Book Review,  Memoir

Returning to Sardinia

This October I will return to Sardinia.
According to legend, the island was founded by Sardus, a son of Heracles. But who is Grazia Deledda? That is what I’d rather know more about as I read her 1913 novel, Reeds in the Wind.
Just beginning her novel, I am struck by its beauty–not that endorphin generating kind when one happens upon random aesthetically pleasing objects–but rather the kind that is a craft sublime, the prose seemingly aligned for our times, the kind Keats reminded us of his “Ode on a Grecian Urn.”
Grazia Deledda speaks to us a one hundred and one years later: “Yes, man’s working day was done, but the fantastic life of elves, fairies, wandering spirits was beginning. Ghosts of the ancient Barons came down from the Castle ruins above Galte on Efix’s left and ran along the river hunting wild boar and fox. Their guns gleamed in the short alder trees along the river bed, and the faint sound of barking dogs in the distance was a sign of their passing.”
What does that mean? I don’t know. Or maybe I do. It is beyond my unkempt cerebral cortex to explain in logical terms.
But one thing is certain: Grazia Deledda speaks.
And I look forward to hiking Ortobene Mountain where we would gain the power of the island’s name sake, sardonicism, the ability to grin in the face of danger, and curl our lips back at evil.
This will be the second time I’ve been to Sardinia. The first time my eyes were wide shut, having gotten a free ride courtesy of Uncle Sam and the Department of Navy. This time I go courtesy of free will–personal financing and economic thinking be damned.

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