‘The Evolution Of Knowledge’ by Niccolo Tucci


The Evolution Of Knowledge by Niccolo Tucci, 1947

The magic trick:

Telling a story of small, even petty, stakes with massive geopolitical posttraumatic stress undertones

In a vacuum devoid of historic context, this is a story about parenting and neighbors. It’s a story about a landlord arguing with an upstairs tenant about noise. And I like that. It’s simple.

But of course we’re not reading this in a vacuum. There are references to the war, to fascism, to old lives and new ways. So this is also a story about immigration and tragedy and resentment and guilt and the way massive geopolitical maneuvers forever affect the simplest everyday aspects of the common person.

You can read the story for either one of these themes – big or small. And that’s quite a trick on Tucci’s part.

The selection:

Saturday morning was in my subconscious, so much so that I pleaded with my son to stop hammering. My wife took his side against me, saying he had every right to play with his toolkit. I tried everything, even literature. I said, “If Thursday is here, can Saturday be far behind? Think of that poor man downstairs who will be asleep in less than two days from now.”

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