Roman Tales by Alberto Moravia
Now, like other books, I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this one before. I found this book with a pile of others being compiled by my mother, stacked neatly in a box in my old brother’s room, ready to go to a charity shop. The book caught my eye because of the orange cover and at publishers were using these vintage marketing schemes to sell their books at the time. This was i 2010, if I remember right, before I came to Honduras. I skimmed through and read the synopsis and I had that gut feeling that this was a fantastic book.
I wasn’t wrong.
I didn’t know much about Alberto Moravia at the time but I did my research and bought a few of his books, one of which was Two Women which I accidentally left on a plane and annoys me to this day. I still haven’t read his book The Comformist, which is said to be his best work, but this book, meerly out of forgetting how great it is, was just knocked out my 10 favourite books. It is an anthology of short stories set in Rome in the 1940s and 50s if I remember right. All short stories have a poignant message for me, but these send you on different waves of thinking that had me contemplating for weeks I remember, but also inspired me to do the same. They contain intense emotions and mysterious and sly characters, who make conforming people do non-comforming in some shape or form. It may seem like normal plots to normal short stories, but he has a flow to his writing, written with a jesty seriousness makes you wonder if Moravia is mocking your way of thinking.
Later in life Alberto Moravia wrote quite a few perverted books – i.e. porn – some of which I have read but not sure if I enjoyed. It is very hard to get hold of his other books here in Honduras (his Kindle books are strangely hugely overpriced – shame on you Amazon), so if I can find a volunteer to send me some of his work, second hand books maybe, it would be massively appreciated (not the porn though).
I don’t know if it is still open, but there is a cafe/bar (due to a tragic incident that I will comment on in a future post) in Tegucigalpa named Cafe Paradiso which I’ve written about before, and it’s also a place that my parents really like. They have/had a cocktail named after Moravia, which gave me a whole new affinity with the cafe and in my first couple of years in Tegus, I could easily let a couple of hours pass by with a random book and said cocktail in hand. It is/was a nice cafe bar in its own right, but for me personally, it’s very own romantic Moravia tale (and also where I took Pam on many of our first dates).