It was gathered that Federico Roncoroni died a few days ago But by his will, the news was Given a day after the funeral, in a strictly private form, in Como on one of the states in Italy. He lived there, on a lake, of course, Obaland magazine learned from Gionale .it as he was described as a man of the lake, of strong feelings, apparently reserved, actually exuberant, as all those who live around the closed waters were very open to life. Ironic, curious, great teller, table man, and living room man, he loved life, women, friends, always with an idea, a project, one thing to do, another to say. In this, with Piero Chiara, he found himself very well. Different lakes, same joie de vivre. It’s called destiny.
With Piero Chiara, of whom Roncoroni became over time the greatest friend, then the greatest expert, then the executor of the will, then the priest of memory and maximum critic, went like this. It was fate. Chiara, who was already Piero Chiara, a bestsellerista with an astrakhan coat on luino’s lakefront, at the end of the sixties needed a young Latinist to refresh the translation of Petronio’s Satiricon, and someone pointed out to him “the Roncoroni”, from Como: excellent teacher, great scholar, a beautiful pen, beautiful head, good cut clothes, and very elegant Latin. First, it was a collaboration, then a partnership. Many of Chiara’s successes are also due to Roncoroni: the famous and sold biography of Gabriele D’Annunzio, for example.
But Roncoroni was not only the elective son of Piero Chiara, and his editorial alter ego (for years he gave readers some rarities that he pulled out of the private papers of Luino’s writer: letters, stories, various prose; in the recent volume In Viaggio, published by Aragno, he collected Chiara’s journalistic reports…), Roncoroni was himself a writer, journalist, novelist, and linguist, above all. He had an extraordinary working ability. And the field in which he dominated was the “scholastic”: manuals, anthologies, grammars… Half of the Italians of school-age of the last two generations have studied his grammars, the other half on those of Marcello Sensini, which Wikipedia records as a “linguist who deals with lexicography and semantics. His Italian grammar texts are among the most widespread in Italian and foreign schools”, and that in reality is only the pseudonym of Roncoroni. However, his Essential Grammar of the Italian Language (Mondadori) is among the most adopted texts ever in Italian schools and remains to date a fundamental manual for students. And the famous Text and context. Guide to the analysis of the authors’ works in their time we all had it in the backpack when we went to school. They’re called Masters.
Twenty years of teaching, bibliophile of the rare dot (every book of his well-kept library was very chosen), creator of unmissable plaquettes with a very limited edition, reserved for the truest friends, himself a true friend of the great authors of the Italian twentieth century (in his archive letters and documents by Carlo Emilio Gadda, of which he edited an epistolary, Vittorio Sereni and many others), author of sentimental novels in the highest and noblest sense of the term, and of great success, like Un Giorno, altrove (released by Mondadori in 2013 and then returned to the Oscars), Roncoroni particularly loved the aphoristic writing that spread in the different rubrics he kept on more than one newspaper (the very lucky Book of aphorisms published by Mondadori has reached the twenty-eighth edition).
The last time his various friends heard him on the phone in recent months, he was hearty. The desire to speak was inversely proportional to strength. The first is immense, almost non-existent now the second. There could be no fiercer setback. The man who knew the words best didn’t have the energy to say them.