Monday, November 6, 2023

The Ides of March (Idi di marzo) - Valerio Massimo Manfredi

I knew about the topic of this book from my high school years. I don’t know how many times I had to translate some of Caesar’s and Cicero’s passages as part of my Latin classes. Yet, reading Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s version of the events that lead to Caesar’s assassination - enriched by details, characters’ insights and cultural references - was a real pleasure.
As usual, Manfredi’s books combine the competence of an expert and the skills of a talented novelist. A good way to learn history, especially if you are not keen on reading specialized textbooks.
The story: Caius Julius Caesar has recently pacified the state.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Theorem (Teorema) - Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote this book and directed a movie with the same title. However neither the movie is based on the book nor the other way around. They were written at the same time: two sides of the same coin, or - like the author himself likes to say - two plates of the same diptych. Was Pasolini a genius, you might be wondering? Oh yeah, he was.
This is a very unorthodox book. Is it a story? Well, yeah, but…Is it prose? Well, yeah, but…Is there a timeline? Well, yeah, but…Is there a location? Well, yeah, but…