Giuseppe LongoItalyWriting2001
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My five weeks in Civitella were most enjoyable and productive: I wrote six stories, a piece and a poem; I met lovely and intelligent people from all over the world, and had witty and informal conversations with them, enlarging my experience of art and, perhaps more important, of human soul; and, last but not least, I enjoyed exquisite local cuisine and the care of the staff of this extraordinary institution. All this in the most quiet, magnificent and historical environment one can imagine, combining solitude and social life within short distance of some of the most beautiful Italian towns, cradle of the Renaissance.

Frammento n. 14, Il Pavone

...prima ho visto sua moglie e suo figlio, una donna brutta e un bambino grasso, ripenso a quel quadro d’infelicità domestica, Lei è infelice, gli dico, mi guarda con gratitudine, come se gli avessi indicato un’alternativa, una volta, gli dico, un giudice mi raccontò che sua moglie gl’impediva di suonare il piano e questo lo faceva soffrire molto, poi si era rassegnato, molti si rassegnano, tutti hanno una loro infelicità, sì, dice lui, però io sogno mia madre, mia madre è morta da tre anni, ma io continuo a sognare che non è morta, viene a casa mia, la trovo nascosta dietro la porta del bagno oppure nel ripostiglio, vestita di nero, mi guarda con aria furbesca, poi sento che sta per dirmelo, mi dice quello che devo fare, devi mandare via quella là, dice, e quella là è mia moglie, mamma, le dico, quella è Franca, mia moglie, e lei ride...

Fragment n. 14, The Peacock

...earlier I saw his wife and his son, an ugly woman and a fat child, I think again about that portrait of domestic misery, you are unhappy, I say to him, he looks at me with gratitude, as if I had offered him an alternative, once, I say to him, a judge told me that his wife forbade him to play the piano and this made him suffer a great deal, then he’d given up, many men give up, everyone has his own kind of unhappiness, yes he says, but I dream of my mother, my mother has been dead three years, but I keep dreaming that she is not dead, that she comes to my house, that I find her hiding behind the bathroom door or in the storage closet, dressed in black, she looks at me shrewdly, then I sense what she’s about to tell me, now she’s telling me what I have to do, you have to throw out that woman, she says, that woman is my wife, mother, I say to her, that woman is Franca, my wife, and she laughs...