“Even if they kill me, I won’t die”. Giovanni Guareschi’s human adventure
100 YEARS of Giovanni Guareschi. Guareschi, who was born on May 1 1908 (and died at Cervia in August of that fateful 1968, 40 years ago), is one of the most important Italian writers of the twentieth century, though certain critics have never loved him – quite the opposite, in fact. Too popular, too Catholic. Too much of a true man.
Don Camillo continues to have an army of readers even today. And they are not just hardy perennials whose attachment goes back to their youth – not that this is a class of admirers to be ashamed of. But Guareschi also has a following of young people who, through the stories recounted by Guareschi, discover an Italy which no one ever told them about at school and perhaps not even at church or in catechism class. What’s more, these new readers discover the beauty of a world in which, despite the difficulties of life, things go right because that place is created deliberately to welcome Grace. For the first time they find themselves walking in the realms of a universe capable of showing men how beautiful and great is their destiny: they just need to have the humility to open their souls to the eternal breath of the Creator. That breath which runs along the Great River and cleans the air to fill it with inventions blended from earth and sky as one rarely finds it in contemporary literature.
Without Jesus Christ you won’t get anywhere: this is the Gospel of the simple, the Gospel of Don Camillo.
The exhibition to mark his Centennial at the Meeting seeks to present an all-round view of the Guareschi’s life and works, through the images and contents of the panels, enabling us to get to know a man who was not just a great humorist, the creator of Don Camillo and Peppone, but also a great writer, a witness to Beauty and Truth, a great writer and a great Christian.
Curated by Laura Ferrerio, Alessandro Gnocchi, Paolo Gulisano