Interview with Francesco Bianconi de Baustelle. ‘Atlante delle case maledette’ is his ‘atlas of cursed houses’ illustrated by Paolo Bacilieri

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Such an interpretation of the notion of “feeling good” at home and the opening lines of your book create a contrasting environment that made me think of the house where I grew up. I dream about this house almost every night (and I have to admit it’s quite exhausting), I discovered its stories long after I left. Does your Atlantean also include similar places of origin?
Yes of course, la casa nella casa (The house in the house, the second chapter). When I was a child, I lived in a small town, in a big house that my parents had just built. Many places. One room in particular, wonderfully empty and still unused, just the white walls and the parquet floor: I put away Hyphen boxes of laundry there, full of toys, and it became the perfect playhouse for me and my two friends, who came in almost every day. I was afraid to get out of there – like Dimitri, my fictional character, is too – throughout this childhood which was nevertheless happy. I was afraid to go out for a walk, pass the bar where the adults and the elderly used to hang out, and run the risk of someone saying hello to me and asking “Ciao bellino, dichissei?” (Hey kid, who do you belong to? who are your parents?), as they say where I come from.
Much of what followed in my psychological life – this book is largely autobiographical – may have its origin in such voluntary confinement, imposed by no one other than me: I had built my own comfortable house, my security.
Many aspects of human life – mine of course – can be explained through certain houses, through the relationship that each young human being had established with domestic environments, with interiors, when they were children.

Feel at home might take on a more problematic meaning at this point.
Sure. No one is safe. Already. Safety is a big lie.
The problem of security itself is poorly posed: houses are generally identified as a place of safety, perhaps because of their primary function of shelter, we said, contrasting the mystery of the unknown, – of a chaotic, uncontrolled world. outside where literally anything can happen to us – with the power of defined and known spaces. This is where the error lies: the known, as Canetti says, is order, inevitably tending to death. The known dies, the unknown alone can be vital.


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