Tralummescuro. Ballata per un paese al tramonto (Tralummescuro. Ballad for a vanishing town)
Pàvana, the small Apennine town between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany where singer-songwriter Francesco Guccini was born and where he has made his home for many years, is now nearly uninhabited. It is in the midst of this silence that the author evokes the sounds of a different time, when the mountains were an industrious, lively place, when the land was hard but generous and welcoming for those who knew how to respect it. Reborn before our eyes are people, trades, sounds and hopes in search of a lost time. It is never a yielding to melancholy, but a transformation into the precise re-evocation of gestures and atmospheres, poverty and fears, insignificant lives that are nevertheless full of significance: the craftsmen at work in town or along the river, the first glances exchanged with girls arriving on vacation, the games, the animals and the fruits of the earth, a limited horizon which, precisely for this reason, is infinitely open to the imagination.
A mix of elegy and ballad, poetry and comedy, Guccini converses with the child and boy he once was, playing with words as he always has, blending Pàvana’s local dialect – a spice full of flavor between the lines – with erudite poetic references, inventing and shaping like a smith of days gone by, convinced that the material of memory can live on when words are able to illuminate it and share it with others.
Francesco Guccini was born in Modena in 1940. A singer-songwriter, poet and author, he is a legend for generations of Italians. His narrative debut came in 1989 with Cròniche epafániche, followed by Vacca d’un cane (1993), which together with Cittanòva blues (2003) constitutes a triptych of autobiographical novels to which Tralummescuro is the ideal conclusion. Both on his own and in partnership with Loriano Macchiavelli, he has published numerous other stories and novels that have achieved extraordinary popular success.