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Book Title: Kalme chaos|
The author of the book: Sandro Veronesi
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2768 times
Reader ratings: 6.1
Date of issue: 2008
ISBN 13: 9789044611748
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.41 MB
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To a great extent this book lived up to the high expectations I had, but it also disappointed me somewhat. Veronesi is a skilled writer who can bring both action scenes (the strong opening scene for example) and multi-layered introspective scenes to a good end (a bit like Tim Parks); he's a clever narrator who offers more than a funny story. The interesting thing about this book is that it is a frame narrative: different people approach the main character Pietro Paladini, after his wife has suddenly died, to tell him how they are suffering from little and great insecurities. To them Pietro seems a beacon of light, someone they can trust because he also suffers (which is not true), and everything Pietro says and does, confirms them in this view (Veronesi himself points to the parallel with "Being There" by Jerzy Kosinsky).
Veronesi handsomely depicts the "little life", the messy, yes, chaotic way of living of most people, people who are capable of great, exalted acts, and at the same time cherish backward thoughts and do vile things; in this book we see how Pietro gradually seems to cope with this, also in his own life. The underlying message of Veronesi seems to be: "life is chaotic, but just go along with it, don't resist, just let go".
It's also fun that Veronesi, through the question of the merger of the telecom company of Pietro with an American company, and through the character of Pietro's brother Carlo (who is a jetset fashion tycoon), also brings the so-called "higher" world into his story, and in an incredibly ironic way shows how hollow this bright world really is.
On the other hand, over time, the story starts to bore a bit: all these people who pass and tell their story, and Pietro's patient introspective, in the end it seems to go nowhere. There is also hardly any evolution in Pietro's character, except at the end, but even that is not really spectacular.
My disappointment with this novel also is connected to a more personal feeling. This book made clear that I still have very ambiguous feelings towards Italians and their way of living. There was a time when I was really into Italian culture, I devored and adored everything of this seemingly rich, attractive and lively culture (yes, including the frantic media shows). But over time, I grew tired of it all, and especially the hollowness of this world: a façade-world where aesthetics is only cultivated for the sake of aesthetics, a world full of exuberant and noisy gestures and rituals, which were on second look primarily intended to be mask the emptynes of life. I apologize for the generalization that I subject the Italians to (because I'm aware that similar characteristics can be found in many other cultures), but in Italian culture the contrast between appearance and reality seems to me to be brought to the farthest point. By reading this book, these ambiguous feelings I have (attraction and repulsion) came back to me (although also Veronesi conveys a critical look on his culture). I suspect that this is one of the reasons why ultimately I was not completally overwhelmed by it.
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Read information about the authorSandro Veronesi, born in Florence, Tuscany in 1959, is an Italian novelist, essayist, and journalist. After earning a degree in architecture at the University of Florence, he opted for a writing career in his mid to late twenties. Veronesi published his first book at the age of 25, a collection of poetry (Il resto del cielo, 1984) that has remained his only venture into verse writing. What has followed since includes five novels, three books of essays, one theatrical piece, numerous introductions to novels and collections of essays, interviews, screenplay, and television programs.
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