“Il Bar Sotto Il Mare” by Stefano Benni, reader without bookmarks

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You know, there is no beach now, there are no beaches and bars ready to welcome all types of holidaymakers, and there is no beach person who does not have at least one ice cream that can be enjoyed under an umbrella. How thoughtful, though, if, instead of ice, you were to enjoy a story, ready to learn something, perhaps go down into the sea instead of going up into the warm sand behind you. The experience is made possible for those who, among pebbles and grains of gold, do not despise the company of a good beach book, perhaps in the hottest hours that force the shadow or for those who have to digest a sandwich too much. In this perspective a collection of stories of Stefano Benni by title The bar under the sea (1987).

Stefano Benni, born in 1947, is a contemporary Bolognese writer and journalist. Particular attention to the Italian reality of recent years, in his great production he has portrayed the vices and virtues of a society in constant development, published novels, short stories, poems and collaborations with newspapers such as “The Espresso“,”The Republic“and”Posters”, Also works in the world of television and cinema. Among his works are mentioned: “Sports bar “ (1976), “The bar under the sea “ (1987), the collection of verses “Sooner or later love will come “ (1981), “Fen phenomenon ” (graphic novel), the novel “Bread and storm“, The Poem”Dancing Paradiso ”, il autobiographical documentary “The Wolf’s Adventure. Almost True Story of Stefano Benni” (2018), and many others. The many genres reflect the versatility of an always attentive writer, with a pinch of satire, humor and irony to the political and social life of the peninsula, while spanning between language and imagination.

The anthology of the Bolognese author Stefano Benni, entitled “The bar under the sea“, Is a valid ally for those who prefer an easy but original reading, ready to respond to different tastes and read times available, without requiring bookmarks. The work in fact consists of stories that can be read separately, held together by an evocative setting, reminiscent in form of Boccaccio’s “Decameron”. The key word is variation, which applies to both themes and styles, as well as to the stories and characters that tell them. The author invents comical, absurd, disrespectful and exaggerated situations who at the same time know how to respond to a twofold goal: to entertain and teach. Just as the gaze sweeps across the horizon of the sea, so the reader’s eyes can vary in a landscape of thrillers, horror, fantastic tales and much more.

It all starts from an unusual beach in an imaginary citywhere there is an anonymous man, hereinafter referred to as “the guest“:”I walked one night by the sea of ​​Brigantes, where the houses resembled sunken ships, immersed in the mist and sea fumes, and the wind gives oleanders branches slow movements of seaweed. I do not know if I was looking for something or if I was being chased: I remember those were hard times, but for some strange reason I was happy“The beginning creates instant harmony with the reader, is free to identify with the protagonist and is able to give the name of his sea or his favorite bar to the place where he will soon stop:”A bar where we all want to come one evening to hear the stories of the bartender, the man with the hat, the man with the gardenia, the siren, the sailor, the invisible man, the vampire and other mysterious patrons. “

The first main character in “The bar under the sea“Meets a man who suddenly starts walking down the stairs leading to the bottom of the ocean. He decides to follow him, and suddenly he is introduced to an extraordinary world: a bar that brings together 23 strange characters, ready to tell a story in turn over the course of a night, to which the latest arrival will be added. Borrowers are varied and surprising. The stories have different lengths, up to only fill 5 lines, where the story of a man who is unable to complete what he begins takes shape. The opposite will be the fate of the reader, who will undoubtedly have the pleasure of completing the reading of the collection. In modern times characterized by the hunt for the most exclusive and trendy bars, it definitely beats them all at the bottom of the ocean.

Alessio Arvonio

5 x Thousand Survival

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