Mr Celzani finds himself consumingly in love with an Amazonian gymnast with whom he shares an apartment block. The machinations of their fellow inhabitants notwithstanding, he finds his romantic efforts repeatedly thwarted by his beloved's single-minded focus on her rigorous physical discipline. Through the intertwining of his dual themes, de Amicis proposes a timeless meditation on the necessity of both balance and principle.
Poet, novelist, short-story and travel writer Edmondo de Amicis (1846-1908) is best remembered for his children's story Cuore. At the time of his death, Italo Calvino (1923-85) was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer. He is best known for his novels Invisible Cities and If on a Winterï¿½ï¿½ï¿½s Night a Traveller.