‘Lettera ai cittadini sovietici nell’anniversario della rivoluzione’ (‘Letter to the Soviet Citizens on the Anniversary of the Revolution’) by Davide Orecchio

In his collection of stories published in 2017, Davide Orecchio recounts the Russian Revolution from unusual, uchronic and alternative-history perspectives. Each story is a piece of fictional history with a central real character in it, who is somehow connected with the Russian Revolution. The language is extremely poetic, baroque, quite unique in the Italian contemporary literary scene. In Letter to the Soviet Citizens on the Anniversary of the Revolution, the author imagines Rosa Luxemburg still alive in 1947, and president of a land sprawling from Berlin to Moscow; in the story she sends to her citizens, now living in peace in a sort of utopia, a letter to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Revolution. What is briefly described, with simple brushes and touches, are thirty years of alternative European history – what could have happened if peace and thought were chosen over war and rivalry. The closing remarks of the letter are so touching that the first time we read them we had to stop, look at the sky and think “what if things had indeed gone that way?”
We felt like the citizens of the Rosa Luxemburg’s land: we get out of our houses to go to work, for another day of our lives, and we feel moderately happy, happy enough, which is as happy as we should be.

First published in Mio Padre la Rivoluzione, Minimum Fax, 2017