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Fabio Genovesi: The Giant Squid

The book “The Giant Squid – Journey into the World of  Infinity” by Fábio Tzenobézi is truly magical. Starting from the “Giant Squid” that was once considered a myth and speaking about our largely unknown sea, it shows how we willingly turn a blind eye to anything we don’t understand or that exceeds our measurements.

As a brilliant narrator, moving from one topic to another, he gives us an idea of infinity. Right from the beginning, he notes: ‘We know nothing about the sea. Absolutely nothing, yet the sea is almost everything.’

And it is present on every page of this book that shakes our certainties, as you will read in the following interview where the author considers readers as fellow travellers. And indeed, together with him, we discover these many mysteries that are also part of our own lives…

– How and when did your interest in the Giant Squid begin?

It started when I was a child. I was always a fan of movies with giant monsters like Godzilla, King Kong, but also sea creatures. That’s when I learned that one of these giants actually existed, and it was the Giant Squid.

That was one of the first instances where I realized that reality can surpass imagination. And I wanted to learn more about this peculiar creature. However, many aspects of its life are still shrouded in mystery even today, and I like it that way. Humans always want to know everything, to analyze, to dissect, and to see beneath the surface of rationality.

I don’t do that. I believe that the things we truly don’t know can become the most fertile ground, giving us ideas, generating stories, passions, desires. All mythologies, like the awe-inspiring Greek mythology, were born from the poetic desire to discover the vast, beautiful, and mysterious world we live in. I tried to bring that poetic mythology into our dry, flat era.

– Why did the world deny the existence of the Giant Squid? Do you believe that we often close our eyes to what we consider “normal”?

Yes, I think its existence shows us that everything is possible, nothing is too beautiful or too terrifying for reality. Both can happen, and there are no limits even though we try to impose our narrow boundaries on everything.

That is wonderful because it tells us that nothing is too big or strange. But it is also terrifying because it tells you that if your life is flat, empty, and boring, it’s your fault. You’re living without passion, without desire, without imagination.

Understanding how big, strange, and rich life can truly be opens the doors to a new horizon, which is frightening and immense for many people whose lives are built on rationality, on trivial values such as career, social acceptance, money… False values that are part of the terrible social injustice we live in. Thus, it’s easier for one to keep these doors closed and live their small, miserable, blind, selfish life.

– You have a special love for the sea. What attracts you the most?

I was born in a small seaside town, in a family of fishermen. I grew up by the sea, and I still live that way. For me, the sea is essential, it is my horizon, my soul.

I believe there is a strong brotherhood among people who live by the sea. My homeland is the Mediterranean Sea, all the places I have visited around it, that’s where I feel at home. I see my relatives in the faces of the elderly. In Greece, this is so clear to me. I understand their passion, their pain, their hopes, their music.

The sea is like an oracle that speaks to me. It tells me who I am, where I come from, and where I’m going. It’s a silent oracle, but it has a lot to say if you know how to listen.

The sea is a mother, it is beauty, but it can also be a terrible beast. We are all sailors, constantly sailing towards the horizon, towards our dreams, but sometimes the sea becomes a storm and we need to find our way amidst the chaos.

– In your book, you explore themes of infinity, the unknown, and the limits of human understanding. Why are these concepts so fascinating to you?

They are fascinating because they put us face to face with our own insignificance, with the tiny place we occupy in the vast universe. It makes us understand that we are just one little thing in the immensity of everything.

Our knowledge is minuscule, our existence is brief, and it is fascinating to understand that the world is much bigger, more beautiful, and more complex than we can imagine. It is also fascinating to understand that we are not alone, that there are other forms of life, other beings with their own experiences, thoughts, and emotions.

The unknown is a territory of possibilities, of questions, of surprises. It is a challenge to our curiosity, our intelligence, our imagination. The unknown is like an abyss that can swallow us, but it can also elevate us, it can make us fly, it can make us dream.

I think the most beautiful things in life come from the unknown, from the surprises that catch us off guard, from the wonders we don’t expect. That’s why I’m so fascinated by infinity and the unknown. They are a source of inspiration, a source of stories, a source of life.” 

AUTHOR

Kostas Stoforos

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