A dystopian future to be read

Interview with Luca Cherubino and Andrea Toso, writers and protagonists of Romanzo Italiano.

04 Mar 2020

Romanzo Italiano

Romanzo Italiano reappears on Eppela with its fifth crowdfunding campaign and it does so with Wildworld, a unique anthology series in Italy that is changing the way of writing (and reading) novels.

Wildworld is the series that shuffles the cards between reality and fiction with a sequence of titles intended to compose a powerful fresco of society and the country.

In this interview we decided to investigate the topic of dystopia by asking the two authors of the new Wildworld works directly, Luca Cherubino, author of "The Overton window" and Andrea Toso, writer of "The Human Material".

But let's speak directly to the writers!

Tell us something about yourself. When did you start writing and why?

Luca Cherubino - I always liked to read, even as a child, but the desire to try my hand at writing blossomed much later. More precisely, a few years ago, during a trip abroad, the idea for the drafting of my first novel, "Viola" surfaced in my mind. The singular fact is that everything happened in the course of an evening. In less than three hours I set up a plot that remained almost unchanged.

Andrea Toso - For more than ten years my profession has been writing music. Which has its own language, a syntax, a grammar. Composing a melody is very similar to building a phrase or a period, what changes is the alphabet that is used. Moving from notes to words was natural, spontaneous. Reading has also always been a passion, which has led me, since high school, to undertake humanistic studies. Books have enormous power, affect the growth of all of us, insinuate themselves and guide us in the choices we make, lead us to be what we are. Writing this first novel of mine also helped me to look at what's around me in a different way.

How did you meet Giulio Milani?

Luca Cherubino - I was lucky enough to meet Giulio during the writing of "Viola". He helped me correct it and thanks to him I learned some concepts that had not even touched me before.

Andrea Toso - A few years ago, through some friends, I had the opportunity to read some books published by Transeuropa and written by young authors. Not obvious novels, aware of the direction in which to go. Since then I have started to follow carefully the publications of this publishing house. This is why, once I finished the novel, I started to find out more about the work of Giulio Milani on the web. I got to appreciate him as a writer and get to know about his scouting activity: when I learned about the Wildworld series I didn't hesitate. I sent the manuscript via email and it all started from there. So I got to talk to him in person, discovering a passionate and prepared professional.

Two books that deal with a dystopian and gloomy future. Projections into the future of fears of the present?

Luca Cherubino - I believe that dystopia is a useful narrative tool to "push" people to reflect better, or in any case, to induce them to look around. Of course, none of us have the magic wand, but sometimes it is enough to observe the present to understand the future.

Andrea Toso - The future that I imagined in the novel, on the one hand, has solid roots in the present and, on the other hand, fishes with the hand in the past. In fact, I did not invent anything, except a chronology of historical events on which to build my story. We live in a time in which eminent institutional figures, therefore not only politicians or intellectuals deployed but also those who should be super partes, fear the return of form-fascism and fear for the very holding of democracy. If it is true that history repeats itself over the centuries, what I describe in the book is one of the possible variants, certainly not the most desirable, in the hypothesis that what many believe and publicly denounce is already happening.

What does it mean to be a writer in Italy today?

Luca Cherubino - It means living on dreams. Let's face it: writing by profession is almost impossible. So anyone who approaches writing does it out of passion. And for passion each of us spends hours and hours in front of the computer. Sometimes I ask myself: what if I write by profession? What if they pay me to do it? Well, maybe I wouldn't have the same thrust I feel right now.

Andrea Toso - Referring to fiction, I believe that being a writer today means exactly what it has always been over the centuries. That is to say. Marquez wrote that "the narrative was born that day when Jonah returned home and told his wife that he was late because he had been swallowed by a whale". I also believe that the writer's playground is where the mechanics of everyday life jam, for any reason, and the succession of repeated events that lock down our emotional reactions is turned upside down, thus showing the human being for what he is . In this sense, writing can be a very violent act

What do you think of crowdfunding? Would you recommend other writers to use this tool?

Luca Cherubino - I answer as De Andrè would have answered: People are known to give good advice by feeling like Jesus in the temple. Joking aside, I recommend everyone to do everything possible to make their dreams come true.

Andrea Toso - Absolutely yes. Until now, I had never been part of or joined a crowdfunding project. The idea of creating a community that can give life to a project, of whatever nature it is, is to be enhanced.

To support proposals attributable, in this case, to publishing, in a period in which the writing and art market in general is experiencing a moment of difficulty (let's say to be optimistic), with the risk of not giving space to artists of talent, it is important and I invite everyone to do it.

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