sábado, abril 01, 2017

My Inner Vision of Italy: "The Brewer of Preston" by Andrea Camilleri



As with cinema, when I’m reading something like a Camilleri novel, it’s always possible to discuss its heightened reality. You concentrate life, as one does in theater. The proscenium arch for film is its syntax. Some thoughts arise, like when discussing reality. Imagine you ask someone who is talking about another person, "What are you doing?" They answer, "Well, I'm trying to tell you this and that, etc.” But you look at them and say, "No...What are you doing?" They get somewhat thrown, or agitated, or confused. Eventually lines are drawn. It's such a simple question. But it is really asking for you to really meditate or think about what this whole process of communication is really up to. What rules are being followed...what political system of exchange is really going on? What part of this is really a card shuffling act? What shifts of power are taking place in this exchange? What are you keeping me from noticing? What is being depended on? The question is simple, but the reality of the exchange is buried. There may not be words to describe the real chemistry of the exchange, and there may be issues about the decimation of personality inherent in the query. The many levels of reality that exist do not necessarily lend themselves to what Camilleri desires in his writing. The Italian reality that Camilleri's typing fingers align with, that offer more chance and accident may not inherently bring forth mysteries or truths, or even depths of experience. It's the arrangement of the reality, the artifice of the presentation, the syntax of the language of editing the events which takes place behind the scenes that manifests the gestalt of the experience. I think it was Antonioni who said that if one could explain a film, then it was not a film. Adding more realistic transactions in a design does not promise a quantum leap or realization from the experience. It's the reader, or the film watcher who adds their reality to these set conditions, and ours hearts, conscious and unconscious minds weave pearls of understanding upon them. A book is the launch pad. Whatever reality it contains will always be one of omission. That’s what draws me in to the Camilleri novels. We’re not reading about the “real” Italy (or Sicily to be more precise). What I’m reading is my inner vision of Italy. Nothing else.

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