Between the Lines of Imagination

Two books by the young blind author Roberto Turolla.
Silvia Colombini

Perhaps imagination never came to power, as used to say an old political slogan from the 1960s, but it certainly remains a great resource for all of us. The ability to tell has always been one of the primary needs of man, who is, in fact, a narrative being. Each of us has experienced at least once the need to represent the world, our reality and where we are through a story. Sometimes they are chronicles of events that have happened, other times they are products of the imagination, but in the end the point is to express oneself because, as a line from the famous television series “Game of Thrones” goes, "What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it." Perhaps this is why the young blind author Roberto Turolla decided to try his hand at writing in his first book "Racconti del buio" (tales from darkness), Edizioni Golem, where his imagination as a young man with a passion for writing gives life to ten beautiful stories. The common thread of the stories is the darkness in which the protagonists find themselves living. Whether fog or night, this darkness momentarily plunges the characters, some of whom actually existed like Napoleon and Pietro Micca, into a state of blindness. 

 Front cover of the book "Racconti del buio"

A literary device and a remarkable effort of imagination for the author who, as a blind person, narrates the images of those who see. After all, even the great Emilio Salgari, one of Turolla's passions, always invented and narrated worlds unknown to him, with which he never had a direct relationship, but only and always filtered through his imagination. It is not by chance that the stylistic choice adopted in the book is a language that draws on different sources such as cinematography or sports radio reporting which, by their nature, use words that can incisively evoke images and actions. In his second book “Il salto del salmone” (the salmon's leap), Edizione Golem, the stories are linked through a sequence of action that, like the salmon of the title, proceeds backwards. A very interesting narrative mechanism that makes for exciting reading. The author's challenge, in both of his works, is to keep the reader from realizing that the writer is absolutely blind from birth.

Author Roberto Turolla and the front cover of his book "Il salto del salmone"

Passionate about radio to the point of having dedicated to it his experimental thesis in Modern Literature, he earned an honours degree. An expert classical guitar player, Roberto Turolla does not set limits either to his imagination or to the possibilities and opportunities that life offers him. As he said in an interview, "I have a lot to tell and I intend to demonstrate, particularly to those who do not believe in their own potential, that blindness, whether complete or not, can be a gift, a prerogative of the individual capable of achieving remarkable inner growth." An important statement because to make it is one who, as he says, has never seen the sun, or doesn't know what "blonde girl" means. A young man in his early thirties who has come to so effectively conveys emotions we all share, putting to good use his love of literature and the stories in his heart.


Previous | Next

Table of Contents

Beyond Foundations

Current Events