San Paolo ‘Celestial Spy’ by the Romans in Gorno’s last novel

It is a different Saint Paul from the one handed down by Christian iconography, the Saul of Tarsus outlined by Cristoforo Gorno, writer and television author, in his new novel ‘The celestial spy’ published by Rai Libri and set in Damascus in 36 AD, that is three years after the crucifixion of Christ, where between established historical sources and fictional events, a secret pact is hypothesized between the apostle of the Gentiles and the Roman authorities in the East, between diplomatic relations, secrets, confidences, confidential documents, plots, which precede the birth of what will become a universal religion, namely Christianity. “The title ‘The celestial spy’ derives from what I imagine, on the basis of some details taken from ancient sources – explains Gorno, interviewed by AdnKronos – The weaving of the novel is based on a sort of secret agreement for which Saul makes the secret informant for the Romans and in exchange they guarantee him protection “. After all, the writer observes,” the Jewish and Jewish world of the time was very composite and divided within it, between more or less open opponents and more or less collaborators less hidden, not to mention the pagan world. If initially the future Saint Paul acts out of opportunism, then little by little he begins to like the ‘toy’ and he will become more and more convinced of his role “. ‘conversion’ of Saul-Paul to what is still not a religion but at most a small sect within Judaism: “It will be he who ‘founded’ Christianity; and Christians will be called so only after him” , remember the writing king. The novel “is not a continuous flow, it follows a chronological path but is built in scenes”. It starts with the emperor Tiberius who summons Vitellius to Capri to send him as plenipotentiary to the East, also to draw up a report on Pontius Pilate to remove him from assignment, until Saul of Tarsus enters the scene, for a choral story that sees as the protagonist the figure of the one who will later become St. Paul, until his arrival in Rome. “I am fascinated by the ancient world – underlines Cristoforo Gorno – and its ability to create archetypes, whether they belong to the Greek or Roman civilization “. (by Enzo Bonaiuto)