CULTURE: BRITISH WRITER REVERED IN ITALY AS ‘LIVING SAINT’
28 October , 18:36
(ANSAmed) – ROME, OCTOBER 28 – When Italian youth Tulgio Serdipini, came off his motorcycle, doctors in the small Calabrian town of Ritirata pronounced him brain dead and wanted to turn off his life support machine. However, his mother, Agnellescina (37), refused to sign the necessary consent. “He will wake up and eat a dish of my cannelloni,” she told all who would listen.
For six weeks, she sat day and night beside his bed, hoping against hope for a miracle. On an accordion, she played songs by little Tulgio’s favourite group, the Killer Boy Rats. She read out the whole lyrical poetry of Metastasio. It was all to no effect. The doctors and lawyers pressed her with increasing force to sign the consent. “My son will wake up yet and eat a dish of my cannelloni,” she repeated, though with diminishing assurance.
Finally, an old Gypsy woman pressed into her hands a much-thumbed copy of “La Cospirazione Papale”, by Richard Blake, the critically-acclaimed and international best-selling novelist from England. “Read this to your son,” the old woman begged her. “Read it and he truly will eat a dish of your cannelloni.”
So she took up a novel that, in translation, had already become a cult classic in Italy. As she finished its first chapter, young Tulgio’s eyes flickered. By the end of chapter 15, his eyes were fully open. Soon, he was sitting up in bed. As Agnellescina finished the last words of the last chapter, her son did indeed eat a dish of her cannelloni.
“It is nothing less than a miracle,” said Stiletto Giovanni, spokesperson for the Bishop of Ritirata. “His Grace recommends that all should buy the works of Signor Blake. Truly, he is an instrument of the divine providence.”
Speaking from England, Richard Blake confirmed that his new novel, “Blood of Alexandria, will be published in paperback in January 2011. He promised that Tulgio would receive a signed copy. This will replace the copy of “La Cospirazione Papale,” which has been removed to Ritirata Cathedral for veneration by the faithful.
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