In other words, the last ten days of July gave me a sense of well-being that I had never known before. I felt a sensation that later in my life was often repeated: the joy of the new. I liked everything; getting up early, making breakfast, tidying up walking in Barano, taking the road to the Maronti, uphill and down, lying in the sun and reading, going for a swim, returning to my book. I did not feel homesick for my father, my brothers and sister, my mother, the streets of the neighborhood, the public gardens. I only missed Lila, Lila who didn’t answer my letters. I was afraid of what was happening to her, good or bad, in my absence. It was an old fear, a fear that has never left me: the fear that, in losing pieces of her life, mine lost intensity and importance. And the fact that she didn’t answer emphasized that preoccupation. However hard I tried in my letters to communicate the privilege of the days in Ischia, my  river of words and her silence seemed to demonstrate that my life was splendid but uneventful, which left me time to write to her every day, while hers was dark but full.

-from My Brilliant Friend (211), Elena Ferrante


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