Having a muse of fire
Presentation of the book by Piero Somaglino, Seb27 Editions
Speakers with the author: Alfonso Cipolla and Nicola Persico
"An extraordinary novel where dreams, adventure, puppets, theater, anarchy, socialism, love, madness, and the myriad threads of all these wondrous passions are woven together in a highly documented story. A funambulistic tribute to Gian Renzo Morteo and Giovanni Moretti!"
This story takes place in the last two decades of the 19th century, between Piedmont, Argentina and what accidentally lies between. Jean, a humble but educated young man, escaping the narrow horizons of his Alpine valley, learns what theater is, its ephemeral and elusive showmanship, the exclusive "pact" between actor and audience, working first for the Turin company of the Lupi Marionettes, then with the Anglo-Saxon company of the Holden's Imperial Marionettes touring Europe and South America. Real characters (well-known and less well-known) alternate with invented ones, amid historical documents, punctilious reconstructions and verisimilar reveries. Meanwhile, all around flows the flow of events, the chronicle of the time; including epidemics and riots. Guiding the young protagonist's journey will be the words of William Shakespeare's plays, translated and whispered in his ear by the steady voice of Elaine, the intrepid equilibrist daughter of Thomas Holden; but also the ideas of social justice, spouted in rallies by Edmondo De Amicis or printed in his friend Renzo's printing press. A narrative rambling, an allegory of theater enclosed between small and great History.
PIERO SOMAGLINO.To editor he prefers the craft title of editorial editor, an activity that has allowed him to make a living for more than 30 years. He has previously meddled with theater, its making and history, as much as with a congruous number of other corbels. Since 1992, as a publisher, he has edited a catalog purely focused on historical and social research nonfiction. Having consumed quite a bit of his time among the yearnings of authors and the reluctance of readers, he has acquired a detached awareness of the meaning of bookmaking and the "infinite vanity of it all." Today, when not applying himself to the craft, he basically reads for solace, practices hammocking and travels the continent by bicycle. This is his only novel, he promises.