Risale a qualche anno fa l'uscita del film tratto da questo libro. Interpreti la coppia d'assi Kate Winslet e Leonardo Di Caprio. Ricordo di essere stata molto colpita da quel film, temi come lo scoppiare di una coppia e la voglia di fuggire pullulano la mia mente da mattina a sera, era pane per i miei denti. Poi scopro che effettivamente si trattava appunto di una trasposizione cinematografica di un romanzo di Richard Yates e mi sono sempre riproposta di leggere qualcosa di lui; purtroppo/per fortuna è uno scrittore abbastanza famoso ma trovare dei libri suoi in libreria è un'impresa piuttosto sfiancante. Se ne trovano sicuramente di più online. E sono passati quel paio d'anni finchè l'ultimo giorno della mia mini vacanza novembrina a Londra, complice il mega ritardo dell'andata durante il quale avevo finito "La solitudine dei numeri primi", mi ritrovavo sprovvista di letture. Aggirandomi tra le bancarelle di un mercatino bellissimo di cui non ricordo il nome mi sono incappata in un altro libro di Yates "Easter Parade" che ho subito comprato e che nei successivi giorni è diventato una vera ossessione. Ed è stato lì che ho deciso di leggere l'intera sua bibliografia. Richard Yates, un uomo, un mito. Niente svolazzi, niente fronzoli, solo la natura nuda e cruda dell'uomo, dei suoi impulsi primari mischiati alle costrizioni della società. Non si sta comodi a leggere un suo romanzo, si è sempre accompagnati da una sensazione di scomodità, di grettezza, di sudore e fetore umano che cercano di elevarsi in un'Ammerica borghese degli anni '50. Da una parte l'esplosione dell'ottimismo del sogno americano, dall'altro la realtà. Disegnata crudamente, ma senza volgarità. Quella con dentro i nostri pensieri più nascosti, allora come oggi. Quella che cerchiamo in tutti i modi di camuffare. Lui la scopre, in una maniera che oserei definire educata, naturale, senza gli schiaffi in faccia di un Bukowski o la fantascienza di un Philip K. Dick. S'insinua piano piano nella crepa di un muro e poi butta giù la casa con tutte le fondamenta.
Da un po' di tempo a questa parte ho poi deciso di tagliare definitivamente con le traduzioni e di conseguenza di leggere i libri e guardare i film in lingua originale per quanto mi è possibile. E che ve lo dico a fare, ci si guadagna alla grande. Quindi per quelli che non ne capiscono, mi spiace, non sapete quello che vi perdete..
Ecco la trama:
Hailed as a masterpiece from its first publication, Revolutionary Road is the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright young couple who are bored by the banalities of suburban life and long to be extraordinary. With heartbreaking compassion and clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April's decision to change their lives for the better leads to betrayal and tragedy.
E le citazioni, sempre in english:
Mrs. Givings's cosmetics seemed always to have been applied in a frenzy of haste, of impatience to get the whole silly business over and done with, and she was constantly in motion, a trim, leather-skinned woman in her fifties whose eyes expressed a religious belief in the importance of keeping busy.
"I mean talk about decadence," he declared, "how decadent can a society get? Look at it this way. This country's probably the psychiatric, psychoanalytical capital of the world. Old Freud himself could never've dreamed up a more devoted bunch of disciples than the population of the United States - isn't that right? Our whole damn culture is geared to it; it's the new religion; it's everybody's intellectual and spiritual sugar-tit. And for all that, look what happens when a man really does blow his top. Call the Troopers, get him out of sight quick, hustle him off and lock him up before he wakes the neighbors. Christ's sake, when it comes to any kind of a showdown we're still in the Middle Ages. It's as if everybody'd made this tacit agreement to live in a state of total self-deception. The hell with reality! Let's have a whole bunch of cute little winding roads and cute little houses painted white and pink and baby blue; let's all be good consumers and have a lot of Togetherness and bring our children up in a bath of sentimentality - Daddy's a great man because he makes a living, Mummy's a great woman because she's stuck by Daddy all these years - and if old reality ever does pop out and say Boo we'll all get busy and pretend it never happened."
He found that if he focused his eyes on her mouth so that the rest of her face was slightly blurred, and then drew back to include the whole length and shape of her in that hazy image, it was possible to believe he was looking at the most desirable woman in the world.
I remember looking at you and thinking 'God, if only he'd stop talking.' Because everything you said was based on this great premise of ours that we're somehow very special and superior to the whole thing, and I wanted to say 'But we're not! Look at us! We're just like the people you're talking about! We are the people you're talking about!'
How small and neat and comically serious the other men looked, with their gray-flecked crew cuts and their button-down collars and their brisk little hurrying feet! There were endless desperate swarms of them, hurrying through the station and the streets, and an hour from now they would all be still. The waiting mid-town office buildings would swallow them up and contain them, so that to stand in one tower looking out across the canyon to another would be to inspect a great silent insectarium displaying hundreds of tiny pink men in white shirts, forver shifting papers and frowning into telephones, acting out their passionate little dumb show under the supreme indifference of the rolling spring clouds.
Sometimes there was a glint of humor in these embraces of the eye: I know I'm showing off, they seemed to say, but so are you, and I love you.
Oh, he remembered the avenues of Paris, and the trees, and the miraculous ease of conquest in the evenings (...) and the mornings, the lost blue-and-yellow mornings with their hot little cups of coffee, their fresh rolls, and their promise of everlasting life.
His whole adult life had been spent as a minor official of the seventh largest life insurance company in the world, and now in retirement it seemed that the years of office tedium had marked him as vividly, as old seafaring men are marked by wind and sun.
She cried because she'd had such high, high hopes about the Wheelers tonight and now she was terribly, terribly, terribly disappointed. She cried because she was fifty-six years old and her feet were ugly and swollen and horrible; she cried because none of the girls liked her at school and none of the boys had liked her later; she cried because Howard Givings was the only man who'd ever asked her to marry him, and because she's done it, and because her only child was insane.
"Okay; I know; it's none of my business. This is what old Helen calls Being Tactless, Dear. That's my trouble, you see; always has been. Forget I said it. You want to play house, you got to have a job. You want to play very nice house, very sweet house, then you got to have a job you don't like. Great. This is the way ninety-eight-point-nine per cent of the people work things out, so believe me buddy you've got nothing to apologize for."
"Wow," he said. "Now you've said it. The hopeless emptiness. Hell, plenty of people are on to the emptiness part; out where I used to work, on the Coast, that's all we ever talked about. We'd sit around talking about emptiness all night. Nobody ever said 'hopeless', though; that's where we'd chicken out. Because maybe it does take a certain amount of guts to see the emptiness, but it takes a whole hell of a lot more to see the hopelessness. And I guess when you do see the hopelessness, that's when there's nothing to do but take off. If you can.