Letter #4 (or, Of Writers and Demons)

Dear Alessio,

I don’t remember whoever said that in life you learn your trade, and put it away – the usual people’s sayings – which, inevitably contain a sum of the truths learned by experience, and most of the time, are as straight as a line of coke. Saramago loved those, he used common sayings extensively in his books, as counter points to his own affirmations – he would go on and on building his case, his thesis, making sure that you, the reader, would follow and believe him, until bam! He would place a common saying stating the exact opposite, and you were left wondering, and now which side do I fall on? Lovely.



Sicily sounds amazing. Sicilian people are great ones, and like all the islanders, a bit shy and closed in the beginning, but very warm once they’ll open their heart to you. Modica is very small, but from March onwards you’ll get sunshine and warm weather. Do ride around and get all the smells in you. And come here and visit me after the six months’ll be over.

Ellis is a genius, if not just for American Psycho. Glamorama wasn’t as good. I liked also Less than zero, it’s a very raw version of American Psycho really, where he let his guts guide the writing, and not his head. Oh, now I just added two more books to my reading list. If only I could just read, write, watch movies, play my guitar. Like, being sixteen again.

Your story on Erika De Nardo is mesmerising. I’m dangerously fascinated by madness – isn’t that the demonstration of how all of our evolution and reasoning, our power over nature, our forbidden bite of the fruit of knowledge – isn’t that all, I was saying, a demonstration that we’re only animals, alive for chance on this rock adrift in space?  Fascinating. And you’ve just won ten thousand brownie points for your professional stalking – I love OCD people. That’s why all of my lovers have been borderline crazy, or full on nuts. Poor kids of mine.

But I’d like to know a couple of things! One, what is going on in Erika’s head? Did she obtain catharsis from that insane, horrible gesture? Is she at peace with herself? And, second, what did you write in the email? Did you make her feel hunted, scared? Did you bring back the horrible memories of a life past? Does she want to live a normal life, or does she hate herself because she’s still stuck there in the darkness of her heart?

Well, so. Elements for a book indeed. Or a short story. We should get together, when I’ll visit Italy, me, you, Veronica, Kim, Ema, Stephan, and yes, Paolo as well. Can we do it?

Apologies if my words make less sense than usual. I will blame, as any good Italian would, not myself, but Satie, this horrible flu, and the government.

Un abbraccio,

a presto


ps. of course, I won’t proof read before hitting send.



6 thoughts on “Letter #4 (or, Of Writers and Demons)

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