For the full text of this review, see:
or, in Italian:
Edgar Allan Poe, after whom a street is named in Bologna, wrote an essay on ‘The Philosophy of Composition’, and José Saramago has very recently named his latest novel Essay on Lucidity. If in the world of letters composition can have its philosophy and lucidity can be the subject of a novelistic essay, solitude too can have its logic, and thus La Logica della Solitudine emerges as the title of the debut novel by Rosarita Cuccoli, a native of Bologna who has already published L’Amore Più Profondo, a volume of poems which appeared in 1998, also under the Pendragon imprint and with a preface by Vincenzo Bagnoli. Certainly, in this new book of the author’s we are dealing not with an essay but with a novel, but by the end of this finely sensitive narrative the reader may yet wish to extrapolate some conclusions – none too comforting – about human relations and the solitude they paradoxically generate. ** The narrative follows the time-honoured path of the star-crossed, man-woman love story, suitably updated for the age of the Internet. It is told throughout in the third person, obeying the general conventions of classical realism and with the events seen entirely from the viewpoint of the female protagonist, Anna. An Italian student in Cambridge, Anna falls in and out of love with Marco, a co-national also studying there, but Marco fails at all moments to show the commitment which Anna from her side both offers and demands. The narrative traces Anna’s passion and disillusion in linear fashion and in the past tense, with interpolations in the form of letters and e-mails. **
** My review was originally offered as a speech (in Italian) at the official presentation of Rosarita’s novel at the Pendragon bookshop, Bologna, in September 2004.
** ROSARITA CUCCOLI’s site is at: http://www.rosaritacuccoli.com/ ** Below you can see some photos from the presentation, including Rosarita and myself (the photo of me is by Rosarita); one of Bologna’s finest monuments, the Abbazia di Santo Stefano, and one from Cambridge – Trinity College Library; plus an image of ‘La Logica della Solitudine’ itself.