I came back recently in Galatina. And there is a before and an after. Before reading the book “Salento Rock. Gone away without saying goodbye” by Francesca Malerba published by Kurumuny, Galatina for me was one of the most beautiful and elegant towns in Salento. Later, despite having not lost in elegance and beauty, I saw it with new eyes. And while walking between the main square on which stands the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, or between the benches of the public garden I thought back to that city described by the author in her book.
I do not hide that I lived strange moments: the calm and tranquility of a warm June evening proved jarring with the sensations caused by the story. Why Galatina, between the 80 and 90 years, has recorded alarming data on youth problems, drugs and diseases and accidents connected with it. The last part of the book, one in which Francesca collect statistical data relating to those who never came back, went away without saying goodbye precisely, and articles devoted to the sad phenomenon, makes my skin crawl.
This is only a part of the book, which is certainly a key reading of what was recorded in Galatina in those years. But it is also true that very often are the arid numbers tell better dramas. In the town two whole generations have been almost entirely swept away from drugs. Yet, as pointed out by Francesca, it’s not the drugs the protagonist of this novel. But are they, the youth of twenty years ago that in this book they can express their plurality of voices, none of which can suffocate the other. So we listen to the stories of the lives, sometimes too short, of Antonio, Alessandro, Gaetano, Bruno, Filippo, Luigi, Daniele, Marina. But even those with a happy ending of Sabrina, Mirella, Stefano and Cristina, the one who puts all the stories together, touching between love and friendship, that world without hope.
Thought there are those who survived, with his wounds in body and soul, and they could tell these stories. It’s to them that deserve the thanks of Francesca who wrote, after all, a book about love, with a restless and unique voice in an attempt to keep out the pain, unable to actually do it. Francesca tells people lost between earth and sky, wondering how important is the case and what the will in them wrong so often, in spite of the meaning of love.
Everyone here is in the balance, while the soundtrack of the story of their lives, parade the successes of the 80s , the grunge sound of 90s: another interesting clue is to follow the music. Read the book listening to the tracks suggested by Francesca is a unique way to experience emotions and strong suggestions. And we all feel closer to Cristina and her group of friends, the ones left and those who are gone.
Salento Rock. Andati via senza salutare
(Ph. di Mariablu Scaringella)