Do you know who Fruttero and Lucentini were?

Ulf Andersen via Getty Images

TURIN – JUNE 20: Italian authors Carlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini pose at home on June 20, 1987 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

Do you know who Fruttero and Lucentini were, indeed F&L? I ask my 22-year-old son, but I would like to ask many young people who leave the high schools to enter, face-to-face or remotely, the university classrooms of our beloved country. The answer is obvious: “I know who the Beatles were, not Fruttero and Lucentini”.

Yet, ten years after the death of the first, the opportunity is tempting to remember him and try to make him known to those who have never heard of him. Marcello Sorgi did it splendidly, recounting the sobriety of this elegant Turin at the center of Italian culture, without knowing what the center was, without ever working to put himself at the center. It also happened to me to come across the wiry figure, a few steps from the “Porta Rossa”, the restaurant he usually frequented. It was raining. Turin was shrouded in clouds and mysteries. Afraid of being annoyed, I hesitated for a moment before approaching but I could not restrain myself: “Good morning Master”. And he, with a slight smile: “Master of what?”. I replied: “Ah, of many things”. He asked again: “Tell us which ones.” Instinctively I uttered two words: “Of intelligence and imagination.” He inquired about where I came from, told me something about D’Annunzio, shook my hand and slowly resumed his journey.

Then one day, on August 5, 2002, the other half decided to end it by jumping from the stairwell, putting an end to the suffering that had marked him for some time. And Fruttero was left alone, in the Maremma retreat, alone and in the company of a memory, the daily phone calls he exchanged with Lucentini to modify a word, an object, an environment of the book they were writing.

Perhaps it is a duty, rather than single titles, to advise young people to open the double Meridiano dedicated to them, edited by Domenico Scarpa, “Works of the workshop”, to make clear an itinerary of greatness, traveled in pairs and alone, to grasp the refinement of intelligence, the vertigo of imagination, the traits of a writing that conquers you without making you a prisoner, a partnership of sparkling creativity, enriching language, recurrences and twists, denunciation, also, of hypocrisy and foolishness of the human. Two fairy-tale personalities, like Calvino’s fairy tales, which Fruttero read to his little daughter Carlotta: “Let’s read only one fairy tale and then you sleep”. But fairy tales, Carlotta recalls, always became two.

Here, Italian culture, and young Italians, have not only lost Fruttero and Lucentini. They have lost the fairy tale, the taste for an invention that knows how to be, without presumption, the truth. Behind the masterpieces, behind “The Sunday woman”, “At what point is the night”, “Enigma in a place of the sea”, “The Palio of dead districts”, behind the thriller, the detective, the crime, hides, hides well, the greatness of intelligence and imagination. The light touch of classicism. And if, remaining orphan of the couple, go and discover the Fruttero of ”Chiffon panties. Paid Memories “and” Women informed on the facts “, which I gave to a Public Prosecutor, you will pass from one night to the next, walking among the books waiting for the dawn.


Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.it.

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