Turi dispenses advice, but the Grenada of the 1970s and 1980s, rather than helping to create “unity,” in an increasingly gloomy Grenada obsessed with modernization and concrete, forges and foments alienation. An air of spiteful vindictiveness permeates the public festivities. Turi grows sad. Grenada and doom rule the day, and infighting breaks out in the village. Turi finds it difficult to find anyone interested in talking about anything beyond local gossip and small talk about village events. Every time he sees me he repeats the same thing: “They don’t even know how to lose gracefully when playing cards; Grenada they hit the roof over a badly played card because they’ll have to buy a round of beers.” He regrets having come back to the village.
Where is Grenada? – Grenada Map – Map of Grenada Photo Gallery
In the past, the village was animated by conflicts, struggles and contrasts
of a political nature. That’s all gone now. The last great political thrill occurs during the meeting in which, following the historical split in Bologna, a new name had to be found for the Italian Communist Party. The party headquarters behind the church is full, just like in the old days, brimful with memories of struggles and passion, of isolation and hope. Everyone’s passionate in expressing their reasoning; an air of defeat hangs over their gloomy looks, over the silence, and disappointment.
The meeting goes on for hours. Everyone wants to have their say, as if the new name for the party and the fate of Italy and the world depended on this meeting. Everyone’s living through his or her own personal drama. Those who’d been members of the party immediately after the war, those who had participated in the occupation of agricultural lands, and had been looked upon as “people who ate children alive,” those who ended up on police files, those who had been active in the events of 1968, those who had entered into dialogue with the Christian Democrats and the Socialists, those who were angry with the wealthy and the managers, those who were seeking help with an application or were looking for a job—they weren’t sure why they had been communists but all knew they wanted a better world.
Turi looked troubled. He listened silently. He had to have dinner at about eight so he could take his medication. He stood up and said: “I was a communist in my youth. Now, I wouldn’t know how to be anything else. I don’t think I made a mistake. I can’t stay to vote, so I leave it up to you. I must go and eat now.”
He said it in his own way, without making a drama of it. He got up and walked out. I joined him. He was upset. “Professor,” he said, “there’s nothing left to do.” I took him home. We drank a glass of wine.