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The House on Moon Lake by Francesca Duranti {Excerpt}

The House on Moon Lake by Francesca Duranti {Excerpt}

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
Fabrizio Garrone is an impoverished but aristocratic translator who has been living a life of quiet desperation in Milan. He feels underappreciated and tormented by a persistent sense of having been cheated by life. But when he reads about a lost Viennese novel—The House on Moon Lake—in the journals of a late esteemed literary critic, he dreams that this project will put him on the cultural and literary map, and finally bring him the accolades that have eluded him.

Fabrizio journeys to Vienna, tracks down the book, and translates it, and in so doing embarks on a nightmarish search for the truth behind the events depicted in it, as well as for clues about the tragic life of its forgotten author. When asked to write a short biography of the novelist, Fabrizio must invent details missing from the last three years of his subject’s life. The resulting biography is a publishing phenomenon. But the repercussions for Fabrizio are profound: he becomes the willing victim of a person he had thought to be fictional.
Fabrizio Garrone is an impoverished but aristocratic translator who has been living a life of quiet desperation in Milan. He feels underappreciated and tormented by a persistent sense of having been cheated by life. But when he reads about a lost Viennese novel—The House on Moon Lake—in the journals of a late esteemed literary critic, he dreams that this project will put him on the cultural and literary map, and finally bring him the accolades that have eluded him.

Fabrizio journeys to Vienna, tracks down the book, and translates it, and in so doing embarks on a nightmarish search for the truth behind the events depicted in it, as well as for clues about the tragic life of its forgotten author. When asked to write a short biography of the novelist, Fabrizio must invent details missing from the last three years of his subject’s life. The resulting biography is a publishing phenomenon. But the repercussions for Fabrizio are profound: he becomes the willing victim of a person he had thought to be fictional.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Jun 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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!
 
Francesca Duranti
 
THE HOUSE ON MOON LAKE 
!
1
THAT MORNING FABRIZIO FINISHED
his translation of the novel byFontane. He typed the last line, pulled the sheet out of his typewriter andturned off the desk lamp. Resting his aching shoulders against the back of his chair, he allowed himself a few minutes of self-pity. He absorbed thisemotion with great care, letting it permeate his whole being as in somekind of breathing exercise of the soul.
One, two,
an ill-paid job,
three, four,
and unhealthy, too. Newly invigorated, he got up and opened the windows wide.The April morning greeted the city’s ungrateful inhabitants with a bright freshness for which the Milan climate is unjustly not renowned. Asong of blackbirds, not yet drowned out by the roar of traffic, strayed fromhidden green courtyards and onto the street, entering the open windowsand spilling over into his study.Fabrizio Garrone started toward his bedroom, turning his back to thesunlight. Fifteen years earlier, when leaving Genoa, he had taken with himonly the books in his family library and a few other things he had saved.Everything else he had sold at auction. With the exception of the
Saint  Jerome in his Study,
a small sixteenth-century Flemish panel-painting hehad chosen only items of little value. Nevertheless, the costly atmosphereof the house in Genoa seemed to have followed those objects here,hovering about them like a crisper air, a warmer light reflected in the polished wood, a richer harmony of color in the torn fabric.
 
Francesca Duranti
 
THE HOUSE ON MOON LAKE 
!
The ornate glass of the door leading to the foyer reflected his imagesurrounded by floral motifs; in the leafy frame and background of morning birdsongs it appeared to be that of a young faun frowning slightly.Though Fabrizio was, in fact, thirty-eight years old, his gaunt faceand fleshless limbs put him in the category of persons destined to turn back to dust without ever passing through the stage of life when increasingconvexity lends the riper years an air of dignity.He stood for some time leaning against the windowsill, staring at hisown image without seeing it. He was thinking. Should he call Fulvia?“Hello, love,” he said out loud.It did not sound right. He erased it with a brief cough.“My dear,” he tried again. That was more like it. The formal toneenabled him to reestablish contact while keeping a safe distance. “Mydear, I’ve finished my Fontane! I’m going to start hunting for a new project right away. The first thing I’ll do is go see Colombo. He called theother day to say that he had a novel for me. Döblin, I think it was.”Was this enough to give some purpose to his call, to fill it out,leaving no room for silent pauses? No, it wasn’t. Every difficult moment between him and Fulvia invariably arose from her inflexible need for clarity; poorly hidden behind those pointless sentences so devoid of content, the words left unsaid would echo ruthlessly in all their obviousness and merely aggravate the situation. The night before, whenFulvia had stormed out of that very room hankering for a fight, she alreadyknew everything: about Colombo, Döblin, and the fact that he was only afew pages away from finishing his translation. He had skillfully managedto avoid a direct confrontation; it would be foolish to spoil everything now by acting on an ill-considered impulse.He went back to looking out the window. The blinds of the buildingopposite were already raised. Earlier, when finishing his translation, he

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