Ernesto Masina – The Fascist Vegetable Garden

 

Tragicomic provincial story

It’s with clear delight and gentle writing that nearly octogenarian Ernesto Masina challenges himself with this first work, a tragicomic, fantasy story set in Breno, in the upper Vallecamonica in 1943.
The event the title refers to is an attack to the village’s Orto fascista (Fascist garden), a symbol of that ridiculous and inconclusive autarchy, so paraded by Benito Mussolini. The plan is plotted, like in the best small villages tradition, in a tavern during the German occupation, and unfolds in a series of misunderstandings, told from different points of view by some of the protagonists who, between a smile and a semi-serious consideration, lead to an unexpected ending.
The story gently discloses between the river Oglio’s coves and the mountains, enriched by characters perhaps a little stereotypical but who make both the historical and the geographical settings believable: the province in the Italian fascist period is well represented by caricatures of that Italian character, shining with vices but poor in virtues, which still plagues us daily, in spite of a globalized society that requires us to be cosmopolitans.

Translation by Silvia Accorrà (edited by Sara Di Girolamo)

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Giorgio Olivari
Giorgio Olivari was born in Brescia in the last century. He has been a professional in the field of industrial design for more than thirty years. After the first forty years as a reader he discovered writing by chance: a life’s joke. His forever partner enrolls him in a creative writing course: maybe for fun, more likely to get rid of him. A spark that, once lit, does not go out but becomes a narrative, stories, thoughts; some of which published by BESA in “Pretesti Sensibili - Sensitive Excuses” (2008). His first collection of short stories, “Futili Emotivi- Futile Emotions”, was published by Carta & Penna Editore in 2010. His passion for literature led him to “infect” other readers by coordinating reading groups: “Arcobaleno” in Paderno Franciacorta, “Chiare Lettere” in Nave. He actively collaborates with the literary magazine Inkroci with reviews and stories.