William Shakespeare at the Stone Castle
(Effatà Editrice - Cantalupa Torino)

Drowings byi Silvia Aimar
Graphics by Silvia Aimar and Vito Mosca

The birth of the story

Stratford upon Avon: Shakespeare's birthplace

It’s evident that love and passion for the theater and, in particular, for the works of Shakespeare, were the basic fertilizer that has fueled the desire to write this story. It was not at all easy to go from the  idea inspiring to the practical implementation. I kept asking myself: "Is it possible, today, to try to propose an author like Shakespeare to young internet people? In the virtual world of Ipad, and Iphone, the sublime of his poetry can still find out a glimmer of attention among the twittering of Facebook and Twitter? The doubts of Hamlet, the desperate love of Romeo and Juliet, Othello's madness what spaces can still carve out in a world overwhelmed by images? "

During times when I was  in Oxford, I visited several times Stratford upon Avon and the Globe in London just to find better (I would say, better breathing) the environments and climate that inspired Shakespeare, especially in some of his rural works where popular authenticity grafted into iconographic scenes of the play.

Stratford: Hamlet's Statue

Stratford: Falstaff's Statue

Stratford: Shakespeare's birthday interior

Stratford: reconstruction of his father's workshop

And wandering between the birthplace rooms and the cottage of his wife Anne Hathaway I found the echo of his immortal verses, the sound of footsteps, the color of the sky when it announces storm. Basically I did not care much if everything was a true story or the result of a skilful media reconstruction. The scent of the rose, the being or not to be, the dream substance overstepped every trivial biographical history: paraphrasing, I said to myself that perhaps Shakespeare would no longer Shakespeare if he was born in another place or in another country?
But the problem had not yet been resolved: what could I write to get children interested and, above all, what could I write? Meanwhile, I had rejected the idea of ​​making the fictional adaptations or modernisations of his works: I would have lost the heart of his art; adapting Shakespeare, for me, would have meant losing Shakespeare, what would remain of Juliet, Macbeth, King Lear without the splendor overflowing  in the immortal uniqueness of his verses?

Anne Hathaway's cottage


London: The Globe

London: The Globe interior

So, I thought about writing a story, possibly modern and intriguing, that could involve young people and where Shakespeare could be wedged between the pages with discretion, through some phrases taken from his works, cited by a professor of English literature to a girl trying to trace her brothers kidnapped by a band of criminals. Shakespeare would become the true protagonist of the story, slowly, on tiptoe, embedding in the development of the plot until he can become an integral part of it and, at the same time, increasing, page after page, the girl's curiosity to his works and his words. The charm of his verse would have recovered in full in the appendix, with a brief anthology with original commentary and translation opposite.

It remained to choose the geography of the story: a typically British setting  or Italian as those favourites by Shakespeare himself for many of his works? I opted for the latter solution considering it more consistent with the thematic structure of the text; therefore, after a fleeting beginning in Romania, in the beautiful and blue monastery  of Voroneţ, Unesco World Heritage Site, I moved with an acrobatic ride aboard a legendary Lancia Fulvia Coupe, in a Italian seaside city, easily identifiable, to end  the story up between the entrenched walls of the mysterious Stone Castle, suspended like an eagle in the mountains of the municipality of Vobbia.

Romania: Voroneţ monastery

The legendary Lancia Fulvia Coupé

Vobbia (Genoa): Tha Stone Castle

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