Author: Riccardo de Conciliis
Balcony. Tall building. The street below, very quiet. Night. A man leans against the parapet, and looks at the starless sky and the deserted street. He stands up on tiptoes. He would like to catch a glimpse of the horizon, but although the building is tall, the buildings around it are taller, preventing him from seeing. So he gives up and puts his hands back on the railing, still on his tiptoes. Now he carefully observes the careless pavements. He climbs over the railing, and jumps.
And so I did nothing but listen to him incessantly. Did he finish speaking? I had recorded a second tape, which I quickly inserted into the other recorder and played instantly. That strange word and that particular inflection had not convinced me. And certainly the voice and the words are carried away by the wind: they could never have convinced me that that specific word, that tone pronounced like that, corresponded not only to what I had heard, but also to what I had seen with my own eyes.
When Clisandro fell asleep, I leant on my elbow to watch the soft light sculpting the sheets and the naked, selfless body. The sheets were no longer sheets: they were draperies and dunes, and on the draperies and dunes, like other draperies and other dunes of flesh, Clisandro’s body lay abandoned with such a grace, with such a glow oscillating between gold and silver, that the desire to touch a treasure more precious than all the gold and silver in this world – his skin – became almost irresistible.
“Time goes by: sometimes it forgets us, sometimes it remembers us, and in any case we cannot escape it. But the clemency of time forgets and dulls our sorrows, and once it has blunted them, it distracts us. The seasons change, the colours of the sky and our moods change, and we become someone else. Our existence is marked by the inexorable passing of days that multiply until they become years, carrying away youth and dreams. Is it possible to stop this endless transformation? Anomalies exist precisely for this purpose: their structural oddness allows space and time to twist, breaking through their rigid barriers and becoming fluid and yielding.”
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Riccardo de Conciliis was born in 1964 in Naples, where he still lives. He grew up in his father’s vast library, which belonged to the Neapolitan historian Vincenzo Cuoco, and spent long periods of his life in Africa. Deeply passionate about music and botany, he has devoted his entire life to reading and studying, with the desire to write since he was a child. This is his second novel after the publication of Eteroritratto.
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