There’s no biography which resembles Horace’s as does Pasquale Festa Campanile’s. Like Horace, who was forced to move to Rome by his father, Pasquale Festa Campanile was forced to move to Rome to reach his father, a ministry official. He was born in 1927 in Melfi. There he spent the first part of his childhood with his grandmother, his mother being away. Perhaps, Horace was motherless, too, but he did not have a grandmother, but only a wet-nurse.
After the third year in primary school, Pasquale Festa Campanile turned his back on his town, to return every now and then. A page from Nonna Sabella, his first and most important novel, is very revealing in this regard: on a torrid day of July 1944 Michele, Pasquale Festa Campanile’s alter ego, makes return to Melfi on occasion of his aunt Carmelina’s death. A few days after his return to Rome, Nonna Sabella, typical Horacean name, joins him. She is shrew and strong-willed, willing, as much as her nephew, to reach the city at last… read more