Un’opera di bene is a 2,000-word short story published on the four-monthly magazine “Toilet”, issue 17. Despite its name, “Toilet” is a respected magazine or, to be more precise, a periodical collection of short stories. For #17, the editorial staff selected 13 stories out of the 280 submitted by as many writers. It has a print run of 1,200+ copies and is available in a fair number of bookshops all over Italy.
Un’opera di bene is about Davide, a 12 y.o. boy who sings in a church choir. He’s cherishing the odd idea of singing for extremely poor kids in some mission in Africa, but he’s treated as a fool and denied permission to go. Vexed with the hypocrisy of those who encourage people to do good and then prevent them from doing it, Davide decides to do something on his own. One day he enters all alone a sort of shantytown in the suburbs of Naples (which, in his imagination, must be the closest you can get to an African hamlet), determined to sing church songs for the kids who live there and “bring some dignity in that place of perdition” (that’s why “a good deed”). Of course, those kids make fun of him keenly, but will eventually decide to exploit his unquestionable talent in a surprising way…
If you dare, you can read Un’opera di bene on Meetale.com.
This story is actually a “story in the story”. It’s part of a novel with the same title published in June 2015, and is supposed to have been written by the novel’s main character, who is in fact a writer. My novel is available on a number of webstores. Check it out!
PS The images above are the magazine’s cover and a picture I took in a small town near Salerno.