From the loser's side
Novel by Nidia Robba
Eine Geschichte im Flu▀ der Erinnerungen
ed. La Mongolfiera libri, pagg.310, 2013
* This book is published only in Italian edition
źThe road to infinity╗
Preface by Ninni Radicini
Wirtschaftswunder, the economic miracle that has characterized the contemporary history of Germany and in general of the German area (including Austria) starts from the early 50s, having its prodrome at the end of the previous decade when, immediately after the conclusion of the Second World War, the German people had to start reconstruction.
This novel by Nidia Robba is set in the historical, social, cultural context, between 1943 and the first years of the post-war period. Through the protagonists and lateral characters she describes scenarios and attitudes, underlining, in particular in the person of the co-protagonist - Peter -, the will of Germany to rise again. A national reconstruction in the broadest sense, both of the cities and of the state entity, for the second time in just over twenty years subjected to the effects of wars and conditions imposed.
In the description of what was found in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, and before in Bavaria, the author brings the reader back to the drama of the performance, as the Italian neorealist cinema was able to do, which was affirmed in the same years as the adventure of the protagonist, Marlia. The consequential reference is Germany Year Zero (Germania anno zero), directed by Roberto Rossellini, who, with this film, decided to bring the images of Germany in 1947 to Italian viewers, highlighting the similarity between his condition and that of Italy, in addition to the desire to both to rebuild.
Both for Italy and for Germany, the first goal achieved will be the participation in the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community, in 1951 - the first European supranational institution - which will open the way to the subsequent European Economic Community, in 1957, then became European Union. Another date that in the popular imagination represented a further confirmation of the return of Germany on the international scene is to be remembered. On 7 July 1954, in Switzerland, the West German national football team won the World Cup by overcoming Hungary 3-2 in the final, recovering two disadvantaged goals to the Magyar superpower. This enterprise will go down in history and will be called "The miracle of Bern"; in 2003 a film was made of it.
As a feature in Nidia Robba's narrative production, this novel is also an opportunity for the reader to travel through various locations, with artistic indications and cultural specificities. From Florence to Trieste and then Venice, Garda, Umbria. And the trip to Germany, passing from Munich. Of Trieste, the author describes the difficult and dramatic days between the end of 1943 and the end of the war and then the subsequent ones of the return to the desire to live, even for the city the effects of what happened, more than in other parts of Italy, will continue for another decade.
The characters, even those not protagonists, are described in such a way as to show their character. The author above all, in addition to following the protagonists, succeeds in various parts of the novel to start, and to conclude, side events but just as important because they complete the narrative structure. For example, the evolution of the relationship of friendship between Marlia and Aura. Here too, as in the novel Lo Schiaffo, set between Trieste and Graz in the years of the First World War, Nidia Robba contextualizes the period with historical references and references to everyday life: from the way the characters act, to the gastronomy.
Also note the surprising choice - who knows if by will or coincidence - of the places of origin of Peter and Marlia. The first from Slesia, the second from Trieste. After the end of the war, both Slesia and Trieste were interested, along with other territories, in the redefinition of the borders that, as regards Silesia, were established during the Potsdam Conference in the summer of 1945. The passion and admiration of Nidia Robba for Germany, as well as for Austria, are so deep and natural that they can be considered a decisive component also in the launch of her, already considerable time, narrative production. The first novel, Il sortilegio della CittÓ Rosa, is in fact largely set in the Germany of the 60s, with an important part in the city of Heidelberg, in Baden-WŘrttemberg.
From the loser's side can then be considered complementary to Il sortilegio della CittÓ Rosa and the two novels can be read sequentially. So the reader can ideally move from the journey made by Marlia to that of Myriam, also she from Trieste, protagonist of Il sortilegio della CittÓ Rosa, which symbolically pays homage to the Neckar river. Coinciding with the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner and in the year of new federal legislative elections, this new novel by Nidia Robba is a tribute to Germany and its people, for the tenacity and the will to reach new goals and for the firmness of principles, the foundation of a modern and exemplary European Republic.
Painting by Helga on the book cover From the Loser's Side
* Ninni Radicini (Sicily) has written and published various articles on Germany (political-electoral-historical area). Articles on other topics have been published on various periodicals. He also published reviews and book prefaces. Co-author of the book Contemporary Greece 1974-2006 (La Grecia contemporanea 1974-2006) (book only in Italian edition).
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