Books, Antonio Valitutti’s debut in the novel starts from a prophecy, destined (perhaps) to come true “inta ‘a natu munno”

Books, Antonio Valitutti’s debut in the novel starts from a prophecy, destined (perhaps) to come true “inta ‘a natu munno”
Books, Antonio Valitutti’s debut in the novel starts from a prophecy, destined (perhaps) to come true “inta ‘a natu munno”
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  • by Antonio Valitutti
  • Edisud Salerno publisher
  • Pages: 232
  • ISBN: 979-12-80697-00-4
  • Price: € 20.00

Antonio Valitutti is a tireless reader before being a writer. You can guess it from the many cameos set in the lines, cultural, artistic, musical references that embellish, without weighing down his writing. A writing that after dozens of legal publications, essays, and appreciated ‘hermetic-romantic’ poems, now arrives at the novel with “The mystery of the gypsy”published by Edisud Salerno in the Nuovi Orizzonti series.

President of the first civil section of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Antonio Valitutti was university assistant, lecturer in the Higher School of the Judiciary and today he actively collaborates with several Italian universities. Lecturer on issues related to law and justice, he is a member of the Scientific Committee of the magazine “La Nuova Procedure Civile”. Musician, he plays guitar and sax and has written two acclaimed classical guitar studies.

From this, albeit extreme synthesis of the Author’s biography, it is nevertheless possible to parade the two red threads that inspire his life and activity: justice and culture. And precisely justice as a stubborn search for “truth” – there truth, not a truth, what is humanly possible to reach -, and culture as a means of self-construction and prodromal to “thinking well” and doing well are, in an equally extreme synthesis, the same two fils rouges underlying the novel. The messages, let’s say, in transparency, between the lines of its two hundred pages.

The plot of the crime story in which the protagonist is projected – a “well-born” lawyer, belonging to an illustrious family, originally from a small town in the South where he will return after a long time to help unravel the problem – thus has a dense and composite warp, with a fast pace, however, up to the solution of the case. There are two levels of the story, on the one hand the search for the truth about a crime, the rape and murder of a young woman, against the background of other crimes that are also somehow connected. On the other hand, intersected with this, the level of memory, with the bursting emergence of a certain long dormant memory, the encounter with a gypsy woman, Miriam, and with her prophecies. And that it will reveal itself, but we will not reveal how, much more than just a memory.

Antonio Valitutti speaks good and bad about the South. And the his Sud, he was born there, in a provincial town that has certainly changed over time, but of which he has experienced the attitudes of silence and inertia as well as those of gossip and slander. And backbiting, as ultimately bullying, can kill. How do you get to the truth, he seems to ask himself in the book, if you don’t listen to the other’s version? And then through the description of these dark sides of the provincial town, as well as in the dialogues with the priest in another moment of the narration, he sees an opportunity to talk about social differences and the urgency of a change of attitude towards the less fortunate. and of greater sensitivity, more generally, towards the pain of others.But the beauty of the South is also told, in the natural and urban landscapes, in the architecture, in the colors. Colors that Valitutti uses in an instrumental way here too, the blue of the sky as an invitation to look up, to leverage optimism to counter nihilism, for example. Colors never chosen at random, such as red, a symbol of passion and ultimately of love, of the gypsy shawl, just “a brushstroke on the wall”, in memory of his departure in the protagonist’s mind.

Which is Luca Pogliani, a lawyer who practices in the North, in this clash and then meeting of cultures that the book, among other things, proposes. Even the choice of a lawyer is not accidental, but as the Author himself had the opportunity to tell in Rome last Monday, during a meeting attended by Piero Curzio, President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, from the qualified parterre on the occasion almost exclusively linked to the legal world, it represents above all a dutiful homage to the figure of this professional, whom, as a judge, he knows well. But above all it means the recognition of the essential function of lawyers as promoters of protections, those who collect life, and life in the most difficult moments, of pain, to bring it as an instance of justice to the judge. Many times with courage. For this reason the author entrusts to a lawyer the task of interpreting the values ​​in which he believes. For this and because the inspiration to write a novel came to him from this character, who can be said to have gone looking for him, and around which he built the plot.

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A plot that has the rhythm and color of yellow, certainly, but that the gypsy of the title opens to a third level of meaning, which can be interpreted in various ways by the reader. It is inspired by the legend of the Bella Mbriana, a figure of a Neapolitan legend, beneficial as long as the people of the houses they visit show themselves grateful. Then at all. The meeting with the gypsy Miriam is also an autobiographical element, a real episode in the writer’s life, which happened to him in his youth, and the same prophecy, if it comes true, somehow also comes true for him, “in a different world, inta ‘a natu munno“. That new world that the Author sees, towards which the optimistic curvature of the book tends, and which each of us can contribute to building.

And the truth is a bit of this Author’s obsession. Laura Perego, one of the female characters of the book – all strong and positive, in a tribute to the figure of the woman to whom “as a man he still feels indebted” that runs through the whole novel, which emerges in the dedication at the opening of the book, in the ” thanks “heartfelt addressed to his life partner, Patrizia, during the presentation – perhaps for this magistrate-writer he represents the ideal Public Prosecutor, the one who does not interpret his role in a purely accusatory direction, which does not stop tout court at the evidence of clues given for certain, but which pursues the truth in the confrontation that follows, perhaps, the clash. A mental openness that the Author always and in any case finds desirable and that alone allows redemption and, finally, justice.

There is therefore in this novel much of the long career in the service of justice of judge Antonio Valitutti, there are his pains as a man and his echoes of real life. And next to this everything that fascinates him, the music of yesterday and today, the readings, the love for art, the homage to the dialect, to be preserved, a certain moving empathy towards the other. There is all this, but the book can be read in one breath, as they say, for its smooth writing, well-constructed dialogues, the very rhythm of the thriller plot that intrigues the reader, makes him enter the world of the writer. and there he holds it, until the final epilogue.

The article is in Italian

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