Il resto di niente (The remains of nothing)
It is a fact, for example, that Naples' culture and about Naples has chosen, since Boccaccio's times, a vehicle such as novel (novel, literary and psychological essay, chronicle, homeland essay designed in a narrative way, appendix story, short story) in order to bring out the epiphany of a generic tendence to sociality generated by historical and urban structures as well as (for what concerns Naples' culture) political and social structures.
The problem of the representation of the town- beyond the limits of neo-realistic formulas, the mythology of «genius loci», the ingenuity, inspired by a pseudo Enlightment ideology, of a Naples ruled by philosophers, free, bold, lucid…with an ideological class able to find out its social and political function- fits with the issue of the town's vocation, which must be found out in order to get a literary resolution and its codification in ideology.
Widening the discourse in the field of urban sociology, Striano finds out some precious traces which lead him towards the anthropological conscience of the social space, category which put together aims, functions, values, metaphors, projections towards the future. From now on, in the philosophical and creative elaboration of the failed appropriation of space-symbol, the primary root of each uneasiness, the writer indicates one of the guidelines of the possible novel about/of Naples, difficult literary gamble (already understood in this terms by Matilde Serao) which he would not escape.
Among the most interesting consequences of this intense reflection on the novel format is the attempt to redisccover the gender novel which he had experimented in Il delizioso giardino (The delicious garden) (1974) and Indecenze di Sorcier ( Indecencies of Sorcier ) (1978), anti-novels beyond whose iconoclastic aesthetic Striano regains all his narrative reasons.
In the same pages of Il resto di niente he will again confirm, through a meta-literary joke, the ethic and civil value which each novel bears.
“But maybe this is time of narrative, Lenòr. Of reflection. That's why novels are fashionable now”.
It is Sanges speaking, one of the fiction characters of the novel, who are mixed and interact with the ones who really existed. He urges the young Eleonora to give up poetic exercises and to commit to an incisive literary engagement, responding to the fast changing of times.
Sanges is, indeed, Striano himself, who would engage a direct, emotional relation with the main character of his novel through a literary artifice. Through this relation he is allowed to evocate many elements of her life as “real” because necessary for narrative as well as revealed by the protagonist herself [cfr. E. Striano , Il romanzo…, cit.]. Eleonora is thus re- created from the writer's perception, who makes her an extraordinary literary character.
Through Sanges Striano can observe, from an internal point of view, the developing of revolutionary process, from the ideas coming from Enlightment to the strong suggestions of the democratic message widespread from American Constitution and from the conquests of French revolution, until the elaboration of the egalitarian freedom design for Naples . The development- for the first time- of a valid Neapolitan intellighenzia at last active, the obstinate resistance of the Borbons, the presence of a wide, out of control , anarchic wave of “lazzari” are described through a multimedia writing, which puts together the writer's -sometimes omniscient, categories and the perspectives gained directly from the scene by Sanges – who directly takes part to all the events of the 1799 Neapolitan Republic as critical conscience, far from every extreme position – revolutionary or monarchic- and by Eleonora, protagonist of the novel . >>>>>>>