Bernard McGuirk

Tre cavalli... uno sconfitto. Erri De Luca e la psiche repressa di Italia e Argentina nel conflitto Falklands/Malvine

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Erri De Luca's "Tre cavalli" is one of the most successful instances of the fictional embracing of the Malvinas Falklands conflict. The Argentina of the first-person narrator's imaginary is the dominant mover of the action even though it is set in a contemporary Italy of shadowy "camorra" or "mafia" menace. The minimalist plot is borne on the memory of an older man, working now in his native Italy, as a gardener; finding a self (again), falling in love (again), lapsing into reminiscence. De Luca's terse and elliptical style reflects a preoccupation with capturing inseparably from the unfolding plot the way the body feels, the memory weaves, the libido drifts, and identities merge and re-separate. His flight to the Argentina of the nineteen seventies prompted the determining actions of his life; his flight from the Argentina of the post-Falklands era would appear to guarantee an escape from the consequences of his involvement with a country that is pervasively characterized by him as much as a person as a militarist state. Yet the novel is to be as violent as it is poetic, socially bound up no less with an Italian psychography of nineteen seventies terrorism than with an Argentina of the dirty war and the occupation and loss of the islands.

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