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“The mountain, more than a geographical place, is an experience: that of a world powerful in its resistance to certain crazy vertigoes of modernity, but absolutely marginal”. And just like the mountain, the figures who have inhabited it, and who inhabit this audiobook, are marginal and powerful. They are the wolf women, capable of “facing the grave of the world head on”. They are balenghe, different, eccentric, “all cut down by the same sentence of marginalization, used by the community to always stage the same plot”. Yet, perhaps for this very reason, charged with a dark legendary force.
A researcher goes through the Piedmontese valleys doing interviews with her tape recorder. They told her about a woman, Fenísia, who lives isolated in the Little Country, near the old cemetery: she is the memory of those places. She was born in November 1928, she has never lived anywhere else and “her family’s job has always been that of the burial”. Thus begins the relationship between the writer and the elderly woman and, rough and pressing, the story of a life unfolds from which emerge female figures impossible to forget: the mother Ghitín, the grandmother Malvina, the blond cousin Grisa, “a bisquí of seven beauty “, locked up in a mental hospital for daring to rebel against a violent father.
“Sweat to men and pain to women”, life in the valley has always been very hard, especially for those who have the misfortune to be born a female. Gradually the memory produces a whirlwind of stories and a raw feeling of anger; atrocious events experienced by girls and women of all ages, such as those of the “balenghe”, buried in the meadow that Fenìsia sees from her kitchen … a crowd of ghosts whose appearance she can even imagine, and to which she feels she belongs. Because she too keeps a secret, and has a conviction: there is “a dot that is the place of the greatest lucidity and the greatest intimacy with oneself: inside, everyone knows by infused science, in the language of secrets and whispers, that revenge is the wisest thing “.
God hates children … well …: evidently he hates women to death. More than a valley of wolf women I have seen a valley of the dead. Dead who don’t know they are. “Human” beings who are brought into the world because it happens in nature but in reality with a well-marked destiny: no hope, no evolution … nothing. Suffering as a constant in a completely useless life. I don’t want to completely dismiss it because the writing is never banal and is sometimes poetic but on the other hand it is difficult to follow it due to this great use of the Piedmontese dialect.
I really liked, in the contents and in the linguistic style, particular depth and acuteness in the description of the exterior and interior, the narrator very good, with a very pleasant voice, a timeless story that describes the woman in every time and place
an extraordinary, raw, realistic story to reread in one breath. A special, lived interpretation. I recommend it to those who love to brush up on habits, beliefs and rules “of the past”
Beautiful book, fantastic interpretation. After an uncertain start I was kidnapped by the narrator and the story … I recommend listening to it.
Congratulations to the narrator, it was a real pleasure to listen to her in the dialects too 🙂 An intense story, which has left me several times with anger due to the injustices described. Never boring, it exudes truth.
A splendid discovery the Pariani. Sensitivity of a great anthropologist and exciting language, capable of dragging you into times and feelings of the past. Moving and poignant.
Really exciting! You can’t stop listening. I had never read anything by this author, but it was a pleasant surprise.
a story that makes you great company, transporting you to an ancient world far beyond simple dating. a story of fatigue and terrible abuse, of unhappiness without name and without recognition, of women and men and animals. a beautiful book, a song at times heartbreaking and cruel, at times lyrical and very high.
beautiful and wonderfully interpreted book. the writer takes up the story of those women who opposed patriarchal stereotypes and obedience at any cost. A feminist but not feminist story, recommended for all male as well as female audiences.