The Withe Rock
A charming and brilliant travel in the Turkey Sultanate, in the XVII century. One of the most famous novel by the Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk (who also won the fabulous Grinzane Cavour prize). A well-cultured nobleman from Venice is abducted by pirates and sold as a slave in Turkey. There he ends in service of a famous astrologer, whose he's the perfect double, and he comes in touch with the court of the Sultan. His detention soon turns to a period of intense study. He and the astrologer exchanged their knowledge and experience and together they vanquished the plague, they made fireworks of charming beauty, they designed clocks that didn't need to be wound. But these decades of team work came to a sudden stop after the failure of a war machine they designed to be employed in the european campagne. They split, one going back to Instambul, the other one to Venice. Well ... but which comes back to Turkey? The clear richness of the novel makes the reader forget about what is already stated on the back cover. When comes the time for a (possible) role inversion, the reader is taken completely aback, the rythm of the novel whirling and rushing, dragging the reader to the conclusion. What seemed so long to be a serene exposition of facts turned to an equally serene ending, is abruptly changed and turns to a mistery, solved only (and maybe) in the last line. The translation by Giampiero Bellingeri for Einaudi let us suppose an equally high level of prose in the original.