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And we come from Milan, too, because the factory of ideas from which the “alternative” agenda was born (I apologize) came from a very fertile ground, which mediated between living things. The taste of the Milanese cabaret of previous times (put Jannacci, put Beppe Viola, shake it), Radio Popolare, Gino and Michele with Nico Colonna and all the others. Times – 1978 – stupidly told only as fatal, gloomy and “leaden”, and where instead instincts of genius snapped, acrobatic intuitions one of which, in fact, Smemo. It was a kind of distinctive sign, of semi-clandestine samizdad, at the time, but it already had its big squares and a strong identity. In short, she knew how to mix belonging and lightness, superpop with her feet on the ground, democratic but without beating up too much. Who would have thought, then that more than a publishing enterprise it seemed like a goliarda of free spirits, which would have marked and contained the sentimental education of millions of children? And that those kids would become adults by keeping them all?

Well, yes, Smemoranda is mostly school stuff, of course, and it goes back to school, right? Perfect. And in fact, nothing like leafing through your ancient Smemo gives us back, vivid, our young lives. Because “as we were” is only the premise of “as we are”. On “how we will be” we will see (how scary!), But it is likely that we would have in hand (in two hands, which weighs!) A Smemo to mess with.

The Literature Festival of Rome asked me to write and then read an unpublished text. The theme was: writers / readers, the bandits of words. Here it is (it is long, it is not mandatory, I know people who have not read it and live very well, but in short, who cares …)

Thanks to them a little less, if I have to be honest, because theirs was a horrible blackmail. An absurd and impossible request and that is to pull out of a hat – a gigantic hat, an immense hat – a sentence, a quote, a quotation mark of those who changed my life, who explained to me what to read, and why not I would never stop doing it.

In short, I appeal to the benevolence of all of you, if you are a reader you will understand that it is not easy to find that phrase, the very words that opened the world to you. For this reason I am willing to all possible pandering, to extreme paraculism, to the point of saying: “Hey! I’m a reader too, we’ll get along!

But what do you want? Could you put me looking around the house for Treasure Island to say about my first jump on the chair? Whether it goes to dig among the beautiful words of others, the effective phrases, those that maybe occasionally serve to impress, or because you know how to hook them to a situation, because you use them as a caption, a stupid seduction:

Here. I’ve already screwed up. I declare myself inadequate to the task, I give up, but at the same time I intend to sell my skin dearly and I remember this sentence, which is a beginning, which is a shot, which is a bet, and a promise, and a challenge:

Here, you see it. It is not a historical phrase, it is not even the one who remembered the ice in front of the firing squad. It is not even Holden who says about the books that have electrocuted you and that you would like the author to be your friend and be able to call him on the phone whenever you want.

It is the opening words of The Nose, by Gogol, which is already an absurd story: how do you lose a nose? And how does that nose take a carriage and go around Petersburg, detached from its general, the owner of the nose, the rightful owner? Absurd, yes, true. But even more absurd is how you end up in it.

Dig a hole in a wood, in the middle of the path.

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