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Otranto by Roberto Cotroneo Review Paper

Words: 388, Paragraphs: 3, Pages: 2

Paper type: Review, Subject: Book Reviews

Roberto Cotroneo is a journalist in the culture section and author of several novels and collections of essays; “Otranto” was published in 1995 when his second novel. Even the monolithic title – the name of the white city far down in the south of Italy – lures irresistible; each guide recommends the book as holiday reading for Apulian beach stays, every bookstore in Otranto holding a stack of them in a prominent location ready. the book I was frustrated. A young Dutch art historian travels to Otranto, to cooperate in the restoration of the famous mosaic in the Cathedral of the 12th century. What makes it exactly, we are not told; also the mosaic itself is interested not (although still lures on the cover of one of his many fields: forefather Adam). is told, however, quite stereotyped as she runs through the town, or even out to the cliffs and the fields. Neither the one nor the other venue is gaining clarity. Because the lady is busy permanently and exclusively with themselves and their encounters and visions: Soon she sees the old man, soon the young man – who do not want quite revealing, but appear again and the woman attract both more spirits – she remembers fragments of the history of their family, come together in the northern and southern elements, etc. is in French, really nothing concrete. Instead, simple sequences, motifs and phrases repeat; it is mystified strong, demand – answers remain open; there are lines constructed through the ages that ultimately suggest that the lady probably quasi served a mission …

The back cover text praises the work as “intenso romanzo” in which the Author “con le tessere […] dei sogni e delle premonizioni” create a well-planned mosaic. This will probably imply a parallelism: Just as the mosaic in the cathedral full of mysteries, including the novel wants to develop a subtle power of symbolism. The difference however is that the monk Pantaleone probably designed for his contemporaries plain text on the cathedral grounds: The churchgoers, the images have already understood. Cotroneo, however, uses his word art to obscure his message to let us poking around in the dark as holiday reading not recommended -.. At least for sober reader natures

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