In undertaking the review of the book, the words with which Manzoni begins the ode V maggio (the fifth of May) come to mind: “ EI FU (he was) “ and howthispoemends“ FU VERA GLORIA?” (Wasittrueglory?).The journeystartsat 9.30 AM on a sunnyday, with a crowd of relatives, acquaintances and friends gathered to paytheir last respects and itendsat 19.30,when the authorremains alone with histhoughts, thinkingabout the unknown of hiseternaldestiny.
In these 10 hours the actions and thoughts of a lifetime flow as in a movie, while the subjectobserves and examines the peoplearoundhim, the family members with theiraffection, friends whofeeltrueaffliction, and thosewho are thereonly to show sadness to family members, butitisonly a facadeparticipation, in facthe describes the attitude of a personwhofocuseshisattentiononly on the crackson the walls and not on the body on the deathbedwhoisbelievedunconscious.
The love of hiswife Rosetta, thatisnext to the coffin and drivesaway the boringflythathadsettled on the nose; it’shighlighted the remembrance of a couple’s life with hiswifestarted in financialhardship, the lack of wood for the heatingat night in winterwhichwasmitigated by their long-lastingembracebetween the frozensheets, exchanging the warmth of theirbodies; still, the memory of the evenings by the fire, in whichplans of a future life were made and, joking, heimaginedhowtheiroldagewould be.
Continuing down memory lane, he relives the beautiful and the sadmoments, the loss of an unbornchildwhoinvolvedhim and his Rosetta, the joy of Federica’sbirth, the fragility of the childwhohadrenewed the fears of hislost son, who, fortunately, proved to be withoutfoundation.
During the funeralprocession, the coffin, leaving the house,along the road notes a putto carved in the tuff and, this, giveshim the opportunity to thinkabout the time spentquickly and superficially.How manymemoriessurfacing, he thought of the politicianwhohadusedhimaserrand boy, and when he hadlooked for him, he hadbeendenied by the secretarywhoreportedthat the Honourablewasnot in the office, a big lie, despite the factthathiscar wasthere in the reserved parking lot, bitterness,disappointment and anger towards the ungrateful and selfishpoliticalclass.In this situation, itcomes to mind the sense of time lost in unimportantthingsthathasslowed the achievement of goals and, sometimes, hasnullifiedwhathadbeendone, conclusion: the failure of dreams and hopesthathaveleftregrets and nostalgia thatmakesyouseethingsyet to be done and thatyou do nothave time to do. The protagonistlooksaround and he sees, half-hidden by a column, an acquaintance and thinks, thereyou are too, youthathavenotdoneanythingimportant in life, evenyour time isabout to end!. The journeycontinues “todayismyday”, I have the musicthataccompanies me, twotrafficpolicewomenthat stop everyone to give me precedence, behind the coffin, my family and up to the thirdrowtherewerelovedoneswhodidnot show off however, you can readtheirtruecondolence in theireyes, whileotherswhogreetthemseveraltimes do so to show off, and thatiswhatannoys me the most and makes me nervous, ratheritgives me anger lookingat the falsehood of chameleonpeople.
Thoughtsoverlap, the spirit of Salvatore remembers the holiday on a cruise with the family, the desire to live intenselythesesevendays, the period of the illness, the sufferingsrelieved by the presence of hiswife, the tirednessafter a day of work, the return home, the need to laydown on the sofa holding his head in hishands, in fact, thiswas the onlyposition thatgaverelief to histerribleheadache. The house, a lifetime of sacrifices in the brickinvestment and now, the voracious and unjust state, with itsheavytaxes, makesuspayhighertaxesthanwewouldhavepaid in rent, makingushate the samehouse. The journey of the body, towards the last dwellingisat the end, itwillsoonenter the dark and cold room whereitwill stay all night, the spirit, whichaccompanies the body, is alone with histhoughtsawaiting the nextday, the family and closerelatives, for the extremeearthlygreeting, and the subsequentburial of the body, leaving the soul free until the resurrection of the bodies. Theyallwentaway, theyclosed the gate, the cold body on which the soul hovers, for a few hours stillclose, whichisonlyatonestep from the afterlife, leaving with the body also the pastbehind, you can not come back.The thinkingspiritwonderswhatwillbemyeternaldestiny; whatwillmydestination be?, howwillmy life be judged?, I havelivedmy life in doubt of howitwouldhavebeenafterdeath and nowthat I amabout to enter the new dimension, new doubts, new uncertainties and fearsassail me, the hopethatjusticeisnot the sameas the onethatis on earth, otherwiseit’squite arip-off. With thisclosure, the author shows the realism and irony with which he livedhisearthly life and nowfaces the eternalone, looking with hispicture in profileallthosewho pass in front of his grave.
With esteem for the work done by Salvatore De Luca, whichgave me food for thoughtabout human existence, the value of the affectsthatgivemeaning to life.
Review of the book : Giuseppe Piluso
Author: Salvatore De Luca;
Book : “Il Viaggio”; The Journey