 26 I already paid life my bill.

I toss and turn. There is no way to remember the beautiful dream, only agony is sitting right next to me. I didn’t had a man in nine years. I never slept with a man again. “You haven’t fucked with a man since then”, my girlfriends say. Sometimes it seems like this observation sounds more like an accusation. The fact is, I like being with my sorrow. I can’t do anything about it, I don’t want to do anything about it, I no longer intend to make any effort. I think I made enough of them. So, even friendships frayed. People get tired of the usual “Hi girls, here is my new partner: old numb pain that never leaves me”.



My feminine dignity hits its all-time low. I always wear trouser to hide my hair, I guess even Mother Nature have been sympathetic to me because it seems the regrowth recessed.

The other day I was overhearing my male colleagues talking about us female colleagues. About me, they said I’m “dead”: “Not even a necrophiliac would find satisfaction with Adriana!” I remained indifferent, I thought about it, I can’t blame them.

I get up, it’s useless to sleep. Useless “trying” to sleep. To be asleep or awake doesn’t make difference since I can only rest my body. I drink a glass of water and prepare some tea. I heat a croissant in the microwave. I stare at the turn off television while I consume my breakfast. I yawn repeatedly. I grab the remote, but I skip the channels at supersonic speed, as I had to get through this day with the same speed. I turn it off and stay staring at the screen of the TV. Suddenly, I remember the lost dream: a carriage slowly goes on. It’s empty, there is not even the coachman inside. It goes away, and away, and away: slowly. I find it’s not a beautiful dream, even the memories lose their colours. Spring is a verse less poetry. I go taking a shower. I undress. Years haven’t been a burden on my body, I didn’t gained a pound even if I eat regularly. I enter in the box, I let the water flow. It flows on my hair, on my breasts, on my legs. On my waist. Not all that has been evaporates like a physic phenomenon. I turn the knob off. I stay some minutes to let the water drain. I get out the shower, wear the bathrobe and dry myself. Yes, I should shave my legs. I sit on the bidet and lean my feet against the toilet bowl. While I reach out to cut my nails, the phone rings again. I get up, I’m still wet so I leave a track of water behind me on the corridor’s floor. I pick up the phone. It’s the same voice of last night: “Sergio, Sergio…”

The voice tone is still raspy and gasping. She must have cried. “Sergio” she keeps saying. I hear her sobs and panting. “Ma’am, I’m sorry but there is no Sergio here, she must have called the wrong number again, Sergio is not here, there is nobody called Sergio ma’am”

I can’t get off the phone so I silently keep on the line. I hear the crying of the lady and look at my tears over the corridor’s mirror.   

  


© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018


    



Utopias



Welcome to my blog. 

Here are my utopias. 

Greetings.

EM




BLOG SECTIONS

Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Imaginary stories of rock music

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Notes and insights

Books Translated - My books translated into English

Short Stories My short stories

Debate - Controversy and a bit of malice

Remark - My thoughts collected. 

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Hypothesis: live without working


Unknown



Most people have a job which doesn't satisfy them, although it allows them to live. So they have to find happiness or accomplishment in other directions. The cost of live-in leads us to live on the brink of serenity and work only serves this.

The crush the work produces on the individual is the highest price to pay.

When you are over a certain age, is common the question about happiness or how you have spent your life. Dreaming of a win which allows us to live as we want, doesn't cost anything but it's out of our hands. So