again in the other woman, Romanian writer and director explores the disorder of love. In this manipulative story set in the age of social networks, she offers a subtle, romantic, and political look at a modern couple.
In his new novel, the other woman, director and writer Cristina Comincini tackles in a very personal way a topic as eternal in literature as in life: the rivalry between two women over a man. Elena, 25, is in a relationship with Pietro, who is twice her age as well as his ex-wife Maria and three children. Nothing but very classic, if Maria did not adopt an assumed identity to communicate with Elena via Facebook and bring her into the dialogue, while trusting her painful divorce and the man she loved – Pietro, of course, his name she simply changed …
If this stunt could prove fatal to the relationship between Elena and Pietro, it also revealed these two women to themselves, and their secrets were to the author of four loves The opportunity to investigate, through the novel, one of his favorite topics: love and family relationships, and what they say about our current society.
on the video, loves anisteaser
Miss Figaro. – While transforming the shape of the love triangle, does your novel not also address the generational conflict?
Christina Comcincini. – Elena and Maria, who lived with the same man at different times and ages, already belong to two generations. They criticize each other, confront each other, tease each other, but also learn from each other. Elena wants to be in strength, conquest, performance. Maria had a completely different path. She had children and lived through a period of transition, in which the role of a woman, while developing, was still very traditional. It also embodies the way we construct ourselves in relation to patriarchal paradigms. How we wish we were not like those who bore you – Maria and Pietro wanted to raise their children quite differently from the way they were brought up – and how we come to join them: Maria replies to her mother to do so, Elena, who opposed everything her mother did and was, she understands …
Faulkner wrote: “The past is never dead, it is not even the past.” Isn’t that one of the main ideas of the book?
We cannot ignore what was. When we get married again or start a new romantic relationship, we should be able to move on without making a clean sweep of the past. Love is not a blackboard that can be erased at leisure to write a new story. What we experience stays in us, in our body and soul. It cannot be denied without weakening the existing relationship. Pietro always wants to start over, while Maria and Elena finally realize that’s not possible. And if that slows them down at first, it also gives them a depth still unknown to Pietro.
as in four loves You give voice to different characters throughout the novel. What is the purpose?
It is a way to delineate oneself into different personalities. It is somewhat similar to what is happening in our society. Everyone has a very strong personality, sometimes too much, and we have lost the sense of belonging to the community and group. Meanwhile, we are looking for each other and trying to meet the other … The book is divided between Elena’s story and each other’s letters. She realizes that no one understands, sees and knows everything, only the juxtaposition of multiple selves that form a group.
Monica Bellucci, cover story
You have been called often “Intimate historian.” Do you agree with this idea?
I am a historian of intimacy if the intimate is social, if we consider it the dough from which society is kneaded. Intimacy has always gone down in history. four lovesIt, for example, is a book about the fact that nothing is holding people back today, no ideal or ideology, no great movement… but it is revealed through what is happening in the private sphere. Tell the community through the focal point of personal relationships.
Dear French cousins Your message about the coronavirus and the lockdown spread very quickly when it appeared on Release March 2020 … Why did you write it?
Italy was then living a little earlier than France. My partner is French – we recently moved together and chose to stay in Italy because the apartments are larger than in Paris, and more suitable for living in confinement. He could not convey to his family and friends in France what was happening on the other side of the Alps, and I probably wrote partly for this reason. I’ve been developing the idea that confinement and Covid are also a big private ordeal. In normal times, it is possible to go out and clear your mind; There, stuck in the house, the omnipresence of the Other was an accelerator that sometimes caused couples to explode in amazing fashion. These three months together equaled three years… I wanted to remind you that society is not built solely on trade, work and production. It is also based on our own relationships. Intimacy is social and even political.
What do you think of MeToo, you are the daughter of director Luigi Comencini, who has made dozens of films and turned two of your books into cinema?
It had to happen. Everything that seemed normal to us, like the seductive relationship between an actress and a director or director, is no longer so: being a great artist does not give you the right to use your actress’s body in an exploitative way, under the pretense that she is your inspiration. Women realized that it is not necessary to play this game to achieve a career, one could say and adopt other behaviors. There have been excesses, but every revolution has its excesses. Then many things emerged about what was happening in the church or within the family… This is what I was talking about in my novel and film monster in the heart. Many people then claimed that it was rare, unique, that sexual predation, rape, and incest occurred in the countryside, amid disadvantaged backgrounds… while this is clearly not the case.
Listen: Editorial staff podcast
Does not writing at the end put the words of what has been passed into silence?
Indeed, I think that writing and narration come to me from the necessity of naming what is hidden. All authors do this in one way or another, but, like all women who write, I travel with two bags: the culture of men, which I have been learning through all my studies, from elementary school to university, and the bag of silence of women, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, of all who have come before us. Our art has two sources, and we use one by converting it to say the other…
the other woman, by Cristina Comincini, Stock Editions, 220 pages, €20.50. Translated by Beatrice Robert Boiser.