Those who are passionate about books should take a peek at contemporary fiction. You may come across excellent readings. In fact, there is often a sort of prejudice towards contemporary authors, especially if they are young. Many readers, in fact, stop at the “classics”. They come up to Kundera, perhaps, and certainly to Eco (who already have all the symptoms of the classic, of the book that remains in the history of literature), remaining imprisoned in the nostalgia of the “once” masterpieces. It’s true. Difficult today to find eternal books, but. Certainly, however, there are excellent readings. Even among young authors. And if it is true that we are persecuted by the various Giobbe Covattas and by the manuals for singles of Littizzetto, who jostle among the best sellers of Grisham and Follett (alas, the anglofilia prevailing sometimes risks becoming .anglofollìa), it is also true that there are also interesting narrators, and moreover our own. Apart, of course, from the already established Alessando Baricco (acrobat of literary artifice), Stefano Benni, Nicolò Ammaniti (his last book seems to be beautiful) and others. Any examples? Christian Raimo, published by minimum fax:
- “Latte” is a collection of biting stories, which alternate irony and restlessness and which outline the profile of a somewhat dispersed generation. How beautiful, in Italy, when a publishing house challenges a market that arbitrarily considers the story as a literary form of series B, subordinated to the novel.
- Perhaps we were stuck in those “Promessi Sposi” which, at school, prevented us from appreciating Calvino, for example, and – for foreign literature – Hemingway and Borges. Great storytellers, superb examples of the story. A story that in Italy is appreciated by a niche, the majority, in fact, prefers narrative. Imagine the challenge, therefore, when the collection is signed by an Italian, and unknown, moreover. The short breath of Raimo’s fiction is apt, it works.
- The same publishing house has also published a beautiful novel, “Mosche a Hollywood”, in which the young Alessandro Fabbri tells the adventures of two Italian boys in a bizarre California, struggling with shady characters. A rhythmic novel, very successful. In recent years, another Italian author published by Fazi, Rocco Fortunato, has come to the attention of the public with two novels “I wanted the kidneys by Mick Jagger” and “Fabbricato in Italia”. The first is the story – between irony and disenchantment – of a dialysis that afflicts, and conditions, the life of the protagonist.
- Last year, the same publishing house published “Sarah”, the very happy novel by a young American author (only twenty years old) that has become a real literary case in America and England. It is the story, suspended between a fairytale atmosphere and reality, of a young firefly: son of a prostitute, Sarah adopts the name and feminine clothes of her mother, and turns – first sanctified then demonized – between pimp-shamans and clients in search of a little affection.
- For the more “antiglobal” engaged in reversals and social complaints, Luther Blissett have been replaced by the initials Wu Ming 5 (Fanucci publisher) and have published “Havana Glam”, a story set in a science fiction future that passes though Cuba and the struggles imperialist. In short, there are books that deserve, even in contemporary fiction. This is why it becomes important to stay in the bookstore, attention to what is published today, and that is not part of the usual best sellers who attack bookshops. We also need to understand the styles, the different directions that fiction takes. The language evolves, the themes unfold in different ways. Appreciating not only the “classics”, therefore, is good for the good reader.
Nabokov said it was important to try that “spine chill” to hear that a text was indeed literature. Good literature. Here, today it is more rare, we admit it, to feel that thrill, tried a thousand times before the masterpieces of literature. It’s not impossible, though. Maybe it will be just a thrill, maybe just a very pleasant hour spent with some story. But it’s beautiful. It’s nice anyway. Literature is part of our life, it is not detached from it. It is interesting and somehow “right”, therefore, to capture and taste the folds of contemporary narrative. The “classics” will not be offended.