The day before the luck of Erri de Luca Review

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In Naples fifties the narrator as an orphan grows up. The novel describes his childhood and youth and an abundance of episodes from the everyday life of the time. The boy lives alone in a cubbyhole and longs to play with the other boys in the square in front of the apartment building football. When the ball unreachably flies on the balcony of a vacant apartment, he climbs nimbly on the downpipe – and will in future lovingly à scigna called (Neapolitan for “the monkey”).

Behind a window he secretly observes a girl. He can only see her head, which she keeps resting on his hands. Whether she has observed him? Then he throws the boy the ball to and must henceforth play.

Don Gaetano, the caretaker, all the people of the house and the neighborhood knows. Once a day, he brings a warm meal to the boy. Over time creates a trusting friendship between the two. Don Gaetano knows many stories about the war, the Germans, the Fascists, the Americans.

The boy is eager to learn and everything sucks on what he can hear. With enthusiasm, he visited the school and is happy that the bookseller Don Raimondo lends him used books.

Unlike Don Gaetano, who was also orphaned boy, but live in a home had to, can à scigna of all trades around stromern and also the underground passages and huge tuff vault explore, which were used as shelters and at that time served as many apartments. He comes from a wooden shack on a hiding.

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With a candle he climbs through the small entrance hole down into the depths and find the warehouse involved in cigarette smuggling. Suspicious he is when he discovered a bed with mattress, books and a Bible.

Exciting is the story of a Jew who was hiding down there from the Nazis and was powered by Don Gaetano. Always full of fear, he did not trust Don Gaetano, because who knows, maybe just wanted to insert the bounty with which the Germans attracted. Don Gaetano abhors human filth ( ‘na carogna ), which makes the fate of other money.

When I the novel read, it seemed to me often that I saw a old black and white film of the Neorealismo (such as Vittorio De Sica’s “Bicycle thieves”), in which the strip gets stuck once again: in changing action moments scribed life courses and short human encounters. For example, the simple pettiness La Capa, a poor Schumacher, won the lottery and now wants to appear in prosperity as a fine gentleman. But bar he gives each cultural education and language assets, to ridicule. The mood in the city of Vesuvius is rather hazy at that time as a colorful; of blue sea and blazing sunshine none yet romanticized. Every day, people to new situations must set and join forces to set up to the occupiers with barricades and many other tricks to defend.

Emotional and sensitive the fatherly love Don Gaetano described to the boy , He never comes to mind, but is always there for him. He brings him good at everything armor for life. It recognizes and appreciates, what qualities stuck in the boy. “You learn a profit, you have what it takes.” That was his greatest compliment, downright an award.

years later Don Gaetano now the young man gives a folding knife that he should always carry with you. In the penetrated by mafias city of Naples, this means a help to survive, because with his back to the wall, it is the only life insurance.

“The day before happiness” is for Don Gaetano, the day before freedom , They all had fought for and won. Happiness is a gift

The boy waits for the girl from the third floor. Anna’s her name. Only when it has come, he will be able to say what it is, this

The slim book of 173 pages (AKA luck: “ Il giorno prima della felicità

Erri de Luca was awarded the Petrarch prize 2010.

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The day before the luck of Erri de Luca Review. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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