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Fragments of an Interrupted Conversation (Frammenti di un discorso interrotto)

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Original Language: Italian | 120 pp. | February 2018

2 Seas Represents: Dutch Rights

LITERARY FICTION

“There have been, between me and you, moments of mute, unarmed, silent love, those days. One night, saying goodnight before sleeping, we kissed in a sweet way, and when we parted our eyes were bright with tears. I would have liked to sleep near your bed, like a dog on the carpet. I haven’t asked you because I feared you would understand that the irreparable was near.”

Neri Pozza, partisan, writer and publisher, played a major role in shaping the Italian and the international history of culture and publishing of the 20th century. His independent publishing house is among the most renowned protagonists of the contemporary publishing scene.

Neri Pozza wrote these moving words in 1982, one year after his wife Lea Quaretti’s death. This short account tells us about the story of their longstanding intellectual, artistic and love partnership. The pages of Frammenti di un discorso interrotto are a testament to Neri Pozza’s mourning for the death of his beloved wife, but they also represent one of the 20th century’s most heart-breaking farewells to a lover. A farewell to the unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable essence of a life companion and to the small things she left behind: books creatively arranged on the shelves, stones collected on the beach of the Lido in Venice after a tempest and subsequently put on display, the beautiful gloves carefully folded in a box, her velvet hat and her blue white-dotted silk dress… An ode to life and to the power of filling blanks together in a “happy and loving way”.

Neri Pozza was born in Vicenza in 1912. He began his work as a sculptor in 1933, following in his father Ugo Pozza’s footsteps. His works were exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia and at the Quadriennale di Roma. Among his literary works are Processo per eresia (Vallecchi, 1970; Premio selezione Campiello), Comedia familiare (Mondadori, 1975), Le storie veneziane (Mondadori, 1977), Una città per la vita (Mondadori, 1979). In 1938 he funded the publishing house bearing his name. He died in Vicenza in 1988.