Sophia Seymour – Dec 12, 2018
Elena Ferrante fever spread across the globe with the release of the author’s Neapolitan novels, but it took the success of the acclaimed TV adaptation, My Brilliant Friend, for the hype to come full circle back to Rione Luzzatti, the neighbourhood east of the city centre where the bildungsroman unfurls.
As the eight-episode series, which ended last night, gripped viewers, locals felt compelled to harness the attention Ferrante has brought to their once-disregarded corner of Naples. In keeping with the Neapolitan tradition of street art, a mural is to grace the walls of the neighbourhood’s fascist-era public library, Biblioteca Andreoli, behind the central station.
The mural is to be completed this week by Eduardo Castaldo, the photographer for the HBO and Rai Fiction adaptation. Castaldo uses blown-up cutouts of the photographs he took of the show’s stars on set, spliced into sections and pasted onto shadowy silhouettes on the library walls. Flanking the entrance to the library and below a painted “Biblioteca Popolare” sign, figures of the book’s two main characters, friends Lila Cerullo and Lenù Greco, their elementary school teacher, Maestra Oliviero, and the librarian, Maestro Ferraro, will decorate the otherwise austere building.