The Orco cave is a novel that, from the first approach, turns out to be quite captivating: it is the most recent chapter of a trilogy on the Eternal Feminine inaugurated by the author two years ago with The Man Eater, continued the last year with the religious mantis of Thieves of souls and landed now to the protagonist of the story, Lalla. Some cinematographic reminiscences emerge from this female figure, who with her tender and voracious sensuality is very reminiscent of Marco Ferreri's masterpiece, Lʻape regina. With an eclectic style and, visually speaking, very close to the French novelle vague and to the theorems on incommunicability set forth by Michelangelo Antonioni, Carlo Crovella embeds in the folds of a sober and minimalist narrative embroidery a wise interweaving of passions and emotions. Without ever departing from a solid anchorage to everyday reality: a Turin captured in rapid glimpses halfway between the tourist postcard and the naive painting, all to be savored, acts as a frame for the "metropolitan" dialogues. And, with only a seemingly random scan, but actually the result of a studied alchemy, it alternates with the looming dumb and perennial of the mountains of the upper Val Susa. Indeed, the decisive points of the plot, as well as the most intimate and painful confessions of the characters, emerge from the ascetic refuge in the midst of uncontaminated nature that Estro, the male protagonist, has chosen as the ideal incubator for his literary inspiration. The title of the novel has a strong symbolic value: the Orc, in fact, is the infamous North Eiger Wall, a kind of deadly cave that sucked the lives of many mountaineers like a huge carnivorous rock plant. In the iconographic memory of mountaineering enthusiasts, the myth of the Moloch-summit devourer of climbers lives again in the early 1970s in one of Clint Eastwood's best directors, Assassinio sull'Eiger, to be ideally combined with the subsequent Stone Cry by Werner Herzog, set on Cerro Torre, another mountain-cannibal. The Woman, personified here by Lalla, is the intruder who tries to break the union between Estro and nature, which embraces him as a silent lover. In other words, Lalla strives to tame the lone wolf enclosed in Estro, fundamentally misogynistic but also hungry for love. The key to interpreting L'Orro dell'Orco thus appears as a prism with multiple facets: Crovella leaves the reader free to find his own, and this fluid elasticity in telling is a merit that is undoubtedly true for those who love fiction who, intolerant of certain preconceived schemes such as the so-called "literary genres", unfolds freely towards horizons of expressive oxygenation like the pure air of the peaks.
Carlo Crovella, born in 1961, Turin, married, two teenage children, a GISM member (Italian Mountain Writers Group) is a training economist, but he has always felt to be a writer. He began to publish mountain texts, first of technical content and then also in the form of fiction, but he is now engaged in the progressive journey towards a broader narrative. His mountain stories, including the most recent (2009-2011), were published in the book La mangiatrice di uomini (Vivalda 2011). After Souls of Souls (Seneca 2012), The ogre of the Orc (WLM 2013) is his second novel.