“Big Karma. Lives of Carlo Coccioli” (Bompiani, 2020)

Alessandro Raveggi

Big Karma.

Lives of Carlo Coccioli

Grande karma. Vite di Carlo Coccioli (Bompiani, 2020)

An on-the-road novel on the footsteps of one of the most enigmatic Italian writers, Carlo Coccioli.

“In my long stays in Mexico, from the 80s onwards, I touched Carlo Coccioli through various acquaintances in common, but without ever meeting him. Now this novel has turned that curiosity into regret, and at the same time filled my grave gap. And rekindled nostalgia for those people, and those times, which have given me a lot. ” (Pino Cacucci)

“Raveggi wisely mixes literary imagination, period documents, images of life, letters and excerpts from novels, using brilliant, vitalistic and expressive writing … a very compelling travel and adventure novel.” (Angelo Ferracuti, Il Manifesto)

“A passionate pastiche of invention and biography to go and recover a great fugitive of our literature” (Francesco Pacifico)

Grande Karma is an amusement park that reflects itself, the book that was missing, a very accurate love story. Because this is the only way we have to keep the memory of someone, of a writer: by making it become a love story. ” (Elena Stancanelli, Rivista Studio)

“I followed the footsteps of a writer to rediscover, Carlo Coccioli, and in the end I realized that what I wanted to continue reading was Alessandro Raveggi.” (Giorgio Van Straten)

“A measured writing and a great mimetic ability” (Demetrio Paolin, La Lettura)


Author and critic Walter Siti wrote: “One of the most striking elements in Coccioli’s narration is the genuine authenticity with which he refuses the idea of a literature independent from life.” In such a spirit Raveggi has chosen to tell us about the writer through the story of his own life, recounting the adventures of a young researcher who chases his traces around the world. Coccioli was a very original author who wrote in Italian, Spanish and French, a partisan, an animal rights guru, the first one to openly speak about the challenges facing homosexuals in Catholic Italy. Close to Malaparte and Cocteau, he was a finalist at Premio Campiello. Perhaps it was the multifaceted nature of his genius which caused his fall into oblivion. Travelling between Mexico, Paris and Florence, and above all, on the fine line between reality and fiction, this book uses the instruments of art to explore the enigma of one of the most menacing and fascinating intellectuals of the twentieth century.

…because one runs away from so many, so many things already. One escapes domestic seasons that have turned into a lukewarm soup; one escapes the habits of a bus stop, knowing timetables and delays by heart; one escapes the tedium of a father’s desk, even when one has been playing around there since childhood. And one flees adventure, love, even death. Decisions that are too big, those taken for granted. Is that why I flee from our maps?

The main thing, Dina, is that finally someone or something, before me, runs away, gets blurred. I think I shouldn’t let go of it, I have to run into this kind of unknown night.

[REQUEST A SAMPLE to the publisher – translated from the Italian by Sarah Victoria Barberis]