Doctor, kindly tell your wife that we’re alive, flowers thrive, realise

The title of this post may be a further example of retrotalk (we slightly adapted the last verse of a 1967 Pink Floyd song, the only one from the first album that was written by Roger Waters instead of Syd Barrett – and possibly the most meaningless of that lot). It’s just that one of us started the day singing it.

Yeah, we’re alive. We haven’t posted anything on this blog for more than 20 days because we’ve been writing and writing and writing, it’s been the final mega-session for the new novel. After about 15 months of the hardest work, two days ago we delivered the text to the publisher.
As we told you some time ago
, it’s (more or less) a sequel to Q. We felt the urge to go back to the “crime scene” (our 1999 debut) after the collective lost a member, in the springtime of 2008. After months of crisis and conflict, we needed a new beginning. We needed a peculiar self-managed group therapy (and that’s probably the reason that old tune came to our mind, as it was titled Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk). Gert-from-the-Well appeared and told us: “I can help you, if you bring me back to life!”. And that’s what we did.

It’s been an exciting and fatiguing period. The novel will be titled Altai (here’s a clue as to why). It will be published in Italy in the early days of November. Even those of you who don’t understand Italian might want to listen to this audio recording. You can do it as if it were pure sound, without any meaning. It’s an anticipation of the prologue, read by WM1 at Officina Italia, a literary event that took place two months ago in Milan. Mp3, 16ok, 14 minutes (the first three minutes are the intro/explanation, you’ll realise when the reading begins).
We’ll have a dense autumn: Manituana will be published in France at the beginning of September, then in the UK and the US at the beginning of October, then Altai will come out in Italy.
Ok, that’s all for now. Have a good summer.


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One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Dahlia says:

    …and your readers are alive too, despite the post-vacation blues, the suffocating heat and other facts of life!!!

    I am thrilled you delivered. And hope you guys are not seized by post-partum depression now :-D

    I take it literally, that Gert spoke to you, and I would love to know more about it – though I assume your relationship with Gert is very intimate, probably hard to describe in words. Maybe even one of those things that are better left untold. :-)

    Crossing fingers for your dense months to come,

    (PS I realize it may seem weird, to communicate in English while Italian is our mother tongue.
    Of course it is a way to have – hopefully – a wider community to share with. But there’s more to it.
    It requires more time and effort, a careful choice of terms, a conscious detachment from the subject; in a word, selfdiscipline. That also feels like freedom.
    A good exercise, rewarded by the discovery that some things that can be said in English could not be told in Italian. Because the structure of the language is different; because we are forced to use another part of our brain; because our native language is forever embedded in our earliest memories, emotions, and constraints.
    I wonder if it’s the same for you.)

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We are the Wu Ming Foundation, a collective of writers based in Italy. We are the authors of several novels and non-fiction books written with literary techniques (which we prefer to describe as UNOs, Unidentified Narrative Objects). As of May 2015, four of our novels are available in English: Q, 54, Manituana and Altai. This used to be our supremely neglected blog in English. Ugly and no longer updated after May 2013. Our livelier, regularly updated blog is in Italian and it's called Giap. For stuff in other languages, check out our blog on Tumblr.

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