14 Dec 2022

“Not flowers but good works” by Elisa Fuksas

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Where and when

14December 2022



Museo Novecento

Free admission subject to availability


Elisa Fuksas


Sergio Risaliti

Director of Museo Novecento

Alberto Severi


Marco Vichi


On Wednesday 14 December, at 6:00 pm, the Novecento Museum presents the latest novel by director and writer Elisa Fuksas (Rome, 1981), Not flowers but good works, published by Marsilio Romanzi (2022).
During the meeting, which will take place in the presence of the author, speakers will include: Sergio Risaliti, director of the Museo Novecento; Alberto Severi, journalist; Marco Vichi, writer.

The protagonist of this novel is called Elisa Fuksas, like the author, and is Elisa Fuksas, at least in intentions and desires. Especially in research. Three years ago, Elisa was standing, on Easter night, in the baptistery of Florence, she was thirty-seven years old and, after a period of approaching and studying the Catholic religion, she had decided to get baptized, raising a chorus of sanctities and exceptions, from family, to the confessor, to the bishop, up to herself and passers-by.

But basically it is the uncertainties and certainties that make us human, the access to an eternity to come. To holiness, too, why not. Not flowers but charitable works, halfway between a video game and a chivalrous novel, tells the story of the protagonist who, now baptized and convinced of the possibilities and promises of baptism, sets out to search for the family tomb in the Verano cemetery in Rome of the paternal grandfather. Family tomb that everyone talks about and says, about which everyone knows anecdotes and stories, of which the father – with the architectural and quantitative memory that he perhaps already had but that the trade has exercised – even indicates the position. Only that this tomb, like certain roots, certain origins, certain pure belongings, is not found. It’s there, but it’s not, it’s not where everyone says it is. And so, between archconfraternities that manage portions of the cemetery, lives that intertwine with poplar berries, with paths that seem to lead to a certain place and instead diverge towards a not always comforting elsewhere, and mediums from Turin, the protagonist, just as appropriates, through baptism, the eternity to come, appropriates and above all gives us the only eternity accessible to human beings, as Simone Weil wrote: the past. And he does so by putting together the many and disparate pieces that make up the mysterious figure of grandfather Raimundas, “evanescent, evaporated, light”, who in the Italy of the racial laws, to escape the Nazis and fascists, having a Jewish surname, his mother had baptized, so as to assure him a minimum of future.

copertina libro


director and writer, she was born in Rome in 1981. She has published The daughter of (Rizzoli 2014), Michele, Anna and thermodynamics (Elliot 2017) and Love and do what you want (Marsilio 2020); after iSola (2020), his new film, Senza fine, was released in 2021.


Jacopo Manara


Costanza Savelloni


Giulia Spissu