Leonardo Colombati
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Scrivere per dire sì al mondo

Reading is one of the most pleasurable solitary vices, capable of making us remember, imagine, and move with an intensity that disregards where you do it (in bed or on a train) and when; Italo Calvino argued that when you read, “you decide time.” The great authors, from Dante to Flaubert, from Tolstoy to Proust, from Kafka to Joyce, through their privileged points of view, enhance our perception and our gaze, and thus teach us to look at the world with new eyes.

Therefore, Leonardo Colombati, writer, literary critic and creative writing teacher, takes us by the hand and leads us on a journey of rereading and analysis of works of genius, investigating-from “beginning” “to end”-the essential components of literary creation: the definition of the self, in appearance that of the characters, in reality that of the novelist and, surprisingly, also of the reader; the multifaceted use of the word that goes to make up the narrator’s voice (or, better said, “the illusion of a voice”); the creation of the characters, some of whom have become true “characters,” such as Don Quixote, Falstaff, Anna Karenina or Lolita, and who ultimately fall into two broad categories, the Ulysses (“with his beard and scar”) and Hamlet (“with his tights and skull”); the management of time, so compressed in books compared to what we experience in our own lives and, unlike in the real world, capable of moving forward and backward at the author’s will; and then love, the only real poetic theme. And how can we not dwell on the role of memory, from Proustian madeleines to the tale of Ulysses at the court of the Phaeacians, and the healing power of reading?

Accompanying the discussion with examples from the greatest novels of world literature, Colombati thus composes a personal ideal library, to be drawn on in search of inspiration and food for thought, and through which authors speak to us and listen to us, in a constant dialogue between narrator, reader and characters.