THE COMPENDIUM OF THE DEAD
A novel by Alfio A. Bertoni
Feletto Umberto- Tavagnacco (UD) Italy
address e.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The valuation of this complex work, complicated in the architecture
of it's very rich topics and characters asks for a preliminary
vision of the structure, inspired by the sacred medieval representations.
With intervals and comments, the story of Carlo is written
into his writings, like the songs and prayers of ancient texts.
The novel is set in Gorizia, a city less known for it's illustrious
history, a city today in decline, a sleepy depopulated city
where the words "No se pol" (It's not possible)
Carlo, the main character of this thriller is accompanied
for the last challenge in the personifications of Raffael
and Asmodeous, the angel and devil of the sacred representations.
The compendium of the dead is in reality, a novelistic nucleus
that fundamentally describes the last days of Carlo's life,
extended by means of a great number of additional stories,
attributed to the same pen as Carlo: A compendium of the
history of Gorizia.
The writings of Carlo are a true novel in a novel inspired
by facts pertaining to the history of the city, events, descriptions
and facts often forgotten, but known to those who know the
various texts, studies, letters and articles of local interest.
Carlo, as author of the Compendium of the history of Gorizia,
rewrites, in his view, some topical moments of the city's
history, starting from the death of Leonardo, the last Count
of Gorizia until arriving at the present day. His inclination
for pessimism leads him to write negative choices, often describing
deadly events. From Carlo's writing emerges the frustrations
of an unsuccessful historian, with an infantile passion for
mythology and the contempt for his own fellow citizens. For
the descriptions of his characters, Carlo utilizes the people
who surround him as a model, but they are always the same,
and the hatred towards others leads him to violently suppress
his own characters "How many times do you kill me in
your book?" Enzio his brother will ask him.
Even the beautiful invention of a sealed literary testament
from Leonardo is not developed by Carlo in his skill for further
novelistic ideas, and he lets his thoughts dry up until, little
by little it loses any narrative value and in the end becomes
like a museum piece.
Carlo, the main character of the Compendium of the Dead has
grown old prematurely and in his misery has become a nasty
person, a prisoner of his depression. He lives in a false
reality which involves, in his every perception that the decadence
of the city appears to reflect and support his own ill-humour.
Among the condemned, is his son Luigi, who is forbidden to
grow up, two women, one reduced to beg for memories of her
murdered daughter and the other compelled to love against
her will, Umberto, an ambiguous childhood friend and Dino,
the drunkard, who with, Carlo, incomprehensibly, share their
most intimate thoughts.
Carlo holds a grudge against his twin brother Ezio, maybe
because once upon a time in the past he was the favoured son
of their father, and it is precisely this jealously that Carlo
will throw all his major hatred towards his brother Enzio.
The cruelty blindly starts off on the characters of the book,
but it will also become known and real for his fellow citizens,
to be cruel without justification.