Tuesday, 27 July 2021 16:32

Erri De Luca: “Young people? They will be the architects of a restorative economy after the damage we have accumulated”

Writing, happiness, politics, the pandemic, the future: these are some of the subjects that writer Erri De Luca discussed with the IMPACT! giffoners, managing once again to create a frozen time in which the word, in its many forms, was the absolute protagonist. “The more you read, the more you become the owner of your own language: this is the only way to nurture antibodies against false information. This is a matter of personal hygiene – he told the young people. “I think the reason why I started writing is because as a teenager I had communication problems. If you are a sociable person, writing can become an accessory, otherwise it is a necessity. For me, it was a way to try to overcome my obstructions. However, it was not the written word that helped me to free myself; what really helped me was regaining a sense of sociability and talking to my generation, the one I found in the streets, barricading them to claim rights. That generation turned me inside out and allowed me to belong to a community”.

The giffoners asked De Luca about his idea of happiness: “We can’t rely on happiness. During the day I’m often happy, but for very brief moments. They are glimmers that open my eyes. The Constitution of the United States enshrines the right to happiness, which Franklin borrowed from the Neapolitan Gaetano Filangieri. This is very nice, but happiness should be a duty; everyone should try to be open to happiness and able to hold on to its grains. It is an exercise: the more you practise, the more you can grasp the next ones”.

With regard to the controversy over the restrictions imposed by the health emergency, De Luca was adamant: “I got vaccinated and I use the mask because it is a sign of civil responsibility. As long as no one tampers with Article 21 of the Italian Constitution, everyone’s freedom is guaranteed. The limitations due to Covid have nothing to do with the notion of freedom”. Challenged by the giffoners’ questions, the writer then focused on the idea of death: “I have an illiterate relationship with the death of others. I am not able to process loss. To me, it is always day one of their absence. I have not given them permission to bid farewell and my way of counteracting this occurrence is to write. That’s the power of writing: to deprive death of the right to have the last word”.