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GiuseppeBenassi's "Una Favolosa Eredità"

A crime novel

By Patrizia PoliPublished 2 months ago 2 min read
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A ride into disgust, more and more explicit, less and less mitigated by the sublime of the art or the lyricism of the landscape, this latest effort by Giuseppe Benassi. In “A Fabulous Inheritance” we find the ever-present Labronian lawyer Borrani dealing with a case full of legal as well as criminal quibbles, a huge inheritance disputed between four people, with as many wills now in favor of one, now of the other. Someone dies, as is predicted by the first victim in the incipit of the novel, indeed, there are two people killed, and it is not easy to disentangle the various characters, who all have more or less a reason for crime. The environment in which we move is no longer Livorno but Fauglia, sweet and perverse Tuscan countryside, made of art, old dusty villas, unspeakable hatreds and resentments. Inherits are disputed, people die in mysterious circumstances, lawyers fight each other, there is even an authentic Michelangelo involved, art in the end wins over everything and blessed is he who can enjoy it fully, even redeeming the evil committed in a sort of Parnassus.

The crime story is, as always, a pretext to investigate the human soul, with ever greater disgust and intolerance. But, as we know, where there is contempt there is envy. Or perhaps there is a poorly concealed act of exposing oneself, objectifying oneself, alienating oneself in order to be able to wallow in the slime while keeping the sense of guilt at bay.

Borrani insists on the sexual and private life of the characters he meets, delving into gory details that evidently fascinate and repel him at the same time, showing ever greater knowledge and familiarity with them. Also unchanged is the disdain for other lawyers, lawyers as unctuous and greedy as vultures, who pounce on the wills of the deceased. As usual, no one is discounted.

Compared to Benassi’s other works there is much less esotericism, less cultural intellectualism and much more account of the legal environment, made up of courts, appraisals, lawyers and bagmen. An ecosystem that the author well knows, being himself a lawyer.

Someone compared Benassi to Federigo Tozzi. I don’t know if the comparison is apt but the objectification of squalor is all there, and it is insistent, often not even aimed at the plot. And the alternation between realism and lyricism is also present.

Death is seen by the author as a retaliation for the depravity of all the protagonists without distinction, even the most unsuspected. No one is free from sins, from hidden vices, from perversions. In the end, the guilt par excellence always remains “homosexuality”, longed for and at the same time despised, sublimated and at the same time experienced in the worst way.

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About the Creator

Patrizia Poli

Patrizia Poli was born in Livorno in 1961. Writer of fiction and blogger, she published seven novels.

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