Strega Award 1990: LA CHIMERA, by Sebastiano Vassalli
Curiosity prompted me to read it. I wanted to understand why he had been awarded the Strega Prize in 1990. About ten years ago, in high school, I read only one other book of his own (An infinite number) and already remembering that I should have guessed the reason for the Prize.
It was wonderful to read it because I embarked on a journey in 1610 between Zardino and Novara, because I discovered (thanks to the minutia that distinguishes Vassalli’s writing) the customs, the customs of that era. I entered a reality very close to ours where everyone is good at judging without knowing the facts or where (worse) to accuse someone, they invent nonsense. In a world, the ‘600, in which the woman could be blamed for everything above all for the misdeeds of men up to killing (in the case of the book, sending a witch to the stake)
It was nice to discover the reason for the Holy Inquisition, their faults. It is also nice to discover that even then as today, the name of God was used in vain (i.e. inappropriately) to endorse one’s actions. In short, it is nice to discover, as the author says in the comment at the end of the book, how that society is not at all distant from ours and how contemporary Italian thought takes off from the 17th century.
Happy reading everyone
Review by Lucia Faliero
Strega Award 1990: LA CHIMERA Sebastiano Vassalli
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