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Giornale di adolescenza ( Adolescence journal)
1


The “journal” begins in 1936 with Mario Morrone entering the junior high school, and arrives to 1940, when Italy joins the war. The town is Naples during the fascist period, a popular but also middle class town, suffocating, miserable and grey like the whole country.
But this pale and sleepy town slowly changes during the novel until the scene of a party during the war time which shows the fire underlying the ashes, embers of exasperated life: it is these fury and fever which would explode with liberation and the post-war period. In the meantime, in a middle class block of flats filled with rancor, anxiety of social revenge and dreams of glory, Striano sets Mario's family and as he carefully follows each evolutionary stage of the boy, never forgets the context: parents, relatives, neighbors: wounded men, dreaming women, anxious young. The writer's eye is sympathetic but at the same time hard, dry, cutting. Young eyes which already have the detailed and bitter regard of the great historical novel, Il resto di niente . Here each character has been portrayed with a flemish- like precision even if the design is not intimate and is never pleasing nor pleased, never gentle because the young writer ( Giornale di adolescenza has been completed in 1958) refers to the lesson of the great European realism: never forget the wood while focusing on a single tree and never forget the tree while focusing on the forest.
On this vigorous and choral novel, which returns an important piece to the story of the Italian literature of the second part od the XX century, Striano went back with some sound and detached remarks in his anti-roman Indecenze di Sorcier ( Sorcier's Indecencies ) (1978): «It seemed to him that the novel described the poor stuff which Mario and his father brought in the new house: straw chairs tied with strings, pots and pans, broken pillows. There should be also a scene where the father, looking at the sudden overflow of wool from a broken pillow would swear at his lazy wife. The father would guide a porter up the stairs bringing up a cupboard and Mario noted how the father tried to make himself important to his young son's eyes harshly shouting at the man. All those things, his relationship with his father, the miserable life of those times, the endless opening the eyes on a miserable fascist world, even war, wouldn't concern him anymore, wouldn't be no more of interest to him, maybe because he had made a book out of them, a real book, complete, addressed to a public, even if it never reached its public”.
That real and complete book which never reached its public was Giornale di adolescenza .

 
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