Paola Capriolo: Il doppio regno (The Dual Realm)


The latest addition to my website is Paola Capriolo‘s Il doppio regno (The Dual Realm). This is another strange novel from Capriolo. It is a diary written by an Italian woman aged around thirty who does not remember her name and has something of a hazy recollection of the events that led to this situation. She does remember that she was at a seaside resort towards the end of the season when she saw a tidal wave approaching the shore. She fled the town, up a hill, and came to a large, single-storey building, which turned out to be a hotel. She finds it difficult to communicate, because of her stress and cannot report the tidal wave. She is offered a room and lies down on the bed, not waking up till the next morning. Then she finds that she is the only guest at the hotel, that no-one seems to know what happened in the town, there are no newspapers and none of the staff seems to know where the exit is. She stays there for what seems a long time, gradually losing her memory of her previous life and her sense of self, till, one day, three other guests arrive. She eventually tells them of her situation and when they plan to leave, they offer to take her with them. But can she leave and will they be able to do so? It is a fine if disturbing novel about identity and reality and who we are and how we communicate and has actually been translated into English.

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