Which suction it is for the eternal stories, I think when I read my amazing friend, when I step into Naples’ poorer neighborhoods in the 50s and starts to follow Elena and Lila through life. What force staying in this that by a novel fresco build the story of a few individuals, some families, a place and a time. And how precisely the depiction of the specific, local, which is precisely this novel’s characters, if it is well done, always becomes what is the most universal.
This is friendship, of course. The difficult and ulcerated, strong. But also the issues of class and education – about the new time breaking into the 60′s with both prosperity and values.
At the same time this is also Naples, with what well be described as an honor culture where violence , threats and even murder – not to mention the corruption and black affärer- is such a natural part of everyday life that the very concept of tax may be unknown, even for an adult.
Elena Ferrante writes off that style is hardly noticeable, and she has said that she was when she wrote the books found himself “in the blessed state in which the writing is completely at the service of the story.” In this, there are also some simplifications, sometimes quite close to cliché. Lilas rowdy personality and splendid talent becomes almost mythological, her beauty as well. The narrator Elena lucid cleverness seems at first to be worth nothing in comparison. But it’s still Elena studying further, while Lila does not. And this is also just the foundation for something that will be complicated and developed through their lives by books. Femininity, sexuality, gender roles, the intellectual responsibility. Elections. Elections. It grows.
But this is also something the reader should be prepared. The development takes place. This first part is almost a prologue to the work, and it is almost difficult to evaluate on their own. But – on the other – a prelude ending with a real cliffhanger, and that makes you just need to read further – right away.