Notes on ‘the house of scorta’

These are excerpts I translated to the best of my ability but I feel I haven’t done them justice. They come from a book called The house of Scorta. I took the liberty to illustrate each as a game but also to make it slightly more enticing.

1. ‘They had worked without keeping track […] year after year the space had come together. As if this cold domain, made of old stones, fed off of men’s sweat to blossom. The more they worked the more beautiful the space became. Men sense that. Whether it be a store or a field, or a ship, there is an obscure bond between the man and his tool, made of respect and hatred.’
2. ‘”[…]Those who say we are poor have never eaten a piece of bread bathed in our olive oil. It’s like bitting into the our hills. It smells like the sun and the stones. It is beautiful, thick, unctuous. Olive oil is the blood of our Earth.”‘


3. ‘”What would you say, answered Giuseppe, of a man who, at the end of his life, declared that the most beautiful day of his life was one of feasting? Isn’t there greater joy in a man’s life? Isn’t that the proof of a miserable life? Shouldn’t-I be ashamed? Et yet I assure you, each time I think about it, this very memory imposes itself.”
“No Peppe, he told his brother, you are right. Who can boast having known such happiness? Few of us can. And why should it be despised? Because we were eating? Because the smell of our food frying and our shirts spotted with tomato sauce? Happy are those whom have encountered these feasts. We were together. We ate, spoke, screamed, laughed and drank like human beings. Side by side. Those were precious moments Peppe.”‘
4.'”I look at you both today. I contemplate the two of you with great pleasure. And when times will be hard, when I will be crying about my condition, when I will be cursing this bitch of a life, I will remember these instants, your faces, illuminated by joy, and I will tell myself: remember Elia and Maria and  how happy they were at least one day in their life. You were by their side.”‘
 5/ BOAT
5.’He was sliding on the waters. In silence. Laying in his boat, he only looked at the stars for direction. In those moments, he was nothing. He forgot himself. No one knew who he was any more. He was a dot in the darkness.’
6/ Scorta
6.'[The immigrants] would then have to work like beasts, accepting to be forced to sweat until the last drop in their body, accepting the powerful and violent rule of money.’
7.'”Yes. Money has made them crazy. The desire to have some. The fear to be in need of it. Money is their only obsession.”
“Perhaps, added Elia, but you have to admit the Montpuccians aren’t starving anymore. Children don’t have malaria anymore and every house has running water.”
“Yes, said Don Salvatore, we have become richer but who will ever measure the impoverishment that came along with the evolution? The village’s livelihood is poor.”‘

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