The Atlas of Wonders
Once upon a time there was the Wunderkammer, the cabinets of curiosities: a collection of rare and exquisite objects, wonders of technology, sublime horrors of nature and history. In the same line of this bizarre tradition Danilo Soscia collected sixty exemplary parables, unfaithful memories, inventions, myths and ghosts, inventing a sulphureous and very personal Spoon River, and narrating with a strong and original style the inquietudes and obsessions that have been afflicting human hearts and minds since ever.
So The Atlas is many books together: it can be read from the beginning to the end like a fantastic catalogue of human passions and adventures, or it can be essayed by following the close web of themes and places that underlies the text.
We find, short story by short story, men not famous next to Arthur Rimbaud, Jesus, Mao, Antigone, Saint Francis, Jurij Gagarin and Friedrich Nietzsche. Each character, obscure and eminent, asks us to take part to his destiny and leads us with an irresistible strength inside his world. Bertolt Brecht’s and Bao Bao panda’s Berlin is linked to Walter Benjamin’s Paris, and the ship’s voyage of Odyssey to the island of Circe continues with the adventure of a Soviet dog, in orbit around Earth on a narrow spaceship.