A book of incursions, hidden symbolisms and character studies, in a deliberately lyrical vein more than in a harshly analytical vein, which originate in the work and lives of women and men who also happened to be artists. Anime estreme reflects on the mystical-religious aspects of the work of poetess Cristina Campo, inspired thanks to the narratives of they who knew her, including Virginia Woolf, Anne Sexton, Amelia Rosselli and Sarah Kane to finally arrive at an analysis of several letters to Sibilla Aleramo, found and transcribed in the Gramsci Archive, which illuminate the reader in grasping Aleramo’s relationship with her child abandoned when very young. The theme of maternity concentrates on Elsa Morante’s latest and controversial novel, Aracoeli, where the conflicts that lacerate the writer’s entire existence are condensed and exasperated. Attention then shifts to “anti-maternity”, vampirism prior to Dracula, in little-known novels that emanate the feminine principle in disquieting details, as in Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Finally, portraits of several geniuses of the twentieth century: from the cold love of Kawabata to the burning love of the final, most extreme work by Pasolini, Petrolio, from the revelation of Vladimir Nabokov’s shattered ego to the descent into the demoniacal ego of August Strindberg or Maurice Sachs, strolling through an inhabited and cursed Paris, to then finally slip into the intimacy of the heart of Baudelaire or lose oneself in the dream of love of Casanova.
Manuela Maddamma was born and lives in Rome. A great expert of the history of esoteric and mystical doctrines in modern and contemporary Europe, she translated for the first time Giordano Bruno’s De umbris idearum by, and numerous other works from the French. The 2005 publication of her first novel, Lascia che guardi, was quite successful. Since 2006, she contributes to the daily, «Il Foglio».