Blessings: Salvation according to Caroline Albertine Minor

18 November 2022

On a bench in Enghavenparken, we simply gave up. I sat and watched him as he limped away in his short black coat, wanting to shoot him in the back. I longed to see him fall and watch him lay on the gravel. A parody of a human being, but I was the inhuman one.

Blessings, short story collection by Caroline Albertine Minoroutlines, with a simple, solid, clear style, the profiles of seven stories of change. The difficulty of living, in all its disarming simplicity, is the absolute protagonist of these events, in which young and old characters struggle, in the daily banality of their lives, to find meaning in an existence that seems to have lost it. A family marked by the mourning of an early death by suicide, prisoner of the mysterious reasons for such a drastic and definitive choice, apparently inexplicable, the silent pain of the disease, capable of transforming everything, even “healthy” feelings, the darkness of ‘abandonment, cruel, inexplicable, surgical. Human, almost too much, the protagonists of these events become familiar to the reader in a few lines, creating a sense of intimate closeness, of communion of affections. Everyone seeks his personal salvation, without knowing where to find it. The blessing, indeed the blessings, arrive in an equally unexpected way, the fruit of trust, almost unconsciously, in a hand extended towards the other. A foothold, a port to land in, a quiet space: the encounters in this collection are never casual and, at the same time, they could be. It is not striking gestures that bring about change and perhaps we cannot even speak of real change. Things happen, they develop in a certain way, as if by inertia, they unexpectedly turn upside down, they find their center of gravity. Minor does not comment, does not analyze, does not offer – unlike much crisis literature – a reading of these experiences, but limits himself to presenting them to us, to tell them as they would present themselves to the gaze of an invisible observer. In this ability to suspend judgment, not to indulge in easy bedside philosophies, reassuring for their predictability, to describe without annotating, suggesting with extreme delicacy, little by little, the character traits of the protagonists lies the greatest value of his writing . She is cold, at times, very clean and mature. A precise and recognizable voice, attentive to detail, but also to the fluency of the prose. The stories speak to each other: some explicitly, others indirectly. The sensation is that of a choral narration, in which the observer – in the center – is called to make a synthesis. Blessings leaves a sense of liberation, even if – in the end – no knot can be said to be truly dissolved, no truth revealed. Perhaps the blessing lies precisely in this: in knowing how to go further, in not wanting to find an answer, a moral, becoming passionate and attached to the simple act of telling, recovering the sense of beauty that is hidden in the momentary suspension of the incessant flow of events of every day. A book that forces strong readers to question the difficulties that the story form still lives in Italy today and the infinite evocative potential, strongly fantastic, which instead it has, even and above all when it faces the apparent banality of the ordinary present.


Bompiani, Caroline Albertine Minor, New bookstore releases, short stories



Blessings: Salvation according to Caroline Albertine Minor