In the secret paths of narration
It may be because they escape the conditioning and obligations of the word, but silent books are changeable by nature, sometimes indescribable and oxymoronic. They seem to tell us a story but then we happily realize that, without opinion, they want to “teach us” something, moving towards the territories of disclosure. Other times they calmly tell us about everyday life and then lead us into the territories of the fantastic, or open the doors of magical realism to us, moving at ease between reality and invention. They flee quickly from any binding attempt to a definition and prefer to remain in the territories of the unspoken, of the suspended, of the uncertain. With them there is only one certainty: the urgency and pleasure of narrating. Often their richness is so high that, moving slowly through the pages, we discover that inside them there are many other possible stories, like in a matryoshka. I remind of one of the most beautiful and intense works by Pinin Carpi, whose centenary of birth was honored in 2020. I’m talking about The Secret Path, published in 1984. Well, in this large-format album, at a certain point there is a splendid suite of nine double pages all without a single line of text, to underline its uselessness. What Pinin wrote before giving way to the images sounds like a balanced and implicit homage to the virtues of the silent book: «As you will notice by looking closely, the secret path led her to new, unexpected countries, amidst cheerful, senseless, impressive, fantastic, incredible, enchanted adventures. Just what she wanted to find».
– Walter Fochesato