THE HOUSE ON MOON LAKE
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.
an ill-paid job,
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.