Noble quarantines

The aristocracy survives, undeterred, at the end of its social function. It organized armies, collected tributes, he plotted plots, tore treaties, overthrew sovereigns, animated crusades, protected and / or cut the people. Today, nothing more. Not even the satisfaction of being shown to class hatred, as happens to radical chic who are all bourgeois and wealthy, often famous artists and acclaimed intellectuals; while the nobleman can also be displaced and ignorant. And even cracked, if you want.

For this reason, he will not stop evading the surname.

This makes many of the people who still carry that anachronistic burden indulgent. Someone – the most foolish – brags about it or shields it. Others (the majority?) Are certainly overwhelmed. “People overwhelmed by their surname” seems to me a good definition for a large part of our coeval nobles.

The most skilled, the luckiest have tried to escape. In the sense that they managed to be something, or someone, for their personal merit. Others imagine a strenuous captivity inside an empty, yet oppressive shell. “I am noble.” To put it bluntly, it doesn't mean shit. Even going back to the ancestors of the ancestors, it does not mean much: every great family has as its origin not a venerable or a venerable (those are the saints), but a very large and manish man who beat hard in war, and for this he obtained the benevolence of the king.

Or does it mean something, “noble”, if you refer the question to a completely different screen: the nobles and the ignoble really exist, but it doesn't depend on the birth. They are found equally among peasants, surveyors, housewives, workers, politicians, billionaires.

Here we speak, instead, of those who find themselves entangled, already at birth, by this reputation at the same time cumbersome and empty, painstakingly sanctioned by booklets and books that prove origins and certify coats of arms. There is talk of squandered assets (at play, with ruinous speculations, with cheerful women) and very expensive mansions to keep for pure decoration, when maybe your dream would be the three-room apartment in Laigueglia. There is talk of an aplomb that is not easy to bear, of dark debts that wake you up at night, memories of alcoholic aunts who played castles at the casino in Nice, of cheated uncles who invested all the assets in the import-export of pine nuts over the years in which the price of pine nuts collapsed, of an inevitable physiological dilapidation, which now leaves you, perhaps, only with yourself, and without even the possibility of changing your surname.

The dream of the plebs, but even more of the petty bourgeoisie, is to discover a ancestor with a few quarters of nobility: there are special shops, for the purchase of the counterfeit notarial deed. Who knows if there is a noble, at least one, who dreams of being reborn exposed (Esposito, Diotallevi, Di Dio, in Bologna Degli Esposti, in Milan Colombo etc.) in order to escape from his genealogical confinement. And he manages to find, in special shop, a clandestine letter which shows that the father, mother, grandfather, great-grandfather, were born by a servant, or conceived by a servant. What a great relief.


Paolo Sorrentino directs the new issue of Vanity Fair, an operation halfway between cinema and publishing


# PHASE4, the editorial by the director Simone Marchetti


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