Archivi del mese: aprile 2016

Lo specchio di Leonardo – versione in inglese

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Qui di seguito le prime pagine della versione in inglese de LO SPECCHIO DI LEONARDO.
Here the first pages of the English version of LO SPECCHIO DI LEONARDO.
The novel in available, in e-book, also in English:

The mirror of Leonardo - imageLeonardo - La scapigliata

                  THE MIRROR OF LEONARDO



Ivano Mugnaini


Leonardo _ Bacco 2

It was not an invention to change my life, nor a discovery: it was a game of chance. One afternoon in March 1498, while travelling from Florence to Milan, to the castle of the Duke Sforza, my master, a powerful storm forced me to pause in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of Mugello. The struggle between the sky and the ground was fierce, the water penetrated the air like a blade opening wounds of mud that flowed in dense and swirling streams. The violence of nature appeared to me a blind force, and made me feel a sharp weakness and insecurity, but also a power even greater than that which tore the sky with fire and the chest of men and beasts with fear. “Here we have to stop, Master, or else we drown,” barked Uberto, my coachman. Fat and slow, laughing with big cheeks and dull eyes. Already he was looking forward to the wine and the buttocks of some generous landlady. I envied and hated him. He was a man like me, but he was different: simple, suitable to the vulgar misery and to the rocky reality of the world. Sitting at the table of the tavern in the village where we had taken refuge to escape the storm and to eat something, almost hidden by my own shoulders, suddenly I saw him. I looked at him for a long time, sideways. It was incredible, yet clear, completely real. In the opposite corner of the room, intent on drinking and peering into the window lashed by rain, there was a local man, a peasant, a mountaineer looking identical to me. Another me, same body, same face and expression, a perfect replica. I recalled in swift succession dozens of dreams of escape, and finally conceived, at that precise moment, a project, a plan, a mad flight. If it worked I would be free, I could finally give me to the debauchery, the bestiality, the taste of nonsense, and I could devote myself passionately to the really heretic studies I always dreamed of. Thanks to that man, the doors of real love and sex would have opened to me, in an honest, absolute way, and would tighten the walls of my wickedness, the sense of pleasure that catches me while I tear with knives and fingers still warm and alive bodies of toads and lizards, with an identical desire to do it with men and women. Meanwhile, as if by miracle, as I thought all this I finally conceived a kindness, or perhaps, a further insult, the greatest evil of my life: to give to a stranger, inadequate and perhaps happy in his wilderness, the chance to turn into Leonardo da Vinci, artist, man of science and of the world, considered a genius.

I approached him with slow steps, like a cat that moves towards the prey being careful not to let it get away too soon. I sat at his table, beside him. He looked at me scared, with my same ecstatic disbelief. We gave us strength with two glasses of wine drunk in unison, in silence. I explained him who I was, and I proposed him, as soon as I saw the features of his face relax and become placid, to replace me for a certain period of time, benefiting of all the advantages and all the honours that would be given to him.

With a smile that opened uncertain, but gradually more and more lively and penetrating, he accepted my offer. Certainly he presaged clear in his mind the leap into the void, the abyss that swallows. But he realized that that extraordinary occasion, the bright chariot in the rain, would never more cross the stony road of his life. He realized that, if he would step upon it, it would lead him away from the mud and squalor of his life, to the city, the real life, whatever it were.


My double agreed, and I already saw him as the puppet whom I would have provided the information and drawings for minimal routine administrative activities, things apt to a surveyor or an architect, to keep alive my name and my figure, and I, finally free from the chains, would have travelled around the world, in the memory, and in me, in the industrious application of the careful dissection of my mind and my wishes with the sharp knives of time and sincerity. And, for once, I could see myself living, or, even better, observe how others saw me or believed to see me: the lies, the poisonous comments, the stabs just as I turned my back. I finally would have gazed calmly and with ease to the faces and hearts of others. Thinking also, with huge application, a proper vengeance, before dying: a decisive invention, a deadly Trojan horse for this sick world.