Brief Lives of Idiots
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A parody of the medieval Lives of the Saints, Ermanno Cavazzoni offers us a perfect month of portraits of idiots drawn from real life, from overly realist writers to fringe-belief obsessives, punctuated every seventh day with a litany of suicides – failed, foolish or otherwise. This is a display of myriad idiocy, discovered and achieved by hook or by crook. But Cavazzoni engages in neither finger pointing nor celebration. If saints can be counted, idiots cannot: idiocy is ultimately the human condition. This roll call extends the ridiculous to melancholic extremes, introducing us to such exemplary fools as the father and husband unable to recognise his own family, the Marxist convinced that Christ was an extraterrestrial, the would-be saint who finds a private martyrdom through the torturous confinement of a pair of ill-fitting leather oxfords and the man who failed to realise that he had spent two years in a concentration camp. Ermanno Cavazzoni (born 1947) is the award-winning author of many fantastic and absurd tales. He is a professor at the University of Bologna and a member of the literary group OpLePo, an Italian spin-off of the OuLiPo.
ISBN 9781939663535. Wakefield Press.