Post: Interview with Giancarlo De Cataldo, the pop writer who flies over the judicial world on the wings of irony


Among the guest authors of the 33rd edition of Noir in Festival is also Giancarlo De Cataldo, who presented Colpo di Ritorno, the fourth book starring Manrico Spinori. We interviewed him about his first literary series and his vision of the world.

Giancarlo De Cataldo he affectionately calls books involving the Roman prosecutor Manrico Spinori “Manrichi.” The latest one, released this year, is called “Return Shot” and this is the fourth in the series. There is also a fifth novel, whose author “Crime novel” ended recently, but will be released next year, which means that the saga, fortunately for us, will continue.

We fell in love very much Manrico Leopoldo Costante Severo Fruttuoso Spinori della Rocca of the Counts of Albis and Santa Giocondawhich also follows from the consideration that the murders of the rich are no less interesting than the murders of the poor, also because both, like almost any murder, are motivated either by money or passion. Manrico he solves matters through opera, in the sense that every situation that appears before his eyes has already been at the center of opera, where emotions, good and evil find fertile ground and become arias full of pathos.

“Return Shot” You see Manrico, known as Rick struggles with the mysterious murder of a wizard such Masters Giuseppewho called himself Wizard Naruz. Investigation together with three of his employees (Sandra Vitale, Deborah Cianchetti AND Gavina Orru), Count Spinori, pseudonym “il Contino”. he will realize how many powerful people are in the habit of turning to the magician, even in the halls of political power.

In the small office of the historic Rizzoli bookshop of the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel II (in Milan) we meet Giancarlo De Cataldo and we ask him to explain, first of all, why this time he chose a magician as his victim: “25 years ago,” he replies, “I took a writing course for American screenwriters, and they made us do an exercise. everyone was in the dark and told us: “Now automatic writing. Write the first words that come to mind.” What happened as a result of the exercise? Corruption and miracle, that is, what did all of us, young aspiring screenwriters or already established screenwriters, think in unison? That Italy was a country that relied on miracles while drowning in corruption. So, miracle is embodied in magical thinking. Magical thinking naturally produces magic. What do we ask of the wizard? We ask for an impossible hope, At a turning point we ask to change our existence, and when we are unable to do it in our own strength or do not trust what surrounds us, then we turn to this miraculous figure. This is the good aspect, then there is the speculative aspect, which manifests itself in the swindlers, in the swindlers, in the sorceresses, in who reads your cards and so on. But both moments are destined to meet. Therefore, there is no condemnation on my part. This magician, for example, is half conman, half psychologist. The one who goes to the wizard is partly hopeful, partly despairing. This novel was written immediately after the pandemic: we experienced such devastation, such a tsunami, that our hope in the irrational was strengthened. We had even more faith than before in the impossible.”

What if the trend of magic is somehow connected to an unstable society? In the sense that, being accustomed to consuming and having everything at hand, we lose our heads when something is unattainable, and therefore rely on magicians, psychics, etc.?

It’s not like wizards are born these days. There is a very long tradition when even heads of state compiled horoscopes. I believe that after the pandemic this phenomenon has intensified precisely because of the increased sense of security. A liquid society can enter into it, but it is not as if there were very strong values ​​there, in short, during the times of Christian Democrats and Communists, who were the two great hopes, there was a shortage of magicians, fortune tellers and co.

His characters have fairy-tale names. In addition to Manrico, Uncle Eliodoro and the magician Ubaldo Cicciaroni are present. Where do you find such funny first and last names?

Now I could tell her, “I’m studying them,” but actually there is a point where I physically imagine the subject, and often their name becomes similar to the name of someone I’ve met who is similar to that character. Of course, I’m trying to distort this name. For example, I have a prince friend who has four or five names, not as colorful as in the case of Manricohowever, when he pronounces them, one feels that he has several centuries behind him, and therefore for the main character of my novels about the count Spinors he is the one who inspired me. And then, you know, I was a judge for 40 years, but do you know how many interesting names and surnames I saw past, from the telephone directory? And I start thinking, “What does this guy look like?” So Ubaldo Cicciaronior Deborah Cianchetti. What does a tattooed, beautiful 1.80 meter tall suburban policewoman look like? face from Deborah Cianchetti.

One of the most beautiful features of his work is irony. Is this combined with a certain goodwill or is it intertwined with cynicism?

Both things. At a certain point, seeing human suffering, one gains more understanding, less clarity, and less ability to take sides. This resulted in me being less aggressive in my assessments and being less aggressive. tranche. I am very attracted to the realm of the ambiguous, the uncertain, the nuanced, and therefore I try to judge my characters as little as possible. Sometimes I don’t judge them at all.

How was Manrico Spinori born? When did he knock on the door of your imagination?

He knocked on the door, and he’s right, partly because I didn’t have a serial character, partly because some of my qualities came out, like a passion for opera and a hatred of social media. I was preparing to leave my working reality, I was retiring, so it was a moment to take stock of 40 years of judicial practice and therefore understand what had left me and how to describe the judicial world in a lighter way, and not through a prism. opposition and not even through an essay. Let’s say I wanted to fly over the judicial world, and then he was born. Manricowhom I consider a kind of little brother who thinks the same as me in many things, in many things, but not in everything.

Why is opera no longer a popular genre today? What’s happened?

Opera is now an elite genre for reasons of habit and because opera itself has become self-contained. Until the 60s, my uncles, born in 15, 20 and who were 40, 50 years old, sang by heart. Falstaff, Othello, Aida, Carmen. It was a daily thing for them. Up until the 1960s, opera was truly popular, then it became something unattainable, out of fashion, but instead, fortunately, it is here in Milan that opera is still in fashion.

Many noir authors love and know cinema, music and comics. Can we say that you are the most popular category of writers?

Not only are we the most popular, not only are we open to transgender people in the transgender sense, but we are also very good friends and very close to each other. We don’t care about contrasts at all. For us, talking about the evil that is the essence of noir means being in constant connection and sharing with those who are doing the same around the world, which is why there is a true global noir community. We all love each other very much.

Source: Coming Soon

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