Soft, intense, moving.
Illustrations by Paolo Fresu
A feather is for flying.
Giorgio Faletti bids farewell to his readers from the pages of his most beautiful, original and touching book. A story with a moral, that with the most innocent eyes walks us through the uttermost ignorant, petty aspects of humanity, all the way to the deepest meaning of things, of their existence, and of the end.
After the official presentation of the book in Turin, I interviewed Roberta Bellesini, Giorgio’s widow, to ask her how this latest book took shape from Italy’s best-selling late author who loved New York and whose hit “I kill” was published in the US.
Roberta, “LA PIUMA” – The Feather, Giorgio’s last book, so different from his previous ones, tell me about its birth and the characters.
The project started in 2010, in his free time between other projects. Its very uniqueness is due to the fact that it was actually thought as a musical. Paolo Fresu’s illustrations throughout the book were meant to be costume and scene designs. The characters are allegorical figures of life’s aspects. So we come across the characters who symbolize political power, religiosity, love and even sex, till we meet the ultimate character… but I will say no more! Some are very attached to material things, others are in a strenuous search for their dreams and ambitions…
What motivated you to have this project published?
Many friends and fans kept asking if there was anything else they could read after Giorgio passed and I just felt like all of his work should come to light. So after much talking with our closest friends and the people Giorgio used to work with, I decided “La Piuma” should be published. The work was already complete, with lyrics and music for the songs.
When interviewed you said Giorgio envisioned the story to be a musical, do you think some day it will be, maybe even performed in NYC?
As ambitions as it may be, I would love to see it happen just as Giorgio wanted it. Why not, after all? If I’m going to dream, I might as well dream big, as in the “big apple”!
Giorgio was such a multi-talented artist, from writing, to music, to comedy and drama. Is there a story or a passion he had that you want to share with us?
Towards the end of his life he developed a passion for painting. He started almost as a game, then a gallery manager, Tiziana Leopizzi, noticed his works and displayed them in Florence, Bologna, Genoa, Montecarlo… Painting gave Giorgio a sense of freedom. His teenage side found expression on canvas. An expression of his irony and sense of humor, pivoting forces in his life.
What is NYC to you and what did Giorgio love so much about it to live there for some time?
New York has a special place in my heart. Though Giorgio always used to travel a lot, he and I had never been to the US before meeting. So I would say it’s a city we discovered and got to know together, we even fell in love with it and decided to buy a house. Giorgio loved how New York is like a big open cinema set and would walk around looking for places where scenes of films were shot.
In our magazine different cultures are often compared. What are the biggest differences you found between New York and Italy?
Something I really love about America is that if you have the skills, preparation and ideas, you can achieve what you want. Merit is an important word in the American culture. Italy has some set characteristics in its DNA: creativity and flexibility make us very versatile. Such and more qualities are what Americans envy about us!
Going back to books, what would you say to young authors trying to promote and publish their books?
Provided that anyone who writes a book is confident about their story, first off they should have an agent read the draft, get some feedback about it, possibly be addressed to the right publishing house. What I really want to recommend though is, in order to write one should be an avid reader! Very often you come across some really good stories which don’t have equally good elaboration, a sign of an inexperienced reader.
Many young people are trying to find success abroad. What are your thoughts about that?
I am very much in favor of going abroad for experience, from studying to working, all that experience can contribute to growth. What I would love is to see successful artists come back to Italy to showing younger generations what we’re worth!
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