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SU “ROMANZO CRIMINALE” Andrea Camilleri


Se ne stava rannicchiato fra due auto in sosta e aspettava il prossimo colpo cercando di coprirsi il volto. Erano in quattro. Il più cattivo era il piccoletto, con uno sfregio di coltello lungo la guancia. Tra un assalto e l’altro scambiava battute al cellulare con la ragazza: la cronaca del pestaggio. Menavano alla cieca, per fortuna. Per loro era solo un gran divertimento. Pensò che potevano essergli figli. A parte il negro, si capisce. Pischelli sbroccati. Pensò che qualche anno prima, solo a sentire il suo nome, si sarebbero sparati da soli, piuttosto che affrontare la vendetta. Qualche anno prima. Quando i tempi non erano ancora cambiati. Un attimo fatale di distrazione. Lo scarpone chiodato lo prese alla tempia. Scivolò nel buio. – Annamo, – ordinò il piccoletto, – me sa che questo non s’alza più!- Ma si alzò, invece. Si alzò che era già buio, con il torace in fiamme e la testa confusa. Poco più avanti c’era una fontanella. Si ripulì del sangue secco e bevve una lunga sorsata d’acqua ferrosa. Era in piedi. Poteva camminare. Per strada, automobili con lo stereo a tutto volume e gruppi di giovani che giocherellavano col cellulare e schernivano il suo passo sbilenco. Dalle finestre le luci azzurrine di mille televisori. Poco più avanti ancora, una vetrina illuminata. Si considerò nel riflesso del vetro: un uomo piegato, il cappotto strappato e macchiato di sangue, pochi capelli unti, i denti marci. Un vecchio. Ecco cos’era diventato. Passò una sirena. D’istinto si appiattì contro il muro. Ma non cercavano lui. Nessuno più lo cercava. – Io stavo col Libanese! – mormorò, quasi incredulo, come se si fosse appena appropriato della memoria di un altro.

Questo romanzo di Giancarlo De Cataldo è criminale non solo nel titolo, ma soprattutto nel suo essere, nel suo proporsi. Perché è destinato a scompaginare, criminalmente, ma con mia somma goduria, le carte di tutti quei recensori e critici, e ce ne sono tanti in Italia, che amano dotare subito ogni romanzo che leggono, o che credono di aver letto, del suo bravo recintino debitamente palettato e contrassegnato da una scritta – romanzo giallo, romanzo di formazione, romanzo d’evasione, romanzo storico, romanzo familiare e via processionando -, in modo da sentirsi rassicurati per l’etichettatura assegnata al ghetto giusto o al loculo giusto. Ma se Dio vuole ogni tanto viene fuori un romanzo che testardamente, criminalmente appunto, rifiuta di essere catalogato. Allora che fare in questi casi? La difesa alla quale più spesso ricorrono è il silenzio, considerare quel romanzo come inesistente, un fantasma. Ma è molto difficile però trattare come un fantasma il romanzo di De Cataldo per due semplicissime ragioni. La prima è che il libro si compone di ben 632 pagine e quindi ha una sua reale esistenza anche a volerlo considerare un semplice corpo contundente. Dirlo, può sembrare un assurdo, ma in Italia, appena i critici e i recensori si trovano di fronte a un libro piuttosto lungo, storcono subito il muso: nipotini come sono delle due stente colonnine giornalistiche dell’elzeviro, trovano poco elegante se non addirittura scorretto un libro che superi le duecento pagine. La seconda ragione è che si tratta di un romanzo assai importante, praticamente un monstrum nel panorama della nostra letteratura contemporanea. Prima di tutto bisogna dire che il respiro narrativo di De Cataldo sembra essere quello di un maratoneta etiope, di quelli che partono e arrivano dopo aver macinato decine di chilometri riuscendo sempre a tenere la stessa andatura. Il romanzo, diviso in tre grandi parti, copre un arco di tempo che inizia nel 1977 e termina al 1992. Ma la scansione temporale del racconto è magistralmente strutturata in modo che non possono esserci momenti di stanchezza o di caduta di tensione. Faccio un esempio. Il primo capitolo della prima parte, intitolato “Genesi”, si compone di cinque sottocapitoli il più lungo dei quali occupa poco più di sei pagine a stampa, mentre il più breve non arriva a due pagine. Il romanzo insomma respira continuamente adeguando il suo respiro ai fatti che via via racconta e il lettore assume quasi senza rendersene conto quello stesso respiro, consona con le pagine. Certo, a me è capitato di non trovare il tempo occorrente a leggerlo tutto di fila, ma ci ho messo poco a finirlo perché sentivo veramente la necessità di tornare a quel respiro narrativo che non era il mio ma che lo diventava non appena riaprivo il libro. Cos’è insomma questo romanzo? De Cataldo, ad apertura, mette due citazioni, una da Bertolt Brecht e una di Bernardo Provenzano, assolutamente sconosciuto alle patrie lettere ma celebre, quasi quanto Brecht lo è nella letteratura mondiale, nei tribunali italiani. All’oscuro come sono delle attività didattico-epistolari di Provenzano, posso solo rifarmi a Brecht e dire che almeno uno dei suoi titoli ha una lontana attinenza col romanzo e cioè La resistibile ascesa di Arturo Ui. De Cataldo narra, senza indulgenze letterarie, senza svincolamenti psicologici, senza compiacenze formali, ma con una scrittura netta e aguzza, il formarsi di una banda di giovani delinquenti, raggruppati attorno a tre altrettanto giovani capi, il Libanese, il Freddo e Dandi, la sua ascesa fino al dominio malavitoso di un’intera città come Roma, la sua caduta finale. Attorno a loro, un mare di comprimari e di comparse, il Nero, il Bufalo, Nembo Kid, il Secco, Trentadenari, Scrocchiazeppi, il Sorcio, soprannomi felicissimi che marchiano carattere e fisico di ognuno. Sicché la pagina dei convenuti al funerale di Dandi, fatta tutta di soprannomi, finisce con l’essere una sorta di sfilata di personaggi esistenti e vividi in virtù dei nomignoli. Le imprese di questa banda sanguinaria sono contrastate da un giudice, Borgia, che ogni tanto esita a fare quello che deve fare, e da un poliziotto, il commissario Nicola Scialoja, molto deciso certo, ma che non è esente da errori caratteriali. Però, attenzione. Come una rondine non fa primavera, un poliziotto che indaga non fa un romanzo poliziesco. E difatti “Romanzo criminale” poliziesco non intende esserlo neanche alla lontana. Attorno a questi personaggi che abbiamo citato, un sottobosco di – cito testualmente dall’elenco posto dall’autore nel risvolto di copertina- psichiatri, criminologi, periti balistici e tossicologici, pubblici ministeri, giudici, neofascisti, giocatori d’azzardo, attori, cantanti… Mi fermo qui. E’ l’Italia che siamo abituati a vedere quotidianamente a Porta a Porta, o mi sbaglio? E quindi non possono mancare neanche i famosi servizi deviati, qui ultradeviati, che si servono della banda per i loro scopi. Alcuni hanno scritto – e la cosa è riportata anche nell’ultima pagina di copertina – che si tratta di una “storia epica di straordinaria potenza”. Sulla potenza sono perfettamente d’accordo, sull’epica un poco meno. E non solo per non dar modo a critici e recensori di poter approntare un’altra etichetta con su scritto: ”romanzo epico”. Epico, mi spiega il dizionario, significa attinente alle grandi narrazioni poetiche, volte all’esaltazione degli eroi. Non mi sembra questo il caso. Il dizionario mi da un significato aggiunto e cioè: contrapposto a poetico, vale a dire vigorosamente narrativo. Qui potremmo cominciare ad intenderci. A patto però di una distinzione che forse spiega la presenza di Brecht nella prima pagina. A mio personalissimo avviso, il termine epico è applicabile a ragione a questo romanzo ove venga adoperato con lo stesso significato che Brecht da’ alla recitazione epica, vale a dire alienata, non immedesimata, che racconta ma non diviene mai, non è mai il personaggio. Perché dico questo? Perché fortunatamente il signor giudice di Corte d’assise Giancarlo De Cataldo non ha niente da spartire con quell’eccellente scrittore che è Giancarlo De Cataldo. Il quale non giudica i suoi personaggi, non li assolve e non li condanna, non tira facili morali, non compiange né gioisce: narra, semplicemente. E narra con una splendida felicità di narrare. Ma solo quando la narrazione è terminata, quando hai chiuso il libro, solo allora ti rendi conto che narratore di gran razza sia De Cataldo: senza dirtelo, senza fartelo sospettare, egli ha disegnato via via, pagina dietro pagina, il gigantesco affresco di una sconfitta globale, sconfitta che non riguarda solamente i suoi personaggi, ma, tutt’intera, la nostra società.


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