The Erotic Autobiography of Aristide Gambia

Talking about sex as a keyhole through which to look at the life of a man, his world, and his relationship with the world.

Aristide Gambia is 58 years old, and he has spent many of those 58 years thinking about sex. One day he receives a letter from a woman with whom he had a brief affair when he was young: out of that blurry memory springs a desire in both of them to tell stories, about the past and themselves, a game that is at once indecent and very serious: they seek words for those details. With every meeting, their memories overflow, the language becomes increasingly explicit, verging on the obscene, in part thanks to dialect. These are two mature adults, who have no feelings for one another; they are passionately devoted to just one thing: the project, pure and simple, of recovering through words the erotic experience of an entire lifetime. Eros and time: an impossible coupling, unheard of, electric.

Ten years later Aristide travels to Sorrento for a conference. Struck by the beauty of a young woman, he lays a now weary gaze upon her, a gaze of the purest contemplation of desire. During the breaks in the conference, Aristide writes his own erotic autobiography, from childhood to old age. One of those notebooks falls into the hands of the young woman, who reads it with a growing sense of unease…

DOMENICO STARNONE (Naples, 1943) has published among the others Denti, on which Gabriele Salvatores based the film of the same title. Via Gemito, (2001 Strega Prize) was followed, always published by Feltrinelli,

by Labilità (2005 Castiglioncello Prize)
and Prima esecuzione (2007). With Einaudi,
he has published Spavento (2009, Comisso Prize), Autobiografia erotica di Aristide Gambía (2011), and Lacci.