Mega biblion mega kakòn, but not always. For example, when you are sorry to finish the last novel of Daniela Ranieri: Updated roadmap of all my kisses (pp. 690, € 19.80), published by Ponte alle Grazie, is a psychomap of a hundred loves and a hundred perfumes, of a hundred feelings and as many resentments that cross the protagonist like scalpel cuts that writing has the power to enlarge , but then heal. The narrator is a woman who despite everything continues to believe in love if only to blame the devil. A protagonist imagined still young who rebels against the condemnation – or the temptation – of never falling in love again, curse thrown “Against all of us: this particular species of us who leads the coldest existence that one can obtain in this life. We live to contradict it; one leaves the house, warms up to another’s gaze, falls in love to blame the devil ”.
Odd book, outdated by writing and editing in current national literary production, lo Road map by Daniela Ranieri happily reveals the author’s training as an anthropologist, with whom she strengthens the joints of reasoning, of a narration made goodbye to lexical variety, of hypotasses, of necessary complexity and of experiences in which even the books read are placed: put with quotations in epigraphs on each of the numerous, almost always short chapters, shorten the distance between the shelves and the practiced life. For if in literature books and experiences do not help each other, then published writing loses meaning (who knows for critics, but readers are certainly allowed to ask each one if it is necessary to write for others).
The squalor of certain Roman suburbs but also of the rhetoric of the historic center, the painful acquisition of awareness in human relationships, are the pulp of the Road map without, however, making him slip into inflated intimism. Distance is thus imposed between the author and a thick array of brilliant promises that already in the first movement of the Arbasinian dialectic are similar to the second phase (that of the “usual assholes”; for the third, of the “venerable masters”, who will live – but maybe not).
The novel is amusing for its abundance of self-irony and painting of types, for moods and anecdotal because, as it is known to the happy few, only the Kafkians and Bernhardians manage to snatch more smiles than the great Dickens than Pickwick Circle. Also book, it Road map, for some D’Annunzio pages: the minute decompositions of perfumes, of which names, brands and individual ingredients are cited, model synaesthesia similar to those of Stelio Effrena when in the Fire delibes and re-translates, note by note, the music he listens to. “It is useless to fight against vanilla perfumes: they go straight to the amygdala like the ash stake in the heart of vampires”. Or, for the Music for a While of the Frederic Malle house: che “It is specious like a medieval geometry manuscript. At the first spray you get the impression that certain balconies overlooking the sea give: you can hear the metallic slap of the wind that brings the milk of lavender grown in wild tufts on the cliff “. Etcetera, et cetera. Even too much.
A varied sample of men of the protagonist passes through the book, which she passes through: the doctor boyfriend, the writer, the traitor, the fetishist, the honorable member, the stalker or even one who always says: “Excuse a moment”, except when he must be careful not to leave the girl pregnant at the fateful moment when the parents of Tristram Shandy, a gentleman, wondered if the clock had been wound.
That in certain cases, in addition to talent, a certain stock of misanthropy and hypochondria is desirable to make literature, illustrious precedents confirm this. And this is the area where to place the Ranieri, which can be placed in the watery book-heart-ASL of many of his (his) contemporaries. The nuances of love, and those of perfumes, intertwine, both mounted on a chronicler’s subtext when he describes this Rome here, full of history and yet so desolate. That “It will become more and more the story of those who one November evening will have waited for the bus, will have complained about the cold and waiting, and the driver will have snorted longing for the bed”. These are the evenings when perfumes are not enough (but how much they help).