May 15, 2022 11:49 am

“Shock”: Alessandro Baricco announced that he has leukemia and will undergo a transplant in a few days

ROMA.- “Ehm, there is news to give and this time I have to give it myself, personally. It’s not a big deal, I warn you.” This is how the message that Alessandro Baricco posted today on his social networks – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – begins with an announcement that shocked the world of letters: he has leukemia, he is hospitalized and in a few days he will undergo a transplant.

In his “shock” ad, as the Italian media defined it, with a photo of a hospital table showing a computer and two books, the renowned 63-year-old writer said that five months ago he was diagnosed with leukemia chronic myelomonocytic. “I felt bad, but not so bad, come on. When you have a disease of this type, the best thing you can do is undergo a blood stem cell transplant, which I will do in a couple of days,” he said. “Well, it is not that simple, we have been working on it for months, it is a work of patience”, continued the author of That, Twentieth century, the young wife and other successes, specifying that it will be his sister Enrica – “a woman who before my eyes was already special, imagine now” -, who will donate the stem cells to him.

“I don’t have much more to add. Perhaps, I can say that I perceive every moment the luck of living all this with many true friends around me, some cool children, an irresistible life partner and the best Bull since the times of the ‘scudetto'”, he added, referring to the soccer team from his city, Torino, which is tenth in the series A championship. “These are things, the first three, that change your life. The fourth, of course, does not ruin it for you. In short, I see it well”, he commented, with irony and humor.

Finally, he said goodbye to his thousands of followers optimistically: “For a while, don’t count on me, but don’t get too used to it either, because the doctors who thought they’re going to cure me look like they’re going to do it quickly. Hugs, AB”, he concluded.

As you can imagine, the news, which was known after noon in Italy, immediately had great repercussions in all the media. The Corriere della Sera He stressed that, despite the fact that leukemia was detected five months ago, Baricco continued to work. So much so that on January 15, he launched his project Novecento. The Source Code, that is, the audio of the famous theatrical monologue being read aloud –recorded on New Year’s Day 2022-, which the writer decided to transform into a unique digital work. It is a work certified by an act of authenticity (NFT, Non fungible token) through Blockchain technology, which uses cryptography, as is the case in the world of crypto art. Collaborating with a group of experts, Baricco thus became the first Italian author to carry out an operation of this type for a literary work. The audio file from Twentieth century It can now be heard for free on the OpeanSea platform and will then be put up for sale in March as a collector’s item, a unique and unrepeatable number zero. As if it were a painting.

So, in an interview with the Corriere della Sera, Baricco explained why it was launched in this new project. “I could have filmed myself writing the first page of my new novel. You can do anything, but for this product I thought that the ideal would have been a kind of Twentieth century, new paragraph. The text, in fact, is now almost thirty years old and has inspired everything: in addition to the theatrical monologue it is read as a book, it was made into a film, it was even transformed into a puppet show… It makes me more than happy, but I have long felt the desire to recover the original sound of Twentieth century, the music from when I wrote it,” he said. “In the last two, three years, Covid through, I went to read it myself in theaters. I did shows, a video that will come out in a few months. So when the NFT idea came up I said to myself: ‘I want to record my voice without any effects’. Retrieve exactly the source code of a text that basically is the “source code” of all my work. Thus was born a audio file of 80 megabytes that lasts 85 minutes. And I like that, when giving it a name, what most represented it was precisely a computer expression. My souls and my years of work came together”.

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