The soul's comedy
Theatre's play in three acts by ignazio salvatore basile
Virgil: a latin dead poet
Dante: an italian poet still alive
Men from hell
Men from Purgatory
Beatrice a beautiful celestial girl
In the Italian town of Ravenna, the Latin poet Virgil leads Dante Alighieri, as a guide, through two levels of the human vices, from the hell's bottom of desperation, to the hope of repentance of purgatory. At the third level he eventually meets Beatrice who will lead him to the true love shore of Paradise.
Virgil and Dante are sitting in an important cafè, downtown Ravenna. Some kind of music is on. The cafè is quite crowded; in the middle of the scene there is an upper leveled table where a couple are making love in a bed; two very fashioned men are discussing some important business; two other men are playing dice and two more are playing cards; other people are smoking and drinking; they're all enjoying themselves. The two poets are sitting at a table waiting for the waitress to come for their order.
First man (getting close to Virgil and Dante, with a low voice)
- Chocolate, speed, coke, brown sugar, mushrooms! Do you want any? Everything is cheap and first quality!!!
Dante (to Virgil)
- Master, I would like some chocolate with lot of sugar! What about the mushrooms? How do they serve them in this cafè? Are them safe?
Virgil (smiling to Dante but sending away the man and calling thereafter the waitress with a lift arm)
- No, thanks, man! We don't need any!!!
Waitress (very nice, possibly topless, anyway with a lascivious smile and a note book in the hand)
- Something from the kitchen, please?
- We would like two pizzas, please!!! (to Dante) Is it all right also for you a pizza, my son?
- Oh, yes ! It is!! Can mine can be served with onions and tuna or you just serve them with mushrooms??
Waitress (always nicely)
- Our Chef makes a very special tuna and onions pizza, if you like it!!!
- OK! And just a Napoli for me will be all right, please!!!
Waitress (writing down the note)
- What about the drinks?
- Two pints of lager, please!!! is that all right for you my son?
- Oh yes, master!!! That will be all right also for me!!!
Waitress (after writing and before leaving)
- OK! Ah, the couple in the bed told me that if you can join them, it will be great!!! I can join myself if you don't mind!!!
Virgil (smiling too)
- No, thanks, my darling! Tell them we came just for a quick pizza! We are in a rush, you know?
Waitress (still smiling)
- OK, boys! It will be for the next time, then!!!
- OK! That's it!! Be quick with those pizzas, will you???
Waitress (while leaving)
- I will for sure!! ' See you later!!!!
(Virgil leads Dante to a Stock Exchange; they will observe, from a hidden point of view, lot of people, suited in a very fashion way, shouting and making signs each others; some of them will be talking very busily, through small mobile phones very trendy and, from time to time, they stop talking in order to pass signs of order of selling and buying stocks)
1st man (making signs by his fingers)
- I'll buy fifteen hundred!
- I'm selling three thousand of them!!!
- I need ten thousand quid!!!
- Put twenty thousand a part for me!!!
- Swap them with the General Electrical, mate!!!
Dante (in a low voice)
- What's going on over there, master???
- They are making money...
Dante (a bit perplexed)
- Do you mean, they are working at something???
- I didn't say that my son! They are actually mostly inventing money than producing it.
- I beg your pardon, master, but I'm afraid I can't get the meaning of it!
- Of course you can't, my son!! It's not easy for anybody to understand. Listen to me, I'll try to explain to you the difference between production and speculation, real creation and virtual richness! If you write a good book, for instance, and you sell it to a firm to be published and then the book is sold in the shops: the buyers have a book in their hands; you, the editors ,the book sellers and all the people involved in the business share the profits; is that clear up to now?
- Very clear indeed, master!
- That's right! Let's suppose now that your publisher hasn't got the money to publish your book!
How can he get it?
- He goes to a Bank, I might suppose!
-And so do I, my son! But what happens if the banker hasn't got enough money himself?
- I suppose my book won't see the light yet!!
- It might be right, my son! Unless you don't consider the role played by those guys up there (he shows the stocks exchangers)
- I'm sorry, master, but I'm still blind...
- Never mind it! Just follow me for a little more! The banker goes to those guys (he points out the stocks exchangers again) and asks them to sell the idea of publishing your book to the savers! 'You know what savers are, don't you my son?
- Well, they are people who have more money than they need to live through!
- Correct, my son!
- And of course they want their money to be safe for future needs!!
- That's still correct, my son!!! Put it like that: the savers trust the bankers and the stocks exchangers; they even trust you and you your writing's skills! But this would not be a problem: financial investors have more instruments to convince savers in order to reach their targets! I'll show you later on a magic box who can wash people's brains just staying at home!!!
Dante (trying to understand)
- So the banker asks the stocks exchanger to ask the savers to buy the idea of publishing my books...
- Yes, that's it!!! There are plenty of instruments: the publisher might have emitted some titles to guarantee the credits and the savers will buy those titles; or they can buy the future profits which are expected from the selling of your books; they can even just lend their money on the promise of an interest to be paid...
- And this money is given to the banker and borrowed by my publisher...
... who publishes and distributes your book all over the world!!!
- All over the world, master?
- Of course! Can't you write a latin book to be sold all over the world?
- Well, I suppose I can do it, master!!
- Well! And that's your first book, is n't it?
- Yes, master! Though I don't see nothing wrong on it...
- But this is only the beginning, my son!!!
- What do you mean , master?
- I mean that now, those guys (indicates the stokes exchangers like before) can ask the savers to buy your next book...
- But I have just written my first one!!!
- It doesn't really matter my son!!! They will sell all the goods not yet produced and the wheat just seeded and all the events to come!!!
Dante (very surprised)
- Will they?
- And that's still nothing! If a firm is worth one million they can increase its value, just up there (shows the busy guys in the stocks exchange once again) up to ten or to hundred millions, though its real value is still just one thousand!! And that's thanks to the trust of people, 'till the game goes on!!!
- Now I know master, what you meant, when you told me the guys over there make money from nothing!!!
- I'm glad you did it, my son!!! Come on, now, let's go to the lower states!!!
to be continued…