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By Ermanno Rea

Napoli e l. a. sua gente, il presente e il passato di una città e di un’intera nazione affamate di speranza e di futuro. Ermanno Rea torna con l. a. comunista sui suoi passi, torna a Mistero napoletano, ma il personaggio che ci presenta non è più, are available in quel vecchio romanzo, una donna in carne e ossa, bensì il suo fantasma, una creatura evanescente anche se, a momenti, terribilmente reale, capace di parlare, sorridere, piangere, come quando period viva e colmava ogni possibile vuoto con los angeles sua incontenibile esuberanza. Anche adesso, benché fantasma, Francesca riempie di sé l. a. scena del racconto, svelando pian piano los angeles ragione del suo «ritorno» a Napoli. Testimone e messaggera, questa presunta donna-scandalo allude a una resurrezione ancora possibile della città, che può essere salvata – ella cube – soltanto dall’utopia, da un pensiero folle, da una passione, dalla capacità collettiva di credere nell’impossibile. Una narrazione non soltanto di grande tensione emotiva, ma aperta alla speranza e alla fiducia nel genio creativo degli abitanti del pianeta «Mezzogiorno». E che si tinge anche di altri colori e riflessioni intorno alla vecchiaia, all’amore, alle macerie della politica e al potere sempre vivificante dell’amicizia e a quello necessario della memoria.
Anche L’occhio del Vesuvio è una storia che ha, a sua volta, i colori e lo spessore dell’allucinazione. los angeles trama è lineare, benché sovrastata dalla presenza minacciosa del Vesuvio, trasformato esso stesso in attore, personaggio neppure troppo secondario della vicenda. Distruggerà Napoli? l. a. domanda è ripetutamente evocata, soprattutto dal co-protagonista del racconto, il grecista Lucio Ammenda, insaziabile e disordinato collezionista di libri, parte dei quali dedicati proprio al «formidabil monte» e ai suoi misteri. Ma a differenza del giovane polacco Tadeusz, deputato a costruire una degna biblioteca (di stile settecentesco) according to questo sterminato patrimonio libresco, il professor Ammenda non teme tanto il rischio di un’eruzione quanto le conseguenze dell’accidia dei suoi concittadini e dell’inetta classe dirigente.
Due racconti esemplari in cui l’autore, fedele ai suoi temi più cari, con sguardo acuto e fermo scruta il nostro presente e lo fotografa, lo mette a nudo sulla pagina in uno stile terso e pulito, «perfetto».

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There were also external sources of worry in the form of colonial setbacks and the growing power of international rivals; patriotic pride in the preeminent status of Britain brought quick loss of confidence once signs of falling away became apparent. The end of the century and the imminent death of Queen Victoria focused doubt, and science seemed to justify it on theoretical bases. Physics and the concept of entropy made degeneration appear cosmic, while biology rendered even the immediate future uncertain, since all life engages in a dubious evolutionary struggle between order and chaos, progress and degeneration, continued existence and extinction.

He did not want to encounter a similar response, and he did not want his theory to be confused with Chambers’s— which is probably why he contradicts Vestiges in the first pages of the first edition of the Origin (3–4). In statements that Darwin might have found distressingly similar to his 1844 assertions on the same subject, Chambers contends that belief in special creations represents “a very mean view of the Creative Power” and that it is absurd to “suppose that the august Being who brought all these countless worlds into form .

Artists are those able to envision and represent these future changes (334). Spencer, who in the mid-1850s coined the phrase “survival of the fittest,” advocated the stringent application of laissez-faire to all aspects of social life, arguing that for the human species to advance the less physically or mentally capable must be allowed to die off; like Darwin, he had been influenced greatly by Malthus’s population theory. Spencer based his “Synthetic Philosophy,” an attempt to synthesize all knowledge within one theoretical framework, on his conception of universal evolution: “Evolution is a change from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity, to a definite, coherent heterogenity; through continuous differentiations and integrations” (216)—in other words, an inherent tendency for things to become both more varied and more highly organized.

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