Tito Barbini has returned to Asia.
After Caduti dal Muro, and the lands of the ex Soviet Union, here are the six countries of Indochina traversed by the waters of the Mekong river.
A journey that is both a metaphor and a pretext for living.
From Vietnam to Tibet, from the Mekong Delta to its faraway sources. Along this real itinerary unfolds another, no less challenging and complex, that will lead the author and protagonist to mentally go to the sources of his own life, just as he is doing on the great river. It is typical of Barbini to conduct every journey on the double track of the present and the past, using the places he visits as temporal gates for the places of his own soul. After the former Communist block of Caduti dal Muro, and driven by reflections on political ideals and realities, the Tuscan writer returns to travel and write about Asia. This time, he does so navigating along one of its most important rivers, which cuts Indochina from north to south, and bathes Tibet, Burma and Thailand, and then Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In I giorni del riso e della pioggia, the traveller’s existential baggage grows lighter, as though diluted in the mass of water of the great Mekong that he is travelling up-river «like an old barge crusted with shells, sand and old ropes». And in this slow advance, with the sense of freedom that cleans instead of adding, man gradually manages to raise himself up and break free – almost – from the weight of questions and unrest that he has accumulated in his entire existence. Because everything that he makes emerge, effortlessly floats on the surface of the water ...
Tito Barbini has a past of political commitment and roles in the public institutions of Tuscany: while still very young, he was elected mayor of Cortona, then president of the Province of Arezzo, and then regional alderman. He travels a lot and writes about his travels with passion: this series has already published his Caduti dal Muro.