Michael Bortone is indeed a irpino transplanted in Lugano since 1968, which has kept its land values, language, traditions.
The story is set in a quiet, hillside village, with typical lifestyle of the 50s of last century, years of childhood and adolescence.
The Player (Claudio, Don Vincenzo, Antonio Serena, Mrs. Anderson …) immediately recall the characters of our lands, isolated villages, the countryside villages. Their characters, well defined even with quick touches us back cultural humus in which they are formed: the typical distrust of our farmers to the stranger, to which, however, once known in loyalty and friendship are offered, naturally hospitality , simple, sincere, typical of the rural culture of the mountain people. Hospitality that translates into orecchiette smoking, good wine, ham, sausages … aspirations and typical gastronomic dreams of the postwar years.
We find fears, beliefs, superstitions present collective unconscious of the mountain people, who lived isolated, without human contact. The fierce blast of wind, the song of the owl, considered gloomy and sinister, real or imagined ghosts of their terror fears, had a negative impact in the past on the character of the people.
And here the kids have grown up too fast but still spontaneous and genuine, and the games of our childhood, with the rim of the barrels and the rag ball in the dusty streets; people like the priest, Don Vincenzo, good country priest, which attracts the best-known figures such as Don Camillo Guareschi and, in my memories, authentic priests of our countries.
The narrative language is simple, spontaneous, genuine, not without sometimes nice poetic and original inventiveness moments. It privileges, for its immediacy, direct speech. The history, the fruit of the imagination of Bortone, can be understood pleasantly, quickly. And the ending is a surprise.Enzo Di Gironimo
THE HUT FROM RED BETULLE
Desperado: a village of about eight hundred inhabitants. 50s of last century.
He was talking about a strange story, but if you asked for explanations or instructions, respondents were trying to escape you or remained petrified. The faces were filled with awe just to hear about it; then if you met someone on the street who had inquired, he was trying to avoid you and you passed away. I wondered what on earth we were so horrible to terrorize people. If girovagavi dusk, you met not a soul on the street. It heard only the barking of a dog at the rising of the moon, or incrociavi a cat chasing something.
A strange village, sad and shabby. Houses scattered here and there dilapidated, lost in a valley and on the heights of a hill. To the east there was a huge plateau, which was lost sight of an eye. To the north a chain of mountains, as if someone had designed them. To the south-east instead, from the ground level gradually rose to become a small hill forming a V. At the top, a small green clearing with many birch trees. In the middle, a cabin made of wood logs; looking at it from a distance looked like a painting.
So, day after day, I explored the town and its surroundings. In the early days I was forced to sleep in a boarding house. Then, with the help of a kind person, I managed to find accommodation. An acceptable rent. The owner, Mary Anderson, a distinguished lady, lived alone in the modest house. A beautiful dog, Scrizzi, collie, kept her company. The lady told me that sometimes barked at night, especially with the full moon.
“Maybe he will have his reasons, ma’am,” I said, “or barking because someone passes by, or feel something in the air: the dogs are intelligent and have a good nose. Tell me lady, she’s married? It has relatives or grandchildren?
“Heheaved a sigh,” if she knew my history! I married young, had just twenty years; we were happy my husband and I! And then the war I took him away! My Alfredo was so good! Unfortunately, in war you know when you go and you do not know when you return, if you go back! It has been about seven years, but my poor Alfredo I have not heard anything.
“I have grandchildren, far from the village, are the children of my husband’s sister, Marta. She also has had poor luck; He lived with a nice guy with whom he has two children, Andrea and Fabrizio. Eleven years the first nine years the second. One day these he planted. They are married and disappeared. He does not know what happened. Poor woman! Do you think that it is forced to do cleaning work in the houses of great lords; but earn enough to live well and in families where he works is estimated and helped. Children are very good and obedient. Fabrizio helps a lot; when she is away on business, he thinks of everything, prepares lunch for herself and her little brother and evening dinner for everyone.
Both study and mom not trust them; They are of great help. When they have a week’s holiday, they come to see me and remain in me company throughout the period. You should see them! What little guys! With that their speeches seem to adults and they give you the satisfaction.
“Andagain, sighing heavily, he added,” my life is like that, the pains and sorrows; but now I’ll settle for the same and I take it patiently. I know they are not all roses; most of the time they touch the spines and the ones they do so much harm to the heart.
“”I’m sorry for you, ma’am; knew what saddens me his story, believe me. If she ever needs, you can count on me. I’ll be happy to help at any time. My name is Claudio Santoni; a photographer, journalist and writer; I write stories, poems, fairy tales for children and adults. My job is a bit ‘special, but I’m satisfied. You always have to travel and write down everything you see and what happens. When not enough, we must invent and work of fiction. Then step the nights without sleep; to think or make up what is lacking.
The lady, surprise of my profession, I said, “then I will also write my story?”