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Stay on Earth – Claudio Rossi Marcelli

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Stay on Earth – Claudio Rossi Marcelli

My fifteen-year-old daughter hardly ever answers the phone. At home I have to take her off the screen, but when she’s out she doesn’t notice if she rings? Even if she denies it, I have the doubt that she alone does not answer to me.–Valeria

In the book Nothing true (Einaudi 2022) Veronica Raimo effectively describes the separation between the universe of parents and that of children. It is a raw, ironic and profound book that I recommend to you. And of which I bring you the opening words:

“My brother dies many times a month. It is my mother who calls to warn me of the passing away. ‘Your brother won’t answer my phone,’ she says in a hiss. For her, the telephone certifies our stay on Earth, in case of no answer there are no other explanations than a cessation of vital activity. When she calls me to tell me that my brother is gone, she doesn’t want to be reassured, she cares rather than joins in the grief. Suffering together is his form of happiness: common pain, total joy. Sometimes the reasons for death are trivial: a gas leak, a front end with the car, a blow to the head after a bad slip. Other times the scenarios become more complex. Last Easter Monday after my mother’s phone call, the one from a young carabiniere arrived: ‘Your mother has reported the disappearance of your brother, confirm?’. They hadn’t heard from them for a couple of hours. He was out for lunch with her girlfriend, she worried about why she wasn’t having lunch with whoever had brought him into the world. I tried to reassure the young carabiniere, everything was under control. ‘No’, he blurted out, ‘not everything is under control, the switchboard is crumbling’ “.

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