Antonio Pascale
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La foglia di fico

What is this book about? It’s about a man who the more he lives, the more he forgets; the more he desires, the more he is disappointed; the more he reads and learns, the more he finds himself confused and afraid: a bit like everyone. That’s why he is looking for something stable, some clear points of reference. Only he, unlike many others, turns to plants, constructing a sort of atypical tale, in which each episode is like a journey (through childhood, through time, through his relationships with women). After all, these magnificent creatures have been here long before us and will be here after we’ve gone.
Plants are beacons; they contain symbols that are thousands of years old, reaching us loud and clear. They defy adversity and thus offer us a model of resistance, for they tenaciously display the power of contradiction: the desire to live and love (expressed by the cherry tree) which can lead to frustration and insecurity; the strength (of the oak) which can abandon us instantly, casting us into despair; democracy as a process of adaptation between depth and surface (the olive); the need for a rite of passage (wheat), for a journey towards death in order to be reborn.
This book is a horoscope, a seismograph, a time machine, as well as a kind of botanical study of feelings. On the other hand, plants are an exceptional tool for dealing with our mysterious, amusing, intricate nature: they resemble us more than we might ever have thought.
In the world there are plant experts and there are writers: then there’s Antonio Pascale, a passionate connoisseur of nature and one of the most widely appreciated storytellers of his generation. He knows how to interact with trees, listening to their stories and sensing their intrinsic beauty.