Where Enel is, is the devastation. The landscape is shocked and feverish. The tower is huge and many ants struggle to serve it. Work is underway on a river port to receive oil and coal by water. In Ostiglia, not far away, another coal-fired power plant sends its fumes up here, so Sermide will have a little more. Just where Enel is, the Po is most splendid: with islands, large banks in motion, a very sweet lake.
In Eridania there is an extinct sugar refinery, an industrial fossil, a huge dead crab on the gravels of the Po. A cableway, which still exists, pulled the beets from the boats and dipped them into the sugar refinery which transformed them into killer food, to poison the world and sow tooth decay and diabetes. On the other hand, a very old factory is still in operation that draws water (what water!) From the Po, to distribute it to farmers. Corradi, who takes me wherever I want, suspended his work as a mechanic to become a driver, enthusiastic about having a journalist, also shows me the BONLAT, the milk factory, of which I have no curiosity.
Foamy factory drains run across the water like bands of white bunnies. – The Po is finished … – says the good Corradi.
How can we not understand that this sky, Italian and planetary, is figurative, and that its closing or splitting, due to the growth of vapors and thinning of protective layers, its progressive intoxication by human miasmas, has not only a meaning, but a moral cause ? Civilized human societies, look at them, are no more than aggregations of madness held together by fear and coercion. A moment, says Abraham, if fifty righteous men are found in the city the fire of Necessity can be stopped from their face. They are not here. Forty … ten … If they are not found it means that nothing can stop the Necessity, because it is the Necessity. The sublime bet remains: if ever there were … challenge to the Necessity of our impotence, of a nature in which selfishness and vice will always prevail, except in rare champions honored or rejected, like strange phenomena. If the face of those fifty unobtainable ones appeared on the Po, the Po would no longer be a finite river (which still flows, but which is dead inside, in what its deep soul has similar to ours, which is dead); and if the face of those at least ten of the res reducta ad triarios were shown to the sky, the cursed vapors would break and the abject bombs that spy on this unfortunate inhabited sewer, only because there is some warship plying it and so many black and whites running between a trumpet and a whistle, they would get lost as if in a lake. We consider the dirty sky and the dead river as punishment, rather than as a technical accident, as a consequence of sin (obscure, always impenetrated: in what sin child? Haber nacido etc. to have lost the center, worshiped the idols) and not as an oversight , a miscalculation: it would already be something, relief, freer breathing, a little more light in the sick mind. Yes, the Po is finished … There is anger in thinking: for the drains … No, no! For the sin; this kiss of fate calms. The square in front of the Este Castle was called Piazzetta de ‘Letamai. That was toponymy! Italian cities became electrically dull, the day the first Via Garibaldi was born, the first Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
Via del Paradiso (a cutthroat). Via del Travaglio … Via delle Vecchie Pescherie … There was the baleful air of the Sabbath night, lacerated carnal traffic, an assault on hot food and ice cream, clamor of gangs, movement of sordid shadows through the old quarter (9 October).
Guido Ceronetti, A trip to Italy, Einaudi Ed.