C-Blog (EN)


Foto del 29-06-17 alle 16.13 #2



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 Mattioli



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

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Imaginary stories 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 2017




Books, social and communication



Welcome to my blog.


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

EM


BLOG SECTIONS


Music and events - Imaginary stories 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




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

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 2017



Rock novel


bookcoverpreviewdo med-3


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. He 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 2017





Letters from the pub


petetownshend300



Pete Townshend, the glorious guitarist for the Who, said - I am like a big stone against that everyone is going to piss against, slowly crumbling.

I was a faithful reader of Rockstar, the music magazine creat in 1980 and one day I read Pete's interview. I applauded him and made him my second supposed uncle, along with Keith Richards.

I love these people. They were my education. They sacrificed themselves to teach us to stay in the world. Yes, I know I'm exaggerating, but I've already said that they were (and still are) my idols. Now I'm just a little bit more cheeky than before, they'll forgive me, but who don’t will get it soon and so, it's better to jump over. 

I have many things, but they are all imaginary. I have a personal and abstract vocabulary in which I break down some terms by modifying the meanings. And I have an imaginary pub where the beer does not make you sweat after a few minutes like a fountain. And I can smoke cigar or cigarette because it certainly won’t do you any harm.

Sitting at my table next to the window, I watch the street go on the street waiting for some of the mentioned men to come and see me. We talk about the times gone by, I can ask every question because in my pub they relax and aren’t moody even if this depends on the questions. Rock stars are animals and like beasts have that particular intuition to know when to trust. They trust me, I won’t be a prince of the intellect, but I will not betray them.

The fact that some are dead and others are still on this earth is not a strange story because it’s not about going beyond time and space and matter. It’s about the messages they have left or the things they have said. They talk about life, bullshit, and good moments.

So I said, indeed, I wrote, that I was reflecting on Pete Townshend's statement about the stone where he would go to dig. In fact, everything changes. Our body (although we do everything to hide the signs that time leaves), our ideas (not always but sometimes), our personalities (for instinct of defense), but also change things around us. The places we have went, the people, your idols, your customs, your habits and your needs.

 

One day, referring to the verse of My Generation (I want to die before I’m old) I said to Pete, “Is it really you that talks about the stone that crumbles?”

“Why?” he asked.

“It’s a contradiction,” I responded. – “First you wanted to die and now you’re talking about resisting time?”

“Ah, damn that verse. It only got me a bunch of scratches. Let's go, everyone is trying to resist. What should I do? Kill myself to be consistent?”

“Ah, kill myself to be consistent: beautiful, this could be the verse for another song, Pete…”

“Everyone in rock has written verses on rocks that roll… and mine isn’t a verse, but only a damn interview!”

“Everyone who?”

“Well Dylan, and also Muddy Waters, who gave the name to the Rolling Stones…”

“Ah, Dylan…”

“Oh sure, everyone fills your mouth with Dylan…”

“Dylan is Dylan…”

“What do you mean? No, tell me: what are you referring to with this? That the Who aren’t at the same level as Dylan?”

“You don’t like Dylan?”

“Of course I like Dylan.”

“And so?”

“Well, I smashed guitars with the Who. Understand?”

“No.”

 

He took a sip and thought for a minute. His lips were shaking while savoring the beer. Then he said, "Me neither. I usually find myself in front of a journalist who says yes. It's a way of turning a page. Clear?”

“Oh yes, now it’s clear.”

Good. It's only rock and roll, after all”, he said, looking at me cautiously, indicating not to add anything, knowing full well that he had quoted a piece of the Stones. I just kept asking what relationship he kept with them, with the Rolling Stones. He didn’t answer straight away, he grimaced.

I love Mick,” he tells to me.

And Keith?”, I asked clumsily. Pete didn’t add anything else, so I explained to him that even Keith Richards considered him unkempt as he did, like Pete, in short. He mumbled a series of epithets in archaic English (I must add, to make it easier to understand, that in this strange place a common language is spoken but insults are in the mother tongue of everyone) of which I only understood the repeated use of fucking and fucking. I thought it would be best to stay silent for a few moments and let him cool down. I changed tactics, trying to flatter him.”


“I like your solo album”.

“Which one?”.

“White City”.

“Ah, to remember White city fighting,” Pete sang, proud".

“Great album, Pete, well done”.

“Yeah. When you leave a group like the Who, all solo projects are revendications.”

“As in?”

“Well, it’s like saying, this is me. I’m the best one.”

“My fans love all members of the disbanded groups”.

“I know. But it’s right to reiterate. So much for playing.”

“Do you like this beer?”.

Yes. I’ll take another”. Pete stands up and goes towards the counter. He orders and returns to the table.

 

On the small stage there was a guy playing Billy Bragg's pieces including Greetings To The New Brunette. When the verb with whoops, there goes another pint of beer came, I always moved. It also went that way this time. Pete came over and approached the boy. On the second lap of the piece, when he was about to repeat the verse, Pete joined the choir whoops, there goes another pint of beer, mimed the guitar solo, finished the drawer and pulled the mug on the floor, splitting it as if it had been his old guitar, as if it was the old times. Then he said goodbye, approached the cashier, paid for what he drank and disappeared with all the answers that time I did not have time to ask.

 

I went out and saw him moving away. Pete has a unique walk: short steps and then he jumps, like when he’s on the stage in front of the crowd, he twisted his arm on the guitar.

I smiled, fixated on the pub's sign, and I watched the sea which obviously was not there.




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017   





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



Dear customer

Karl Marx becomes the brand of chocolate and Che Guevara killed Spider Man. Chronicles from the supermarket and other foolishness.


On my generation

Rock music and soccer, the sunset of ideologies. The history of a generation afflicted by Pete Best's disease.


Cages

U2 music and dishes to be cleaned, working in an hotel and slanderous accusation: who blew the tires of his chief?


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

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Imaginary stories 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 2017




Dear customer


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Leopoldo Canapone had artistic aspirations. He was sure that, sooner or later, he would have crossed the threshold of the Cinecittà Studies. It was a few hundred yards away. Years later, he stamping cards in the supermarket adjacent to the cinemas, but it was also art: as a market clerk he had to wear a mask and smile at the public. In the consumer society, all echoes are adulterated: Karl Marx is that of chocolate with a layer of caramel and Che Guevara killed the Spider Man. Names and surnames are joined by chance, they become numbers and only nicknames reveal their true identity because they are linked to a fact that actually happened…    

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  © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




Dear customer - chapter four


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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.


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 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




Dear customer - chapter two


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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.

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  © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




ON MY GENERATION



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Rome, 70s. We are in the southern suburbs of the city, on the background of a season marked by social tensions. This story is a messy chronicle of events that lead to the passage between the first and second Italian republics. Emilio Santini and his friends are preparing themselves to live the new season, supporting the rise of a rampant politician. Rock music and soccer are their only reason for living, but they believe they have found a way out from the difficulties of living in the person of the honorable Andrea Franzoni, a dear old friend of theirs. Tricked by political opportunism, the boys justify with apathy their own failures. Destiny will provide a helping hand for the payback and even though nothing will give back the lost time, each of them will ultimately stem the matured cynicism. The history of a generation afflicted by Pete Best's disease.


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 2017



CAGES


41AOw1geyTL. SX331 BO1,204,203,200



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Omar Mumba, Italian citizen, tells a story of deep introversion. 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. Days go by jumping from U2’s music to dishes to wash, the job at the hotel and an infamous charge: who got a flat tire on the chief’s car?


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.  

 


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 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




ESTRELLAS DE POLVO



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“Estrellas de Polvo”

Escrito por Enrico Mattioli

Distribuido por Babelcube, Inc.

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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.


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 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017





Short stories


Welcome to my blog. 

Here my short stories. 

Greetings.

EM


BLOG SECTIONS

Books, social and communication 

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Books Translated - My books translated into English

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Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers


© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




Women


Roma - Lampione a via Merulana - - Versione 2



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 2017


    



Utopias


Welcome to my blog. 

Here are my utopias. 

Greetings.

EM


BLOG SECTIONS

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Imaginary stories 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 2017




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 what can we do directly, in the first person?

It's a common place, but also an unmistakable truth: our time is a precious asset to ourselves – less for an employer who would find a replacement anyway – and its value increases when its size decreases. Obviously it's an affective value, because in the labour market our time is lost in the vortex of recruitment and in the lack of employment, i.e. a satisfactory offer. Our space is closely tied up to the time we have in endowment. And today, we have less and less of it.

In life they teach happiness is earning, so your choices will be addressed towards an occupation which allows you to accumulate enough to pay the costs of life itself. In this rat race we no longer see any beauty, or better, we don't notice it. Not by blame. We do what the system suggests and lets us do. It tell us what we like.

The core of the consumer society is to fuel the desire, not to attain fulfilment: the watchword is to constantly desire. This is, in summary, everyone's life.

A revolution involves sacrifices, risks, death and immortality, but the passing will arrive in any case. The first step of our change should be based on limiting desires or, better, selecting them and achieving a variable completeness for each of us. We should suspend expectations, judgements, not to make any assumptions, not even life and all actions we do every day, from walking to eating, from sleeping to watching.

Existence is a simple thing: we know we have a point of conclusion (missing where and when) and we should fill the empty space down to there. And complete that space with things look nice, a passion, a charme, but also... a beer, if anything. We have to make your own existence like a work of art.


There is nothing terrible in life for those who really know there's nothing to fear in not living anymore. So is a fool who says he is afraid of death, not so much because his arrival will make him suffer, but because he's afraid of its continued expectation. A thing which, once present, doesn't disturb us, unwisely expected drives us crazy.

Death, the most atrocious of all evils, doesn't exist for us. When we live there's no death; when death is present, we are not. It's nothing for living and for dead.

Epicurus - Letter on Happiness - 



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




Where is happiness


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I'm a quiet man. I'd happily stay in my neighbourhood meeting those three or four friends I still have, but this doesn't mean I'm closed-off, on the contrary, I love to get out of my comfort zone, even if it doesn't seem. I don't have a great sense of defensive, and like all peaceful people, I can change my state if my quite is disturbed. In short, one for the money, two for the show, three to be ready: don't step on my blue shammy shoes.

One time, looking at my father, I was smiling thinking about the retirement days. Since he missed, memories come back in a different light. I remember our walks together, I remember when I accompanied him in the country to take the wine from the wine merchant on Saturday, or the water at the source. maybe it was a primitive system of existence, because many aspects revolved around finding food and drink. Think again about it, it wasn't so bad and it wouldn't even be now. I'm happy when I recover the old rhythms, pushing away the frenzy which strangles me.

Those memories are interposed by life as it's now. Work is at the basis of the existence of a person, but it also takes away a lot. On the one hand, it distracts us from the obstacles we have in our life, on the other it deflects from happiness, because pursue the goals of others knocks the wind out of you and your joy of living, attentive to the harmony it needs. Really few persons have a profession or a craft they love, and it is a great privilege.

We have only been taught to produce. Even you, really you in your little: you have to do your part to feel integrated. You need money to live, because life costs more and more. There is no stress-free world. Actually stress is the primary engine: it shakes you, it moves you, it consumes you, even if you feel OK because you have a work. Actually, you burn like paper.

During my walks, I met two old friends. In other times, we would have been lost in discussions about the next referendum, or we would have talked about Fidel's death, regardless our personal points of view; or we would have talked about the football derby: instead, we discussed about our pittances, about life which absorbs you and sucks into its gears, about companies which oppress you by taking away those few moments of rest and conviviality.

When you think about where serenity and happiness reside, you feel so stupid and childish. You lose in a run-up, you can't stop if you want to stand on your own feet. You don't think, sooner or later, you're going down.

Recently, I was reading La casa sulla collina of Cesare Pavese. A text which had escaped me for some reason. Getting up while everyone is sleeping is something still gives me a thrill, so I got into the habit of reading it at night, when perceptible noises become clear. Pavese tells war stories about civilians who are escaping or seeking refuge, or about a conflict takes you away your few certainties, your few comforts. The expectation of death touches you which - at the bottom - raises you from an invisible situation. It's very present or, at least, I've felt that way. I thought about hired workers at the mercy of increasingly restrictive contracts, spaces of existences which vanish because their time belongs to the master - I still use this rhetorical term - who pays them. This is also war. Different, but it is.

You understand - nice find, huh? - you're no longer the same of a few years back. Young people tease you, your superiors would take you out elegantly, after all they despise you. You look at yourself and you look exactly like your father, who is gone. You look at that picture and repeat: where is happiness? I'm sure it exists, but you have to go get it. No one will give it to you, on the contrary, it's passed for something else. This presupposes a fight which can last a lifetime, without however reaching it.

I hear talk about revolution, almost always out of turn. A revolution requires the subversion of a constituted order, So I would say to a young revolutionary he/she has to invent a world which considers the exercise of not working, succeeding to move on. They will call it "adolescent utopia", but everyone would embrace it, passed the turning point. You can't say I'm a dreamer, because this stuff has already been said by someone else.



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017 




Give ourself a chance


Have there been times at this time of year where it’s gone from the beating sun to thunder within a few minutes? Everyone recommends that you dress in layers or in a pyramid shape to confront weather changes. In reality, we’re all made of layers and we’re pyramids that develop within ourselves.

Between getting undressed and getting naked, there’s the motorway of existence. Long and exhausting, where we meet storms, ice, scorching tarmac and, sometimes, a moderate climate. We continue to cover or undress ourselves depending on need at the time. All of these variations prevent us from being truly naked, even in front of ourselves. We dream of this image, only linked to being on a deserted island, where even the more tenacious paparazzi can’t catch a glimpse.

We perpetually live in a state of survival, yet despite everything, we are superheroes. We have powers that we use badly and that could make us fly, but we prefer to face the calculated risk that we’re used to confronting ourselves with and that at this point only has costs us minimal effort. We overcome illnesses, ailments, conflicts, but we stay linked to past memories, hostages of our own blockages.

We don’t imagine where we could push ourselves, what flights and which journeys we could realise if only we suppose we can give ourselves a chance.




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017





Debate


Welcome to my web site. 

In this section shows controversy and a bit of malice.

Greetings

Enrico


BLOG SECTIONS

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Imaginary stories and insights

Books Translated - My books translated into English

Short Stories My short stories

Utopias Between dreams and reality

Remark - My thoughts collected. 

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



Freedom


Unknown


Frankly, I belong to this society in spite of myself. It feels foreign to me, I ignore the direction taken and I do not understand its people, even if many say they do not understand me as well. We accept anything, showing off wisdom: it is useless to bear a grudge, it is better to survive as long as you can. In the end, like the bill, like grappa, like death, we console ourselves with this happy conclusion.

In the next lines I will associate the terms freedom, democracy and independence, which deserve further investigation and distinction, but in times of globalization even language is subject to a withdrawal, because a post is held within the limits established by communication: clear and concise. The first parameter here fades away, the second ... hemm!

In our system, all theories that favour sales, often distorted and extrapolated from a different context, are recycled to legitimize purchase. Words are important and are not used at random. A slogan is like gospel. In a few lines are concentrated the cornerstones on which the consumer society rests: a reduced gap between wealth and poverty, consumer, television, advertising, object and desire. The superfluous becomes a state of need.

The ideal metropolis of our time is made up of retail outlets and betting centres, where you can play and bet. We are soldiers on the front, enlisted in the holy war to keep the system alive.

When you enter a shopping mall, the temple of consumption, you seem to see a film on many dimensions, it seems to witness a transit of movements and spaces. It seems you can fly from one place to another recalled by objects and to be masters of time. It seems that individual freedom has no limits. And so it is, in fact, but only to the point where the invisible leash gets. We are predisposed to a wireless connection, this partial independence is an elastic that keeps us tied to the cathedral of goods where to wash our soul with purchases and hen find peace again.

In this system, it seems you can buy anything, even freedom, in fact, fuelling the prophecy of slogans. Here democracy reigns, here the distances between the less wealthy and the wealthier are reduced, the offer is unlimited and there are no borders because the desire that could appear elitist, is now available to the masses.

The dream becomes tangible and concrete through the instalments and loans. An e-mail address, a telephone number, any type of delivery address, they become a negotiating table, the induction to an always new desire. There was a time when if you wanted to make purchases, it was you who went to the store or to the service provider. Today, the financial companies and corporations look for you by phone and by email, do not give you respite. If you answer exasperated, they reply that they are working: but they are working inside your house.

The international democracies that are based on the High Finance and on the Multinationals are showing increasingly narrow margins or perhaps they have always had them and now it is only evident. Yet there are those who argue that to really understand what freedom is, we should live in a totalitarian country. True, perhaps of freedom, everyone would pretend more than the other, accustomed as we are to be able to buy (and consume) everything and therefore also independence: the more money one has, the greater is the freedom one can possess (and therefore, consume).

The concept of feeling bad first to feel better afterwards, however, reminds me of the joke of the guy who used to buy thigh shoes because the only relief left him, was to take them off in the evening.

In any case, ours is a freedom that is revealed with the cost.


I think there's something you should know 

I think it's time I stop the show 

there's something deep inside of me 



 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018



Even the dentist, in their small way, conspire



images



Translated by Emilia Maiella


It’s in the matters related to stateless prophets, when who knows you a little glorifies you and whoever actually knows you, avoids you. It’s the enlightened woman who claims, but in her daily struggle with her mother-in-law, is lost. It’s in the redemption of the male which is the pussy, and that’s all. It’s in problems only resolved under the sheets. It's in the carnival that you try to disguise. It’s in the indefinite round of the cucumber that always comes back to the prophet above. 

It’s in the fruit that costs more than meat. It's in the party of loaf and loaf of party. It’s in the matters related to the thieves that if only they stole the surplus they would only make a public utility action. It's in the majorities, it's in the everybody does it by the way, it’s in the nothing ever changes in the long run. It's in making the ends meet.

It's in the nothingness of the things.   

Only when a small pit slips and is disguised among the drenched olives the indignation pushes you to the movement. The tooth suffers and rebels, denounces, because it is so obvious that even dentists, in their small way, conspire. 

 

"If everyone demanded peace, then there'd be peace" 

John Lennon




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



The mask


maschera


I’ve never been a big liar. The biggest lies I’ve told have been to myself. Deceit is like an unstable bed that, while affecting posture for some time, makes you survive and then with perseverance takes you to the physical drift.

Many notice a façade, except those who put it on. They go about comforted, thinking that they’re believed. The world is full of people convinced of their own trustworthiness. These people, however, only feed a system of mockery consumed behind them. Personally, I’ve witnessed absolute masterpieces of lies but in these lines I’m referring to poorly-made masks.

Existence is a masquerade we participate in with anonymous masks, fleeing our nature. Luigi Pirandello, on the concept of masks, places his characters in front of life doubts because it is only within the dilemma of our own role or own identity that lives the stimulus that pushes you to search within yourself.

In modern life, this effort is tiring analysis and the need for stability, comfort and big historic excuses is absolute. Competence leaves space for competition. Every good actor knows the art of hiding art. The big liar is an artist that hides their real essence.

It’s the battle of great protection. Nobody likes staying behind. Desperately attracting the interest of others. Constantly feeling like you need to prove something. Repeating the farce because it becomes truth.

Possession. 

Fear. 

Failure. 

Fragility. 

Ego. 

There are infinite reasons for why we lie, not only hiding the truth itself but getting even further away from it. It is necessary to save innocence and child wonder, in addition to elderly wisdom. In the middle, there’s this long period between the arms of society to fight for a place in the sun or shade, depending on everyone’s needs, loyally following society’s own demands, to notice when time is almost up, that this path didn’t make us happy and that maybe we were never happy.

A quiet space and a bit of time for ourselves is fundamental. No, I’m not referring to prison, but to a space and time that take us to a true, natural dimension. Everything is within us, we don’t need much else. We only need a comfortable chair, a place where the mind can stroll and fluctuate. One day this place will be just the mind itself and nothing else will be necessary.

 



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017


 


Targets and bullets


Can you see them? They seem to be pointing bullets unaware of being targets and not pointers.

Can you see them? They seem connected and they’re distant, they move forward and stay still, without doubts, compliant.

I thought that time was to run out and that I didn’t have any more for worries or tricks.

If I try, I slowly find myself and instead there they ask me to raise rhythms and accumulate objectives.

It’s this that hurts me, it would be easier to not have to count: about how deceptive neighbourhood life is, without swords on the head, faces, tablets, comparisons.

I am worn out and I get by, I have to go down and I can’t but I should skip the ditch and not stay in the pit inventing another move, hold cold in the bones and I need a shock!

Almost finished, like a revelation, one thing I understood: there’s no malice in venom if this is where the truth is born.

When you stop looking, you can easily find. While I believed in hunting, the prey took me before: can you see them? They look like pointing bullets.

Can you see them? They seem connected and they’re distant.



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



 


Remark



Welcome to my blog. 

Here are my thoughts collected. 

Greetings.

EM


BLOG SECTIONS

Books, social and communication 

Music and events - Imaginary stories 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

Super Cashiers - New humorous format on supermarket cashiers




A leaf



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When a leaf falls from a tree, with the same synchrony, in a million places happen a million different things. Big and little events, ordinary and unusable.

That leaf will keep falling with the same cyclic nature for the next seasons, for the same reasons; not that lead, alas, but another and another one again. I stay here observing it, following its soft trajectory, thinking of those millions of other events, big and little, ordinary or not, that happen in a million of other places.

Humanity suffers from a collective Alzheimer whose weight is unaware. It is difficult to set the size of a historical memory, but I suppose its duration is increasingly shorter. A memory, even the most tragic one, is a duty we run from for disparate reasons, leading from opportunism to dishonesty, from suspicion to indifference.

Children of the shortcut and faster path, of phenomenality and trend, prophets of speed of execution and practical advice, our overbearing need for a stage where to perform even without skills is the panacea of a limitless hedonism that only provides one place on the earth that obviously is for the winner.

The discreet fall of the leaf is there to remind the limits that we prefer not to take into account. Remembrance looks dangerous and the memory is painful, as well as for what is represented, because it reminds us that we will pass and of us will remain the anonymous or a never-elevated bust, even if it were, it would be unknown.

The sun warms the colours of late autumn. From the point where I stand, looking beyond a long row of stone pines, there stands out on the optical plane the profile of the Aqua Claudia, year 38 AD. My thinking is distracted by the playing of two Labradors chasing each other in the area used for dogs. I smile and look at my watch. It is time to come back.

Along the tree-lined avenue, a carpet of dry branches. I walk up, another leaf comes off and it seems to me that it extends its descent, like a wave. I say goodbye, I do not even know to who or what, but I return my respects, I collect it and keep it in my pocket.  


 

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




Speaking of Cesare


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Everything always begins before the yoga lesson. You arrive in advance, sit on the carpet to prepare for relaxation; the defenses are down, we make a small talk waiting for the lights turn out leaving only a lamp to seal our chit-chat, then dispersing them into the darkness. It looks like a forum, we are facing each other but we are ready to break away from the world and the facts of the day spent, at least for an hour. It's a necessary time oasis in chaos generated by the frenzy.

A girl from Vicenza moved in Rome is looking for work. Work is ennobling, but we are all children of the plebeians. If it really ennobles is to be demonstrated: work takes much of the day, holds us hostages to live and takes off, slowly or not, the joy of living. The solution, if possible, is not to become addicted of a gear, because work actually takes off a precious thing: the time for oneself.

This concept doesn't concern who makes a job he/she loves because feeling gratified by his occupation is a way to work with less frustration; If anything, he/she must beware a society which doesn't facilitate who's passionate about everything he/she does and is forced to do that much, but not more. Different and more complicated, of course, is the life of the unemployed. If you don't have perspective, everything is okay, but everything is wrong, because that's the moment you become a slave.

Slave: what a bid word! Digital slaves, reachable anywhere and anytime, maybe just to receive a message in whatsapp which warns: you are out, we do not need you anymore.

The girl from Vicenza knows something about it. Before arriving in the capital, she stayed in Naples and is in the city of the gulf someone suggested her the solution: remove whatsapp from the phone in order that no one can warn her of any dismissal. It's not a solving plan to remain in work, but It's a strategy to confuse. In Naples are all accidental singers and philosophers. The girl from Vicenza, with her Nordic accent, is unbalanced in a difference between Neapolitan and Roman workers, clarifying a commonplace sees the Neapolitan living of expedients, but they will always be busy in something; the Roman, instead, if he can avoid working, he does it so gladly. Roman, according to tradition and popular belief, does nothing, but he does it better than anyone, and the experience combined with the application refines its practice.

Actually, in the system we live, it's fundamental to minimize the possibility of making errors: who does little, makes few mistake; who does nothing, doesn't make mistake. The Roman knows it well. We can't know what Caio Giulio Cesare would think about his fellow citizens. The life of the man who had to look out for his adopted son had already been complicated.

And speaking of Cesare, a dilemma is born: the Roman is so lazy who drives the foreigner to wonder how Rome has expanded up to conquer an empire.

I'm sure that, past two millennia, the Rugantino inside the Roman being, still needs to rest and relax from the old battles. Like us, here, in the yoga room. Lights go down. We are ready. Shut up. Legs crossed. Om.




© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



I am the Devil


crossroads sm2


Dealing with our demons is not easy. Egocentricity should be regularly denounced.

 

The more I find myself and the more I disgust myself.

The more I look for certainties and the more I find ruins.

The more I invoke peace and the more I collect threats.

The more I live life and the more I die slowly.

 

I climbed a mountain to dominate from above. From a hill I saw the deserted city burning in the sun of summer, all around pervading a nauseating stink coming from the sewers. There was no more water, every source was drained. It was the city of the dying, a metropolis in which the mediocre ruled and where if you had no more skills, the greater were opportunities you had. All were masters in getting away from responsibilities. People, to be no less, took them as an example and everyone was afflicted with an exaggerated sense of personal importance, accusing of each other of a presumed superiority.

 

I isolated myself to understand. In the desert of my desolation I was often overwhelmed by despair and sometimes I cried.

Coming to the famous crocicchio of crossroads, I met a well-dressed man. The jacket was white and even the pants. He was wearing a black shirt and a red tie, a wide-brimmed hat and a carnation in the buttonhole of his jacket. He had sparrowhawk's moustache. He looked like the guy who came in without asking for permission and who presented himself without a call. I waved a greeting with my hand.

 

- Hello – he said – I'm the Devil. You surely may have heard of me.  

- I'm just a project, I'm still an embryo.

- Welcome inside you. Are you sure you want to continue?

- I'd say so.

- Do you need company?

- I wanna be alone.

- As you want. If you need, call me.



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




Feel like home


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In the last few years I have had the distress of a long list of things I don't like to do, with the consequence I don't know what satisfied me. Only now I can understand what I want, I suddenly realized it or maybe I always knew it and I didn't see it.

There are days similar to a detachment from freedom, because the rhythms your heart has to resist seem unbearable and you think you don't have time for the spaces you love.

By nature, I've always become familiar with the corners than the roundness. Sometimes it happens to me to be in a place hoping to leave it as soon as possible. Typical feeling of who is inadequate, dissatisfied, unrealized. I felt I was in the cage, pressed in schedules and depressed by the torments. Work absorbed all my time, my energies, and I've always been indifferent.

For habit I walk fast, stacking up asphalt without looking around me. One afternoon, while I walked through a carpet of yellow leaves along the streets of my area, I thought about all this. I felt that walking, I disposed of the accumulated frustration. I stopped myself in the square gardens. Old men was playing cards. Dogs were running across the flowerbeds. A little girl was learning to ride a bicycle and a group of caregivers was talking pushing the wheelchair of the assisted disabled. Secluded, near the trees, two teenagers exchanging romance. If it was an impressionist painting, its name would be "late afternoon". I breathed deeply and I relaxed myself. All that life was flowing in front of my eyes and I was inside it just watching it.

I stood up from the bench and continued my walk. I arrived in front of my first home, not far from the current one, and I was staring at the small balcony. the clothes was hanging and the window was well-lighted. I always used to pass it without thinking I had lived there in the early years of my childhood. I felt in perfect balance on an imaginary axis. I was at home.

Now I like rest myself looking at the living terraces full of plants. Walking by the bakeries by tasting the sweet scent which blends with the salad one. Breathe the atmosphere of city farmer's market. read on the benches at the park. I am delighted with the presence of excellent pizzerias and the certainty of continuing to try them without deciding which one is the best one. It keeps me alive, all this life I had never calculated, what I want is here - it's always been here - around me, a place to get rid of my tortures, making my life a piece of art.



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




Dot Space Dot


sos


Suspended between the show of the world and the show business without distinguishing the discrepancy, I assist with lack of motivation of the slow flow: even the most accurate GPS could guide me in the right direction where drive at. It's a euphemism defining all this "show".

Last night I dreamed of my father who ended his earthly experience one morning two years ago, after a long illness.

When death knocks near you, it changes the punctuation of life and, despite this seems a fight to keep away the moment of detachment, is a vain fight. It's the only certainty and the only real fair thing.

In truth, life is simple: we know we have an end point (we only don't know when) and we should fill the empty space down to there.

I think about all those who have carried their secrets into their grave, who believed to be right even if he/she didn't. I think about all those who, persevering in their comforts, appeal to the revisionists: In the end, they will think about all. I think about who was an hero, just for one day...or a thousand. I think about who didn't see that day. I think about those who bring existence on a stroll, convinced it's socially useful to be able to download it as a tax. I think about those who have run to chase and show themselves, to impose and cheat, to those who slim down their bellies, fattening their ego.

I'm not sure there is eternity, but we all know there's an after us and about that after there's no possibility of intervention, every artifice will be useless.

As long as we travel along our way, we go from one point to another one. Nothing more and nothing less. That's how for everyone, no one is more wonderful than his neighbor. There's only one thing to decide on how to fill our own edge, walking barefoot on the paths of every sacred day.



   © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




Rider on the storm


Jim-Morrison


I've always been a chronic immature, in the balance between the gears of passing time, a body which inexorable fades and the surrounding environment which judges my movements.

 

Who am I really?

What I let shine through and what do I hide?

How do other people see me?

Who would I be?

 

Dilemmas. In my life, the most onerous case is to live my life and the lack of some practicality. You can ask me to paint the finest imaginary painting (actually I can't do it) depict the whole humanity, but not to plant a nail to hang that painting.

Sometimes I felt like an unfit stubborn and a failed of good hopes, and I was getting irritated by the fact it was pointed out because it was like putting a knife in my sores.

Judgment of others is an intimate violation you don't remember having granted, even if it often is reasonable and weighty. It's not comforting to be fooled because It's like making fun of the sufferings and problems of another person; Moreover, it's a useful game for not focusing on your own life.


My real me never appears, my ego swaggers and beds down, my unconscious drives the car.

I'd like to conquer other dimensions and new possibilities, if only I could raise from the ground. The body, the ambient and the time, continue to dominate me, keeping me in survival mode.

I'll be sitting on the seashore waiting for the wave to ride, or you'll find me lying on this bare ground to feel a breath of wind and grab it.

The clear sky will come and I can do it, like a knight who has crossed a storm.



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017





Candyland


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Translated by Emilia Maiella


Music, yoga, a book I’d like: everybody has the right of some revelry. If any authority supported this, I would vote him, no matter what. I don’t care about speeches stuffed with new meanings, life flies by too fast.

The joy of living, maybe rationed, should be offered by public health service, have care to guarantee enough delight, not only work exploitation. Is it possible to produce happiness?

Streets full of groups playing blues and jazz bands, festivals and carnivals for suburban neighbourhoods. Offer the goods God has given through the great minds of Leonardo and Michelangelo, the landscapes of Monet, Manet, Renoir, the colours of orange from Vincent, even without forgetting the incursions of the Bristol’s anonymous and all those things there. Let get lost the strawberry fields and flutter in the marmalade skies, go down in the depths inside a submarine yellow, in the time of an eternal spring.

Let me only see verses and prose on the posters, plays in the squares, fairs in the markets, places to devote to whom used the science for good ends, and to those who put their own intellect at the disposal of others. Of what was once needed to discover the futility of today and how the convictions are turned changing the perspective. Everyone have their own things to hide and nothing can be erased because everything remains somewhere, let that part become wisdom.

Let me save a clean thought for those who wish me bad luck, so that they will loosen their fury on me. That my time becomes a companion, that the hands of the clock become caresses and not axes anymore. Anxieties and tensions dissolve, fears and anguish vanish and remain that state of well-being, the tranquillity that makes you look to the sky without thinking of anything.

They say the end is like getting off a bus to get on another. Let's say it’s just be another dimension and give the gladness, the marvel, the regular breath and then I will retreat to the trees to look from other perspectives, such as the Rampant Baron of Calvino.

It will be just like an eternal Candyland but no one will wake up as a donkey and school will be a game to play.



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017





Praise of tiredness


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We are planets outside our orbit. We inhabit sepulchres for living beings where we leave photos that change every so often. We mark dates and reoccurrences, we post epitaphs that someone reads every so often but we also send messages to those who aren’t there and can’t respond, almost certain that they can however read, as if after all we know the parameters of other dimensions. And we have friends, someone the best, someone else who deserves it, and we like, we vote, we express, today we are enthusiastic and tomorrow we are astonished, testimonies of our public diary.

I truly needed to wear myself out, I who is middle aged and now chronically tired. The effort takes away all the same old stories, if not always, at least sometimes. I needed to slim down my calendar, lose myself in boredom, stop my mind. I had to organise my confusion, empty my nothing.

I no longer understand when spring arrives and when summer begins, I recognise no extremity. I’m suspended and I find balance in this state. You can call it posture, gravity, balance, but understand that it is so and it was and it will be. Without knowledge of your own condition, outside of space, time and substance, you exist equally. It’s only the exhaustion of the absent, what is missing but still present.


The italian versione of this post



CAGES:

Read this free preview on Google Play

Read this free preview on Amazon

MY INTERVIEW ON THECRAZYMIND

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



 

In my country


DB-17420



Translation by Yaiza Cañizares

6.45 pm. It is about to begin the yoga lesson. I arrived earlier. The instructor is talking to a lady who is usually my next-mat neighbour. I sit between them because I listened to their conversation. The woman takes her cellphone and shows us pictures from Accumuli taken some time ago. They are rubble, it is the earthquake.

- I have a small house in Umbria - I tell her - twenty kilometers from Norcia and twenty from Visso. My father was from that area. Last Monday I was in a meeting with the Civil Protection for the practicability of my home.

- What a mess! - she continued - I spent my childhood and my adolescence up there, and look now…

 

The others are arriving one after another and the lesson has to start. I sit cross-legged with my hands on my knees, but it’s hard to get relaxed now. The childhood and adolescence: those words  have opened the box of my memories.

That day, while I was waiting for the chief of the Civil Protection, I went to visit my father's grave. The cemetery is located just outside the village. While I was walking, I looked at those places that somehow had marked my summer days. Up there, right in the middle of the mountain that dominates the center of the village, when we were young boys, we had built a hut: just a slum of bamboo sticks, but for us it was a luxury chalet, a place where smoke and eat all the fruits stolen in the fields. From there, no one could find us without we could see him coming up. At those times, it was a relief to have some moments of control over  our own adolescence. In that part of the Valnerina, the road where the trail begins to climb up to the top, it is now  closed for the landslide.

Once, the village was developed around the historic center. There were two bars nearby and people used to come out from one to enter in the other.

The first bar was spacious and we could sit to plan some project to escape from the boredom of the hottest hours. The second bar was smaller, but the warehouse was used as a game room: billiards, pinball machines and jukeboxes that we played using only one coin for the whole evening. On the other side of the road, a grocery store would serve slices of chocolate  for snack and breakfast with capture flavour of old times. We used to wait for the baker´s van to help him unload the baskets of bread. The smell of white pizza with rosemary and red pizza with anchovies are memories that still nourish my salivation today.

Every 15 of August the village would expect the match between bachelors and married men which, in reality, was a parade of carts from  both parts. During the journey from the village´s center to the stadium both teams would exchange jokes and hard hits: it was a war!

Peace would only arrive in the evening with a barbecue in the village square: toasted bread, sausages and fogliata, an Umbrian pie made of vegetables, bacon and pecorino cheese. And of course, wine! Later,  people would dance all night long, waiting for the fireworks. We discovered so many things in summer, sex and the first binges, terrifying  jokes, and all the other experiences that would have been useful later in life.

Today the center, it’s been moved. A bar, a restaurant, a butcher´s and a supermarket are located at the entrance, near the sign of Welcome in Borgo Cerreto. Next to Nera’s riverside. beyond the river, a green sea of fields are irrigated by a source that gushes from the mountain. They extend beneath the valley crossed by the ancient path of the Spoleto-Norcia railway: a series of tunnels, bridges and viaducts form the rock. My uncle was the stationmaster of the hamlet of Saint Anatolia.

The entire area has become an immense parking area, where people park their cars the whole night; thenwaken up by the lights and the rescue sirens.

Not only does the earth but also the soul shakes, and the origins resting here as well. We would run among the poppies and every day we could hear the sound of Sunday. We have never been so free.

 


The Italian version of this post



CAGES:

Read this free preview on Google Play

Read this free preview on Amazon

MY INTERVIEW ON THECRAZYMIND

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017


 


The Super Cashiers




Translated by Emilia Maiella


Preview by Emmanuele Caltabiano

With his “Super Cashiers”, Enrico Mattioli gives us a desecrating and jolly break in the modern life. Forced in a job transfigured into the quintessence of our capitalist life, Enrico's characters become the personification of sophisticated paranoias and composed neuroses.

Through a systematic proposal of unusual conversations, made of politically incorrect answers that challenge our civilized common sense, Mattioli makes us see, in all their bareness, the contradictions of a life ordered on repeating and redundant patterns, made of facilities where the most creative essence of human soul dissolves in favor of an ordered sequence of actions, fragments of real life and pulverization of the whole human being.

The only solution in the face of this loss of sense is a transfiguration of one’s own essence, an overcoming of the professional person condition. The cashier becomes a “Super Cashier”, capable of putting the tiles back together proposing new eccentric forms that free us from the sense of constriction and emptiness of everyday life. The line to the checkout is the stage of this new superhero that exercises his renewed un-consciousness applying them on the unaware components of the line itself, little fragments of the stereotyped society and the modern culture. 



 


I wrote two books set in the mall and supermarket: La città senza uscita and Avvisiamo la gentile clientela.

The stories told in the format I'm about to initiate are partly inspired by those two texts, but also by probable situations. 

Having worked for nearly thirty years in the field, I have been able to observe the category, but in this space, there is no demand of psychological or social analysis. In SuperCashiers’ pills, there is only bitter laughter, melancholy and some spite. Who is lonelier than those who work for the public?

 

Enrico Mattioli

 

 

WHO IS CASHIER?

 

From the dictionary

 

Who in a company of friends administers the common money, who in an administration handles the cash with the task of performing the collections and the payments, who in a public business makes the receipts of the retail sale to the clients is a cashier.

Every cashier is the projection of the store where they work; and, being an image, represents the company. Some of these people sacrifice themselves, others don’t give a damn, others suffer the situation. 

Bellagente Supermarket’s cashiers, to stand out from those of a normal business, like to define themselves as Super Cashiers.

Every day they work with the public and think of themselves as subtle psychologists, they believe they can understand someone’s character from the items they buy. They often lose their temper, struggle to express their personality. Above all, they are persuaded of having a supernatural power that derives from managing a sacred thing: the queue.

 


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Lady Poffin


Ciccio Dello Strambo

Mister Ciccio Dello Straccio


Lilli Capavota

Miss Lola Capovolta


Vacca

Mister Vacca


Leopoldo Canapone

Mister Canapone


avvisiamo la gentile clientela



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© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017




© Enrico Mattioli 2017