L’ottimismo della speranza
Sull’«Alcesti» incompiuta di Alvaro
| COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2004 - 3. Sacrifici al femminile. Alcesti in scena da Euripide a Raboni
Around 1949 Corrado Alvaro began the draft of an Alcestis. What has come down to us is a manifestly pre- liminary and probably partial version. This article discusses, among other aspects, the hypothesis of the sin- gle-act play put forward by Aldo Maria Morace, recognized as an excellent editor of the text; his line of rea- soning is based on a series of arguments which, however, would appear to point towards a draft composed of several portions. The reading of the Alvarian drama is here carried out with intertextual reference to the Euripidean archetype, highlighting the inevitable blend of faithfulness and discards that characterises the modern reworkings as compared to the classical source, on the level of meaning no less than on that of struc- ture. The subtle play of allusions and citations is particularly interesting with regard to the allegorical conno- tations of Alvaro’s invention, those figures of life and death (the dressmaker's dummy, the garment to be tried on, the travel outfit, personal hygiene and body care, household furniture, moving house, the official from the electricity board, the broken switch, the bill to be paid) which transform daily domesticity into the meta- physics of existence. The impulse to revive the timeless myth of Alcestis was stirred in the writer from Calabria by the bleak atmosphere of the late postwar period, compressed as it was between the still searing memory of the unspeakable tragedy that had come to pass and the apocalyptic threat of a nuclear conflict. Between an Admetus, an inconsolable icon of the survivor, and a Feride who, resentful and sickened of life, unlike the ancient Pheres, is overwhelmed, like so many of his contemporaries, by a desperate cupio dissolvi, the female heroine is the only one who, in the eyes of Alvaro, can grant a measure of serenity. Thus the new Alcestis becomes the emissary of an optimism of hope, one who, fragile yet tenacious, refuses to surrender to the pessimism of fear and proceeds confidently towards life which begins anew every time.