“A crush between love and prejudice.”
Corriere della Sera

Splendore is a book with a strong power of attraction; Mazzantini tells, in a very sensual way and without clichés, the emotional world of male love.”
NDR Matinee, Buch der Woche

Will we have the courage to be ourselves?  
This is what the main characters of this novel ask themselves: two young men, two incredible destinies. One is restless and eclectic, the other carnal and tormented. A single identity to be put back together, like the tiles of a mosaic cast into the emptiness. An unbreakable bond, at once violent and creative, imposes itself as their own nature surges up in them – a high wire spanning the abyss of an entire existence.
The two protagonists grow apart, geographically distant, and establish new bonds. But the need for the other persists in the primitive abandon that brings them back to themselves, back to the place where they learned about love, a fragile and virile place, as tragic as rejection and as ambitious as desire. The sentimental initiation of Guido and Costantino covers the seasons of life, infancy, adolescence, and the ravages of adulthood. They put everything in jeopardy, every other emotion, every hard-won certainty, even their own personal safety. And every phase of life amplifies that nostalgia for the age of splendor, which the two men lived like warriors with broken lances.
The protagonist’s narrative voice has a poetic clarity that evokes the naive epic feel of literature’s great incompetents – it soars and plunges acrobatically, tragic and joyful in the thousands of inlets of this both classical and experimental novel. It is a novel that changes shape, just as love changes shape. It strips us of prejudices, exposes us to vertigo, liberates us. It has the loneliness, audacity and meloncholy virulence of all unforgiven love chasing the illusion of potential splendor. It is a novel that is unlike any novel, because no love story is like any other.
But the story of Guido and Costantino is also a voyage across many modes of literature, a kaleidoscope of suggestions that cover archeological time as well as the here and now… a ventriloquial lacustrine Rome, echoes of Greek mythology, a London swirling with extravagance. The story dares to bite into the most uncomfortable wounds of love hovering over the very men that attempt it, the love that artists have always tried to capture because they find in its beauty a reason for being, beyond any judgment.
Margaret Mazzantini gives us a hypnotic novel, suffused with a light that shoots you in the back, advancing with a mad urgency in a narrative that goes against the grain, claiming the right to transform shame into beauty. Literature has the right to awaken us and leave us in the stupor of a resounding dream – because the real scandal would be not to look for our true selves. In the end we each know that we can only be who we are. And the real splendor is our singularly suffered diversity.


Details +

Publication date: 29.11.2013
Publisher: Mondadori
Number of Pages: 312
Country: Italy

Editions +
Splendor Mondadori - Numeri Primi
16 June 2015
Прелест Colibri
1 September 2017
Splendeur Robert Laffont
1 January 2017
Herrlichkeit Dumont
1 June 2016
Herrlichkeit Dumont
1 June 2015
Blask Sonia Draga
1 October 2016
Siyanie Azbooka
1 June 2015
Sijaj Mladinska
1 March 2017
Esplendor Seix Barral
1 June 2016
Hela härligheten Contempo
1 March 2016
Schittering Wereldbibliotheek
The Netherlands
1 May 2017
Schittering Wereldbibliotheek
The Netherlands
1 April 2016
Parıltı Doğan Kitap
1 July 2017
Foreign rights +

Foreign rights sold in

Bulgaria: Colibri
France: Robert Laffont
Germany: DuMont
Poland: Sonia Draga
Romania: Polirom
Russia: Azbooka
Slovenia: Mladinska Knjiga Zalozba
Spain and Latin America: Seix Barral
Sweden: Contempo
The Netherlands: Wereldbibliotheek
Turkey: Doğan Kitap

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