A flood, a river that overflows, takes away many things, even with strength and pain, and leaves behind a different, redesigned landscape. It is perhaps in this reality that we find the metaphor of this particular and rare novel in our tradition, whose only real connection I think may be that with Paolo Barbaro, who narrated his work as an engineer between poetry, technique and existential examination. .
Here, moreover, the story of Caterina and the construction of an embankment and a canal for the river that passes through the hamlet of Spina, municipality of Fulchré, on the slopes of the mountains north of the Po Valley, everything is female, therefore with different optics and introspection, unease and insecurity, also because we are in the 80s of the last century, with the lira and Italy still world champions in football. Thus, directing a large construction site, they had never seen a woman before and everything begins in defense, with the surveyor Bernini calling her Lady and she replying: Engineer, please. The story, in the third person, tells of a growth that is personal, in a moment of crisis and with a fifteen-year history that has just ended, due to the abandonment of him, Piero, and with the arrival of a first, sudden important assignment ( at the ministry there have been many arrests, after investigations by the judiciary on tenders and tests), which also gives rise to anxieties and fears.
Caterina feels inadequate to a relationship, to that couple relationship, and also to the construction site that she has to keep going, having to do with local interests, work not always done to perfection, environmentalists like Musso, who try to stop her and discredit it.
On the one hand there is the project, with its geometric drawings, its diagrams and mathematical calculations, on the other hand, the construction site, which is dust, and noise and mud. Thus, going forward, he will see how to regulate everything there are laws, norms, contracts with their specifics, where however it is not written “how to deal with the other party when lives cross and you have to deal with human beings”, or what to do when the ground begins to give way and you end up leaning to one side: “The only solution is to surrender, sink the other foot too, and patience, if we were assured that the ground we walked on was made to endure four hundred kilos “.
In short, metaphor and work overlap continuously, but with lightness, intrinsically even if with moments of conscience, in the story of everyday life, well carried out between technical details and the life of the elderly at the Spina café, between lunches with the commissioner and comparisons with the surveyor (and a little thin with envy for the manual, clean, expert work of the workers with their regular shifts). Days in the fog and in front of the embankment, which defend but also limit, cancel reality and push to illusion, to ghostly encounters to find a bit of safety, like the one with the worker Antonio (Sicilian like Caterina), to counteract with the one with Mrs. Bola, who does not sign for the expropriation on principle, but is happy that the works create protection for the country.
Then the figure of Catherine, with obviously her private life, which comes out of the clear writing of Veronica Galletta, has its strength in a measure of humanity, of truth, between uncertainties and real abilities, between dealing with the past and go ahead as it should. “Building an embankment is a complex thing … because if a breach forms you can also repair it, but something remains … The embankment knows it, The memory remains” and then, but as the work progresses, the engineer he understands that “perhaps this is it, to grow: to understand that phenomena are not reversible, that every trace leaves an imprint. That fatigue exists, as in materials, and fatigue is a dangerous phenomenon, from which one must protect oneself”.

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