the very colors of that place had soaked into my blood ;
so over the last few days i read elena ferrante's neapolitan novels as well as her days of abandonment and i - i am AWESTRUCK. her writing digs its roots deep into the bitter earth, seeps into your blood & your DNA, your secret shame & your miserable triumphs, in a way that mocks the "escapism" factor of literature. you can't escape real life in elena ferrante's work - you sit there & experience its humiliations & sorrows & joys right alongside the characters, & you're uncomfortable to find yourself mirrored in them.
days of abandonment in particular is painful to read. you crawl inside the narrator Olga's head & live there with her despair, her hatred, her desperation, after her husband of several years tells her that he's leaving her & their two children for someone else out of the blue one morning. you're right there with Olga as her mind wanders, as she slips, as she sinks, & it's gutting & brutal - a heartrending portrayal of the kind of agony women experience every day.
the neapolitan novels are about the tumultuous lives of Lila & Elena. Elena is intelligent, pretty, & sweet, but Lila is otherworldly, phenomenal, earth-shattering, uncompromising, radiant. their friendship, which is deep & awful & cruel, is a mesmirizing beast to track through the course of the novel, as well as the grotesque & gritty forms their lives take.
go read elena ferrante. warning: you might come out the other end not believing in love anymore.