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Delfini, vessilli, cannonate. Autobiografia letteraria

What does it mean to be a teenager? Where to find friends? How should we think about ancestors? How many forms of courage could there be? Why can’t we help but reflect on God or his absence? What is exile? How should we interpret family? Can we accept legal justice?These are universal questions that represent spiritual stages to finally become adults or remain eternal children.In Delfini, vessilli, cannonate, a title taken from a verse by Giorgos Seferis, Eraldo Affinati attempts to answer them, identifying, composing and collecting the most significant pieces of his life. He thus constructs a book that is at the same time an interior map marked by twenty-one thematic sections, a meditation on human existence, a reflection on the meaning attributable today to reading and writing. Great novelists, classical and contemporary poets populate its pages, in the manner of secret companions and polar stars, bringing with them new questions: where do wars drag us? How can we think about Italy? What is true freedom? Why does the rubble speak to us? Who is the mother? What memory must we believe in? To what extent are we willing to embrace our father? Literature becomes living flesh and an irreplaceable compass, even if shattered by the new digital dimension, to orient us in the void. Thanks to works, luminous traces to follow, we can still attempt to respond to extreme demands: those of the responsibility to be exercised in History, of the revolution we should never renounce, of wisdom to be sought in any case, of the school to be invented always, of senility to be lived, of time to be faced.

Eraldo Affinati lives in Rome, where he teaches in high schools. Among his most important books are: Bandiera bianca (1995), Campo del sangue (1997, finalist Strega and Campiello Prizes), Un teologo contro Hitler (2002), Compagni segreti. Storie di viaggi, bombe e scrittori (2006), L’uomo del futuro. Sulle strade di don Lorenzo Milani (Mondadori, 2016), Tutti i nomi del mondo (Mondadori, 2018), Via dalla pazza classe (Mondadori, 2019) and Il vangelo degli angeli (HarperCollins, 2021).