Marise Ferro’s women between the conquest of freedom and irreparable violence

Marise Ferro's women between the conquest of freedom and irreparable violence


Two novels, floral frames for black fairy tale characters: rationality coexists with a heated sensuality and coldness mixes with obsession. A macabre puppet game, an oppression that knows no way out

It is so rare, leafing through a book published today by an Italian publisher, to find well written back and cover flaps – that is, immune from the pompous advertising vagueness, or even just without errors – that when it happens I immediately decide to trust the author even if I know nothing. It just happened to me with two novels by Marise Ferro, The violence (1967) and The girl in the garden (1976), re-edited by Elliot. Having read the implications, however, I was left with another diffidence: the repechage of this writer, I wondered, will it not by chance be attributable to that industry of the Forgotten Female Voices, which in order to ride the spirit of the time does not scruple to extol works without distinction of too different quality? But then Francesca Sensini’s introductions, with their intelligent discretion, convinced me to pass from the paratext to the text. La Ferro, wife of two cumbersome men of letters like Piovene and Bo, was a notable translator (of Balzac, Proust, Simenon, Mauriac…), and she learned a lot from the job. Indeed, her model looks just right that French socio-psychological novel which after having reigned over the 19th century was dignifiedly exhausted in the 20th century. Yet the raw “rationality” underlined by Sensini, a rationality that coexists in her with a heated sensuality, also evokes the age of enlightenment – ​​her flat and perverse ups and downs, all lucid and in the light.

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