“Sogno bianco”, the new novel by Gabriele Romagnoli on the Marmolada and climate change

'Sogno bianco' tells of the glacier M, which would then be the Marmolada, and its disappearance. But also of three Andreas descended from the Darman family, of the alternation of their lives over the span of a century

  marmolada-death-glacier-today-39ok The dramatic images from the Marmolada ice Video

Is called White Dream , is the new novel by Gabriele Romagnoli set on the M. glacier (that is, the Marmolada) over a century and through the three descendants of a family. The writer talks about it with Today . – video

New gap on the Marmolada, a 200m crevasse opens New gap on the Marmolada, a 200m crevasse opens

TRAGEDY ANNOUNCED – «The walk that Andrea, the third protagonist, takes, the one towards 'the quiet celebration of an end that has already happened', I really did. One February morning I left the refuge, dressed like Totò and Peppino in Milan, and set off. I kept taking stuff off, there were people in T-shirts. At 16, in that season, I went for a ski week and now it was 20 degrees. I walked and thought: it will produce consequences. Then it happens that a few months later a serac breaks off and causes 11 deaths, but it's not that you, Gabriele Romagnoli, predicted it: it's that writing frees you, it makes you see things more clearly. It could have happened elsewhere, sooner or later. Only one thing is certain: it will happen again.'
Thirty years ago, the biography on the cover of his first book, the beautiful Ships in bottles , read: born in Bologna in 1960. Stop. Today the notes of the new White dream they go on: 'He is one of the most important names in Italian journalism'. In between there is an impervious path in search of stories to tell, of feelings and emotions, mixing genres. «The most beautiful thing was told to me by the editor of Rizzoli: “You have always been unorthodox”». And also White dream is difficult to classify, it is the novel of the M glacier, which would then be the Marmolada, and of its disappearance, but also of three Andreas descendants of the Darman family, of the alternation of their lives over the course of a century. After all, it is the story of our wicked renunciation of beauty.

Marmolada, the heartbreaking words of a survivor: “I live and my boyfriend is dead. I owe him my life” – video

Two years to write Sogno bianco, how did the idea come about?
«I was in Mantua to hear Jonathan Safran Foer who had written about why not eat meat. Applause, everyone happy, then at the restaurant I find myself next to the same people and they were ordering fillets. We talk about the environment, but the truth is that only young people care about the future. There I thought that, more than a reportage in places where climate change is evident, it could be useful to tell through the form of the novel: the glacier seemed to me the clearest example. Like when a child looks at you and says: give me an example. A story that contains a part of the whole. If you want to understand, at that point, you understand».

It all begins in 1917.
«There was the war and the glacier was so big that today we wouldn't even be able to imagine it. I needed to start from afar, get to something close to us, finally imagine the future. A sort of timelapse: how it was, how it is, how it will be. This is the only way to answer the question: if a glacier melts, what changes for me?».

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In the book we even read of a city of ice.
“There really was: the Eisstadt. Some kind of Azovstal steelworks in the bowels of the Marmolada, a crazy thing. Today we would be scared to live under a glacier, but those soldiers did. I was up there in the spring and then in the winter, in the meantime two things happened. The first: war
in Ukraine. A conflict in many respects similar to that of a century ago: primitive, man against man. When I saw the Azovstal drawings I almost couldn't believe it: you could superimpose them on the ice city and again there were people who were refugees where it would not be human to live. Extreme situations, moral dilemmas: it's what best allows you to identify yourself with a character. What would you do, for example, if you were forced to shoot a friend? The first Andrea does it: he kills Canio. I gave it the name of a relative of Paola, my wife».

Meaning what?
«Canio Saluzzi, 20 years old. He came from Basilicata, he enlisted happy to at least be able to operate on appendicitis. At home they put a plaque: 'Missing'. At the Great War Museum, on the other hand, they even found the place where he died. Visiting it you understand that for those boys from the South it was like going to the moon, who died more of cold or under an avalanche than killed by enemies. He only won the mountain ».

Marmolada, the avalanche of ice and debris overwhelms the climbers – video

Did we miss the other thing that happened along the way?
“A piece of the glacier has broken off. And this is today. Except that it started in the 1980s: those of the fool, completely and immediately, holidays in Cortina, Jerry Calà, Fantozzi who gets lost in the snow and causes an avalanche with a burp. It is the moment in which the split between what is beautiful and what is useful takes place, but nothing is more useful than beauty. We gave up to use it today. Too bad it's starting to run out already.'

In the book, invention mixes with real facts. There is Wojtyla but his name is Secondo, there is even Mike Bongiorno in a balloon but it is Davis. Because?
«I liked to make the background of the real feel, with some literary licence. Making the Pope ski on the Marmolada, for example, who instead went to the Adamello and didn't even ski'.

Which character do you like the most?
«That last Andrea. Male name but female sex, union of the two families who fought over the course of the century. The environmental hacker who lives a tomorrow in which he has to imagine that, once upon a time, there was even a layer of ice. It is the synthesis. If I could choose, I would be Andrea Darman»

Source: oggi.it