Publisher: Alia Editrice
Appunti dal Paradiso
Report from Paradise
Captain Elias Stormfield of San Francisco dies during an ocean crossing. His spirit immediately soars above the sea and in eight minutes reaches and goes beyond the sun. Soon, new souls join him on his journey. He gradually meets an increasingly larger “fleet”, which the Captain leads to the final destination. Following what appears to be a huge comet, however, the Captain is taken off course and finds himself in the wrong part of heaven among unknown extraterrestrial souls. When he finally reaches his destination, he realizes the absurdity of earthly preconceptions of heaven. He is astonished by the obsession souls have with heavenly “celebrities”, such as Adam and Moses, discovers that wings, halos and harps are little more than irksome ornaments, that souls can choose their preferred age and that they finally see their wishes fulfilled…
In an irresistibly comical climax, Report from Paradise singles out traditional religious imagery of the afterlife and subverts its stereotypes. Far from being peopled by white-robed angels with harps, the kingdom of heaven is a fully-fledged monarchy, with all the attendant rules and social inequalities, where the “nobles” (patriarchs and prophets, but even perfect strangers) very rarely deign to mix with their inferiors. The satirical tone of the tale becomes even more intense in the second part, which takes the form of a bureaucratic letter from the recording angel in response to the prayers of Andrew Langdon, uncle of Twain’s wife Olivia.