Over the eons, acknowledged literature has ranged from elegantly crafted haikus to verbose tales of valour running into thousands of pages. This very craft of communicating with an unique method is what has captured the interests of human beings ever since the beginning of civilisation.
The Red Tenda of Bologna is an example of how succinct writing can be deeply impactful. It barely spans 50 odd pages, with some being as long as one simple sentence.
In a beautiful ode to an uncle, and clearly a beloved city, Berger chooses to highlight the Red Tendas ubiquitous in the city, and serving unwittingly as a mirror to the human condition.
Tightly wound, protecting the inside from the outside, yet beautifying, the Tendas are beautiful parallels to Berger’s uncle slightly unique persona.
Ironically, this is one book which left me wanting for more, yet oddly satisfied. That I guess, is what Berger’s magic is.
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