Sunday, 7 March 2010

arturo's island (elsa morante)

One of my first boasts was my name. I soon learned (it was he who first told me, I think) that Arturo is a star: the swiftest and most radiant in the constellation of Bootes, in the northern sky. And what's more that this was the name of a king too, in ancient times, commander of a band of faithful, who were all heroes, like their king himself, and treated as equals by him, as if they were brothers.

Unfortunately, I then found out that this famous Arthur, King of Britain, wasn't definite history, just legend; so I put him aside for other more historical kings (I thought that legends were childish). There was another reason, though, that sufficed, for me, to give a heraldic distinction to the name Arturo: it was that the person who gave me this name (without knowing, I don't suppose, its noble symbolism) was, so I discovered, my mother. In herself, she was no more than an illiterate girl; but more than a queen, for me.

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