The age of the unexpected

«Helena Janeczek writes in a dry voice her stubborn and precise Italian who knows how to snap and whisper.» - Erri De Luca

«A true writer, attentive to the fabula but obsessed with the historical reality » - Roberto Saviano

What remains of the twentieth century? We really left behind forever his dreams, struggles, shadows? It is on the thread of these questions that the writing of Helena Janeczek moves, her talent in investigating the lives of normal characters that, crossing the great reversals of history, become exceptional destinies capable of delivering us, in the imagined story, the sense of a collective heritage.
Retracing the beginning of the last century in search of marginal stories, only partially known, we know the Zanetta sisters, teachers who arrived in the Milan of ferments for the Expo of 1906, who adhere to socialist dreams and then see each other, the youngest, arrested for defeatism in the years immediately following Caporetto. In the Merano of 1920, where there is a healthy air of cure for health problems, we find Dr K., who believes he is at the center of a spy plot born from correspondence with his translator, Milena Jesenská. In this turn-of-the-century Italy, where foreign voices are intertwined with national pride, we then meet the daughter of the great American poet Ezra Pound, who wanders through Venice spied on by a little boy who shared his childhood in the Tyrolean pastures. And the young Albert O. Hirschmann, who joined his sister and brother-in-law in Trieste, a city animated by the hedonistic and mercantile spirit of his fiercely Italian bourgeoisie, the same bourgeoisie that would soon see racial laws fall on its world, as the most unthinkable and terrible of the unforeseen.
But the times of unforeseen events, Hirschmann would later have theorized, are also times of possibility that invite us to think, and travel, regardless of how history went. This is also the use of literature, these pages tell us, to relive from within each personage that past that has not yet closed, to try to collect the unsolved legacy.

Details +

Publication date: 16.04.2024
Publisher: Guanda
Country: Italy

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