The tale of an exorcism at the crossroads between fiction and memory
Rome, 1834, Veronica Hamerani loses control of her body, starts having convulsions and speaking in tongues. The symptoms are clear: it’s a case of demonic possession and an exorcism is the only solution. The historian and author Fernanda Alfieri stumbled upon this true story in the form of a detailed chronicle of six months of exorcistic intervention during an unrelated archive research, she was fascinated by the events and turned them into something of a hybrid between a novel and a historical report.
The author and editor Chiara Valerio moderated the event with a series of questions that allowed the author of Veronica e il diavolo to both talk about the work behind her book and share her thoughts on broader themes, such as the line between literature and history, or the mix of truth and myth in historical sources. Among the several inspiring insights shared during the event, one of the most powerful moments was Alfieri’s confession of love towards her book’s protagonist, who lived almost two centuries ago: in this tale of the profound interest and affection toward Veronica Hamerani, the author gave emotion to the intermingled space between life, history, and story, “I wanted to save her by saving her memory”.