While the world had certainly more serious issues to deal with, yesterday I woke up scratching my head about the tangled mess of sprouts growing in my kitchen. I tend to recurring enthusiasms for self-made, home-grown stuff. I guess it’s a side effect of my obsession with self-sufficiency: in case I ever find myself in charge of starting a new civilisation from scratch, I like to think that at least I would know how start a fire, build a shelter and bake good bread – I’d stick around if I were you. Ideally, I would get to the point of stitching my own clothes, making my own pelati (peeled tomatoes) and preserves from my own produce, and only use the eggs laid by the three pet-chickens I will have one fine day (I dream of a vegetable garden and free range chickens hiding eggs in the backyard).
One of my absolute favourite books is Italo Calvino’s “If on a winter’s night a traveller” – first published by the renown Italian publishing house Einaudi in 1979. The novel is a hauntingly entertaining chain of inceptions based on the ultimate need of any reader, or simply of anyone who is listening to a story: the urge to answer the classic question “what happens next?” The very ordinary heroes of Calvino’s book – a man and a woman who meet in a bookshop while trying to find the missing part of a novel they both began to read – are after a story that never comes to a conclusion, but instead keeps drawing the readers to more and more unfinished stories, and eventually to one another.