The Wise Men of Pizzo, the first work of fiction from Francesco M. Marincola, is an unexpected little gem, a love letter to small towns forgotten in the frenetic pace of modern life. These are good places to take stock, regroup, and ask, “What is a purposeful life?”
Giuseppe returns to his native Pizzo, Italy, for a time-out from his life. He finds it difficult to adjust to the elegiac Pizzo, having lived in bustling cities for decades. To pass the time, he joins the daily convention of elderly gentlemen in the town’s piazza (“the parlour of Pizzo”) where talk turns to the life and times of one of Giuseppe’s childhood friends, Alessandro.
There is no action in The Wise Men of Pizzo; this is a gently measured tale. It’s atmosphere and ideas, language and imagery. The eponymous wise men gather daily to languidly diagnose the world’s problems amid refreshments. The talk is wide-ranging: politics, medicine, religion, physics, philosophy, technology, and history.
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