The Love Before Us

Foreign rights:

Love myths, told like real stories.

Myths are what remain after oblivion, ruin, passing time. This is why they are eternal, because they are basically us. Paola Mastrocola has found a miraculous dimension for telling these infinite stories one more time: in this book, sumptuousness and weightlessness come together for the pure joy of the reader; basically, she talks only of love. Love for a man, a woman, a river, a star. Our illuminated part, the point in which our lives still touch something divine. Love for the world, just as it is.
Each story carries within itself a question which goes straight to the heart. What form can our love take? Can beauty be kidnapped? And what is kidnapping, when you follow a man, or when he snatches you? When you let him look at you, or when you look at him, and you bind him to yourself and he has lost all freedom? And why, at a certain age which we call youth, do we refuse to concede ourselves to anyone, and we play, hover in midair, in flight? Love, as recounted by the Greeks, is heartbreaking. It isn’t a sentiment, it is more: it is the power that binds everything together, the knot which constricts us, the sky above us: what determines us, what takes away our freedom but gives us meaning, elevates us, nourishes our deepest substance as transitory human beings, so attached to life, so loving… Thus, to tell these stories once again is like approaching a world when everything had a soul and sometimes the gods fell in love with us.

❝ … If I were to follow you, Orpheus, you would take me back to the usual life of days which end and begin again, and in the end leave us old, once again on the verge of departing. Love is distance, it feeds itself with inaccessible distances. I don’t have to live with you. It is perfect to love you in this darkness, where I don’t see you and I don’t have you: love is part of death. Like day is contained in the night, like the sky embraces both the moon and the sun… I have become the sky. Love is forgoing you. ❞

❝ Daphne, Orpheus, Helen, Theseus, Ariadne, Psyche, Calypso, Pygmalion, Atalanta… The names of the ancient heroes and gods don’t matter because, basically, they are us. Their stories are our stories. We call them myths but they have the flavor, and the meaning, of our own lives. ❞ 


Details +

Publication date: 18.10.2016
Publisher: Einaudi

Editions +
By the same author +
The moon goes to the movies HarperCollins
25 April 2023
The memory of the sky Rizzoli

14 February 2023
Freethought Manifesto La nave di Teseo

31 March 2022
In alto l'Aspidistra - Foreword Rizzoli - BUR

22 February 2022
The Scholastic Damage La nave di Teseo

14 October 2021
If you were real Guanda

20 May 2021
The wisdom of the wolf Guanda

22 October 2020
Diary of a Mole La nave di Teseo

9 July 2020
The happiness of the floater Guanda

25 October 2018
Leone Einaudi

16 October 2018
The year the leaves did not fall Guanda

21 April 2016
Rebellious passion Laterza

10 September 2015
The Army of Useless Things Einaudi

17 February 2015
A boat in the woods Guanda

16 January 2014
And if wolves brood Guanda

29 August 2013
I Know Nothing of You Einaudi

1 March 2013
What animal are you? Guanda - Le gabbianelle

1 January 2013

Rosaria Carpinelli
Consulenze Editoriali

Home Books Authors Foreign rights Stories About