«When she suggests replacing the contemporaries with the classics, Susanna Tamaro should name, rather than herself, the writers of the great twentieth-century style, to whom it is right to draw more attention. But not to the detriment of the greats of our past, who are the protagonists of the planetary gallery of men of letters and it would be good if the writers themselves read more today, to get their own style too».
The attack launched by the Accademia della Crusca on the writer Susanna Tamaro, author of the best seller "Go where your heart takes you" is very harsh. The reason is that you recently declared that «at school we should read contemporary writers and leave the boring classics alone, starting with Giovanni Verga».
The reprimand against Tamaro, whose words have aroused, as Crusca points out, "bewilderment among teachers and scholars" is signed by Vittorio Coletti, emeritus professor of History of the Italian language at the University of Genoa and Crusca academic, who with Francesco Sabatini directed the «Sabatini Coletti. Dictionary of the Italian Language».
According to the famous Coletti, in the article entitled "Literature at school, today", published on the website of the Accademia della Crusca, Susanna Tamaro's specific reference to Verga was "particularly unfair and wrong - she must have been bored reading the "Malavoglia", but I think it's his problem, because it is, by universal recognition, a novel that is among the great masterpieces of nineteenth-century European narrative: an extraordinary linguistic invention, between the poetic and the realistic, epic and tragic portrait of a humble and honest Italy, which has tried to establish itself with the toil of work and has found in the State a distant and deaf power». And again: «The topicality of Verga's masterpiece remains very strong, even if the poor no longer trade in lupins and have emigrated abroad».
Again according to Professor Coletti, «there is a powerful pedagogical reason for making Susanna Tamaro's statements questionable: the idea of school and literature as a double or mirror of the present. The role of school, on the other hand, is not to reflect or cancel out the differences between young people and their world, but to help them understand them, to measure them with different languages, richer or more precise than their own, such as those of literature". Final lunge: «Literature, for its part, helps the reader to understand his own time not only when it is chronologically contemporary, but also and above all when it provides him with powerful and long-lasting means, tested by decades or centuries of attention and consensus , to understand it on your own - Coletti writes - Literature and school are not places in which one must reflect on the surrounding reality, already too poor in itself to hope for duplicates, but those in which one reflects on it and tries to understand it, to relate consciously to it and, when possible, to improve it».
Alla Tamaro, the academic della Crusca acknowledges that «there is a just need in this request, but also a gross error, refuted for centuries, which consists in believing that artistic actuality is represented only by contemporary art and not understanding that the rate of modernity is proportional to the value of the work, to its resistance to time, so much so that today Greek tragedies (albeit in another language and of much greater antiquity) are commonly used and studied by historians and jurists to address strictly current political and legal problems".
The scholar gives one last example: «The recent anniversaries of Dante and Manzoni have shown the vitality of their teaching for the knowledge and criticism of the Italian character and for a rethinking of the concrete human dimension at the time of its feared evaporation into the virtual universe ».