21 jun. 2008


Sergio Ferrero. El ritratto della gioconda. 1993. 186 pp.

I enjoy the penunbra of incomprehension when reading Italian novels. I know basically what is happening, but am always in some doubt.

An Italian professor goes to France in his retirement. His plan is to write an essay on a nineteenth century portrait-painter (Grand) who in HIS retirement went back to his home town and painted ghostly urban landscapes reminiscent of Di Chirico--avant la lettre. The professor stays in Paris making no progress on is project until he meets "John Brown," a 25-year old American in Paris. Brown and the professor go to the hometown of the potrait/landscape painter and visit the museum--in disrepair. There is a parody of the Mona Lisa (the Gioconda of the title) that is supposed to be very meaningful to this novel--though I don't quite yet know why. They meet the "princess," devoted to the work of the local painter, and her circle of "fidelissimi." At one point John Brown goes back and disappears. The professor returns, suspecting foul play, and has unfruitful conversations with the museum guard, the princess, the hotel clerk, etc...

I don't know how it ends yet.

2 comentarios:

alexandre guardiola dijo...

hello, my name is alexandre guardiola and i'm from brazil; do you know our literature?

Jonathan dijo...

I know some of the Brazilian poets like Carlos Drummond de Andrade. I've read Machado de Assís too.