Ho visto un uomo a pezzi
Seven small explosions, seven pieces of one woman’s life, seven stories. The protagonist of these stories is called Irene. We know about her that she always feels naked in front of people’s gazes, that she has a body that looks perfect but is ashamed of it, beautiful legs on which she often staggers, and a tendency to run away — from home, from love, from all ties — but then, always, to return.
These stories capture the moments when her life suffered a tear, when something happened that resulted in a reversal: the time she went to a stranger’s funeral, the time she fell in love with a boy who bumped into her in an alley in Lecce, the time she took refuge with her son in a closet to hide from ghosts, the time her sister beat her in a swimming competition, the time her parents seemed like children, and the thousand times she returned to Piero, who has black eyes, perfect hands, a wife, a son, and is the only man Irene cannot leave.
Ilaria Macchia’s first literary effort is a constellation of exact narrative devices, which – linked together by invisible threads, pliant spaces that invite to be filled with imagination – build the portrait of a complex woman: restless but frightened, prickly but beautiful, like the jellyfish that give the title to the last story. And who, just like the jellyfish, swims “in one direction and the other, not knowing where to go”-a character capable of speaking to each of us. The raw material of which his story is made is essential, brash, at times violent writing that explores the unexpected hidden in the everyday, disarms us with slight turns toward the absurd, bullies its way into our souls and, looking us in the face, seems to ask us to account for who we are.