The Florence Review, n° 2 : "Joy-Allegria"
The Florence Review, n° 2, 2022
The Florence Review is the first bilingual literary magazine in Italian and English. Founded in Italy as an editorial project in 2016, it publishes and translates in its six-monthly issues a selection of the most important contemporary authors of the Italian literary scene, hosting new voices selected through periodic calls for submission, relevant illustrators and top English translators. Edited by Martino Baldi and Alessandro Raveggi, it narrates the country where we live, through key words, source of inspiration for stories and poems. From 2022 it is published by the publisher Le Lettere.
We chose the theme word Joy because even with the worst days of the pandemic behind us, we felt like the end of the tunnel was nowhere in sight. And so — joy, as a kind of utopia, nostalgia, and longing. What has happened to this era of ours, which seems to have forgotten the deeper meaning of the word, to have trivialized and rejected it? We’d like to rescue joy from all those simplisti interpretations, embracing Uruguayan poet Mario Benedetti’s invitation to defend it like a trench, to defend it from the panderers of laughter.
Every Italian remembers how Mike Bongiorno, a symbol of commercial TV in the 1980s, started off each show by shouting Allegria! But allegria is more than a pop culture slogan, and Morandini’s piece reminds us of its erudite roots in classical music. Nor should we forget the allegria of Giuseppe Ungaretti, that great poet of the Great War, which sprang from a tragic sense of evanescence and precariousness, of abandonment as a necessary mode of survival at certain times. Allegria is an awareness of disaster, an acceptance of the present, but also a will to life; this model of freedom turns up in the stories by Lamberti and Di Grado, which are all about the tension between losing one’s way and finding it again, and the poems by Diana, Deotto, and Socci.
We may feel joy when thinking of the future or the past, but also when caught up in a brief moment of childlike rapture, as in the story by Cocchi— who, sadly, passed away while we were working on this issue, which is dedicated to his memory. Now more than ever, we know that joy can be a truly difficult feat, as paradoxical as its fleeting appearance in Miori’s piece; that it is deeply and intrinsically tied to its own opposite, as we learn from popular wisdom and from the story by Lagani ; and that its power as a positive, constructive force is earth-shaking, hence all the more necessary in these times.
Alessandro Raveggi - Martino Baldi - INTRO Joy – Allegria
Claudio Morandini - Allegro ma non proprio
Chiara Lagani - Non tutti quelli che ballano sono allegri
Michele Cocchi - Il campetto
Valentina Diana - La luna non si rovinerà mai
Luigi Socci - Grasso
Francesco Deotto - 12 gennaio 2020
Ginevra Lamberti - Presepe vivente
Giulia Sara Miori - The traveler
Viola Di Grado - Gioia dei muri