Evil regenerates in the dark
Now, however, it is no longer the time for doubts or questions, but the ax of justice must be lowered. Cut off a head, another sticking out of the great fascist hydra. Jackal heads regenerate in different forms, from the same evil. He will try to stop them as long as he has the strength to do so. Following the words of Piero Calamandrei, Carlini associates evil with a hydra, a symbol used by the anti-partisan departments of the Nazis. An evil that regenerates itself from a sort of original sin, from what the protagonist calls “national amnesia” and the other amnesties. The Greek origin of the two words is the same: the root lies in forgetfulness; but if the first implies an act of negligence, a lack of memory, the second leads to a conscious indulgence, to the grave decision taken by Togliatti in ’46 to reconcile the country and which was not digested by many.
“Band of the 1100”
The alter ego of Buono, the deputy prosecutor Aldo Marano, moves against the “gang of the 1100”, as Fiat is defined by the police, the “ghost car” used for ambushes far and wide in the province. , which was catapulted to Ferrara from a village in Irpinia to face a double challenge. He must indeed prosecute those who coldly carry out a series of heinous crimes – including the massacre of fascist prisoners which took place in the Ferrara prison on June 8, 1945 – and, as a prosecutor, bring to the bar the republican torturers of the local police who have carried out torture and massacres in the city after the fateful 8 September. A huge task that places the lawyer in front of a personal, even existential test, which makes him discover the submerged world of the “jackals”, as Marano calls turncoats and double agents, those who have passed from one side to the other mocking to remorse and managing to survive justice.
The man and the magistrate
It complies with the law, which should have no color [..] Honoring the truth at any cost. The magistrate’s dress is made of courage and humility. A good resolution for theory, a little less for practice. -court. Various politicians, supported by a reckless public opinion, have gradually exploited the individual processes to be able to defuse their gravity. In contrast to the contemporary, to numerous titles that from the shelves undermine the trust in the institutions of Italian citizens, Carlini’s Marano tries to restore order, to defend legality and democracy, although it is not easy, due to the experiences lived firsthand. . The friend and colleague Pasquale Corelli (a tribute to Pasquale Colagrande, killed in the fascist massacre of the Castle) was brutally assassinated by the Republicans with a volley of machine guns. And the deep desire for revenge that Marano feels towards the perpetrators pushes him to actively collaborate with the local Resistance. What he saw before his own eyes and suffered, derives both from the direct testimony of Buono and from the autobiographical essay Your honor without honor (1985). Even the dialogues in a mixture of Italian and English between Marano and the American army officer, William Crago (another real person), assigned to the allied administration of Ferrara, come from the original reports of the Amg (Allied Military Government) , the Anglo-American authority that ruled over the newly liberated peninsula.
Between reds and noir
The definition of “noir” in literature can hide limits and pitfalls. The jackals can undoubtedly be inscribed among the “novels of the return”, which have had illustrious models in the works of Beppe Fenoglio (The pay of Saturday), Ignazio Silone (A handful of blackberries) and Carlo Cassola (The girl of Bube), but above all in Giorgio Bassani. The tribute to the writer from Ferrara emerges in the character of Clelia Bassi, which echoes Clelia Trotti in the short story Una plaque in via Mazzini. In turn, Carlini is based on the story of Alda Costa, reconstructing the relationship between her and Buono, then praetor to Copparo and her jailer. The judge, who admired the woman’s determination, constantly helped her, providing her with the best possible accommodation, and even acting as a link between her and the few surviving Ferrara socialists and her. Buono was the only one to attend his funeral on May 1, 1944. Carlini, linked to local tradition but also projected towards American models, above all Ellroy and Capote, goes beyond the analysis of a partisan world disappointed by a rebirth of the promised country , but not realized, and the refusal of the “new” society which leads to the adhesion to crime. The author describes an armed revolt of the self, the self-referential uprising of a criminal gang made up of false partisans and republican infiltrators.