Dario Franceschini
Mestieri immateriali di Sebastiano Delgado (The Immaterial Trades of Sebastiano Delgado)
A novel, Bompiani 2013, 96 pages

Sebastiano Delgado is the protagonist of this brief novel, but we know little about him. The author doesn’t give us any clues, only a name. What the author does describe for us, entertainingly and in detail, is the idea that comes to Delgado one night by surprise. As he tosses and turns alone between the sheets of his double bed, thinking about how he would love to have a woman sleeping beside him, he has an intuition that will change his life forever. How is it possible, he asks, that in a world so eager to satisfy every smallest material request, the market doesn’t offer anything for the soul? Thus Delgado transforms what seemed like only a fluke into a successful agency offering those thirteen “immaterial trades” – from “the sleepers” to “the slackers” to “the bullshitters” – that speak to our innermost desires, to those small but shameful cravings that are part of each of us, which we forget in the din of daily life: like the warmth of a caress when everything out there seems too hostile. The force and lightness of Franceschini’s stories rest both on his ability to enter the human soul and describe its most secret needs and on the ability to construct an amazingly entertaining story. Dario Franceschini thrills us with a smile, as if he wanted to share with his readers the great truth of Pessoa, who echoes between the lines: “Literature, like all art, is the confession that life isn’t enough.”


Dario Franceschini

Dario Franceschini

Dario Franceschini was born in Ferrara. He was a deputy secretary of the Democratic Party in 2007, its secretary from February to October of 2009, and the president of the Democratic Party parliamentary group in the Chamber of Deputies from 2009 to 2013. He is the Minister for Culture and Tourism. He made his debut in fiction in 2006 with Nelle vene quell’acqua d’argento, winner of the Premio opera prima città di Penne and of the Premio Bacchelli. Published in France by Gallimard in 2008, the book has received great praise from critics and was awarded the Premier Roman de Chambéry. He published La follia imprevista di Ignazio Rando (2007), the essay In 10 parole. Sfidare la destra sui valori (2009), Daccapo (2011), which was also translated and published by Gallimard, Mestieri immateriali di Sebastiano Delgado (2013). His most recent book is Disadorna e altre storie (2017) also published by Gallimard in 2021.

Foreign publishers of Dario Franceschini’s works
France: Gallimard

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