Paris, 26 Jul (ONA) --- "The Wild Boy" is a memoir by the Italian writer Paolo Cognetti about a young man who escapes his painful past by retreating to the rustic comfort of the Italian Alps.
The book, translated to French by Anita Rushdie, has the fragrance of mountains, echoes of sounds and the purity of air.
Cognetti shares his experiences in returning to live for a year on the slopes of the Valle d’Aosta in the Western Alps of Italy, where he often wandered as a boy. Cognetti flees the rigors of urban living that have robbed him of his joie de vivre—in addition to his desire to write—to try and reconnect with something vital that he perceives he had as a child but the tether to which he has lost as an adult.
Taking up residence in an abandoned cabin, Cognetti spends a few months in near-total isolation from other humans, spending much of his time observing the animals as they navigate the cycles of the seasons. While seeking a path back into the wilderness this place represented for him when he was younger, the older Cognetti recognizes that these places, albeit distant from the world he inhabits now, were always human-inhabited, always human-mediated. The people, and the way of life that they carved out on these austere mountain slopes, are now largely gone, and he finds himself inhabiting not wilderness but ruins.