Indecent exposure in private place by Marco Missiroli. (2015)

The location is the culturally effervescent Paris in the 1970s and later Milan in the 1980s where is set the last part of the story. Time starts to pass in 1975 when Libero Marshall and his family move to Paris. Libero is twelve years old and he is about to be exposed to the world of emotions. Time then moves slowly towards his maturity hovering above those elements, that inspire his natural evolution: books, films, songs fill the pages with references to a familiar imaginative scenario where we recognise Camus, Salinger, Buzzati, Duras and other authors.

The important moments that will define the human, psychological and intellectual traits of his persona define the novel genre as a Bildungsroman – a coming of age novel, that proceeds among smart quotations and references to popular literary atmospheres, but is able to find its peculiarity in the intimate and precise language that describes characters endowed with great humanity and offer an original reading of the borders and trespassing of intimacy and individuality.

“Outside more than inside: that was what I wrote on my Lupin diary to translate that night chaos. I slept alone, still and on my back, and then I knew, waking up, that something had changed. Just after few hours, my flesh had become autoimmune: able to recognise the hand of others only. The idea of a return to masturbation was destabilizing, recalling something hollow and entirely inconsistent. I had broken the harmony with myself. I had got to become the outside. I was inside the others, I was inside Lunet.”

The novel treats sensitive issues such as masturbation, circumcision and adultery never with drama or judgment. A kind of fairy-tale atmosphere unravels the plot that proceeds linearly without big conflicts describing Libero’s interest for the feminine universe never with morbidity or vulgarity. Sex is represented as a delicate and sweet experience allowing Libero to touch possible worlds crossing the infinite universe of the tension between the “I” and the “you”. This way, he discovers the multifaceted relationship that the individuals have with the inner selves and the outer others, processing the continuous stimuli that lead both toward the unknown and to what is loved.