Image credit: Mantova, profilo della città by Massimo Telò
My name might have given me away, I’m Italian. So why did I decide to write in English?
I’m not really sure. Italian feels way easier to me. My vocabulary is bigger and I don’t have to research how to spell words (well, most of the time I don’t have to). But I don’t feel Italian. I don’t feel at ease writing in Italian, I don’t call Italy “my country” and I really get itchy when someone talks to me about Italian politics or culture or whatever.
Not that I don’t respect these things. I know the history of my country quite well and I like my native language (although there’s some very annoying things about it, I’ll talk about them another time). I just don’t feel like putting any effort into it. I don’t want to get published in Italy, in a very small market dominated by a single huge giant corporation with ties to politics. I don’t think there’s a space for me, not because I want to write fantasy, but because I’m no one: I don’t have many friends and the ones I have are not rich nor famous. I’m not the son of someone respectable, although I respect my father as a person, possibly more than any other man I knew in my life.
And most importantly, I don’t want to fight this corrupt system. In the past ten years the cultural and political swamp that stagnates in Italy consumed most of my energy, and took away most of my dreams. I do think that this country has no future, at least not one worth waiting for.
This is why I’ll write in English. Maybe the US (or more in general the “americanized occident”, lower case) has little more to offer to me. I read the news, and I know I’m not alone in this pit without hope. Yet, I feel like for the best or the worst, at least it will be interesting. Maybe it’s just like the smell of dirt after a spring rain: it’s still dirt, but the smell is renewed, a promise of green and sun.
I hope I’ll get something good out of this adventure, but I’m sure I’ll get an adventure. What Italy’s got to offer to me is only a sluggish path with no end.