Il Lunario e lo smarrimento del Paradiso

Claudio Piersanti

I’ve never fully understood what Celati was trying to fix in the various tormented drafts of this novel. It seems to me that none of his other books have had a comparable fate and personally I’m convinced that the only way to modify a book that doesn’t satisfy us is to write another one. There are monolithic writers who write endless variations of the same book, sometimes with stunning results, and others who transform themselves (as far as possible) every time they start writing a new one. In my opinion, Celati belongs to this second category and no revision will erase from my memory the souvenir of the original draft. I remember what Roberto Bergamini, an astrophysicist, a friend whom Celati knew well, told me about my first book: "Too bad you cleaned it up, I liked more the first draft that you had made me read, weird as the story you told". Well, if Roberto were still alive he could legitimately say that the authentic writing of that book was the first one and I could not contradict it. Half a century later, I think he was right.