La conta degli ostinati
Short story collection
160 pages, € 14.50
The count of the stubborn
Stubbornness is the fil rouge that connects the eighteen stories in this collection.
The characters remind us of mules – stubborn, understanding, funny, smart, independent and unpredictable. But what make this fictional characters stand out is their relentless drive towards ill-fated delusions, their almost unearthly energy and nonconformism from back in the day.
Several stories take place in some undefined past, without the slightest hint of nostalgia. In fact, the past itself seems to be imbued with life and faults and strength, ready to side with us in our struggles.
The leading themes are love and death, which coalesce into everything human: from football matches to the experience of diversity, the stories lead the reader through extravagant boondocks and snow-clad squares, along impossible voyages, picaresque quests and wild adventures.
Love is almost inevitably thwarted and wronged; death is either tragic or ridiculous; work is hit-and-miss; but faith in humanity, even if crippled, remains unbreakable.
The characters’ names are old-fashioned, and so are certain aspects of their behaviour. Some of them express their wishes and feelings with enthusiasm, some are more reserved, while others are simply unable to communicate. What they all have in common is their will to shun the gilded embrace of social life, to retreat into a peaceful corner where they are free to carry on with their bittersweet lives.’
The author’s language often drifts towards orality, hitting close to home with his fellow Ticinese readers. In several instances, the characters are clumsy in giving voice to their thoughts: a linguistic uncertainty that somehow reflects their way of life. They live as they speak – randomly, tentatively, chasing after feelings, dreams and a perhaps a glint of happiness.
Friendships get broken and mended, love is unthinkingly declared, people act recklessly, madness lurks. The stubborn people of this count are ultimately libertarian people, giving shape to a polyphonic novel of sorts.
Giorgio Genetelli was born in 1960. Before words, dust was his tool of the trade – the dust from the many roads he loved to roam as a kid, and the sawdust of the trees he, as a carpenter, carved into new shapes when he grew up.
He wrote his first novel, Il becaària, in the attic of what was once his house in Moghegno.
Tragically broke, but with enthusiasm to spare, he decided to invest in his talent – a creative energy held back for far too long and now needing to be nurtured every single day.
Although he hardly ever visits it, his bond with his native town is as strong as ever. And every time he does visit, he knows that he will be disappointed by the absence of some things, people and customs that he thought were forever – just like the still plane trees in the square.
The town of his childhood lives on in his mind, providing the setting, if not the subject, of his prose.
Genetelli is a writer – he’s not afraid to call it his job anymore – and a highly prolific one to boot. Most of his works are very short stories.
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