Sealed in Stone
Introduction by Alberto Moravia
Translated by Arthur Bierman
"Sealed in Stone is a marvelous historical novel and more, an examination of the mystical urge to make sense of a senseless world. This haunting novel of personal sacrifice resonates as bewildering and true as any act of religious extremism taken from today’s newspapers." - Philip Herter, St. Petersberg Times
“. . . a strange and necessary novel.” -Alberto Moravia
“Toni Maraini’s Sealed in Stone, an allegorical novel set in the heart of medieval Paris, radiantly portrays the triumph of the soul over the darkness of existence. An extraordinary achievement.” -Lucia A. Blackstone
"This book has two very great merits: the ability to reconstruct in meticulous detail the particulars of medieval life, and to skillfully convey the ambience and the atmosphere of another historical period. At the same time, it shows parallels with modern times in such a way as to annul the time factor, so that the city in which the narrative takes place, 14th-century Paris, could be any city whatever in any period whatever.
[The second merit] is her creation —through interior monologues and dialogues— of very finely delineated characters, each one an emblem of a complex, anguished, individual quest that, through their different lives, develops toward a single goal common to all: self-knowledge.
Surfacing in this book are Alice— a religious novice by chance and a woman sealed into a wall by choice; the Lombard absorbed in a fervent desire to widen the horizons of his experience (these, then, are also two sides of the same person, the seeker within and the seeker in the world ). And above all, there is the Big Turk, a splendid figure of the mendicant-poet, who dies conscious of having found his treasure: a fistful of humble sea salt that evokes in him memories of his childhood and the trajectory of his life." -From L’ECO DELLA STAMPA, Milan, Italy