Introduction by Robert Sheckley
to Roberto Quaglia's
"Pane burro e paradossina."
It is a serious thing to write
an introduction to a book one has never read. But Roberto Quaglia's "Pane burro e
paradossina" has at least one thing going for it: a title which might have come
directly out of the great days of the French surrealists. Andre Breton himself would have
approved this novel sight unseen, and would have offered to blow up anyone who didn't
For too long has Roberto Quaglia not been famous! When the famous authors meet at their
favorite cafes and laugh at the stupidity of the reading public, Roberto is not there. And
this is insupportable.
At university, Roberto Quaglia majored in scorn, and took an honors degree in the arts of
dissimulation and clever retort. Why is he not among those who, in their fashion designer
clothing, accompanied by their fancy women, fawned upon by waiters, sit at their ease in
expensive restaurants ordering fancy dinners which they then leave for their dogs? It is
time to change this infamous state of affairs immediately.
What is fame but the rendering of homage to personality? And Quaglia has personality to
burn. He has an attitude of intransigence which is a delight to behold. Reader, behold it!
Sometimes, late at night, when I sit alone in my enormous study, surrounded by
Impressionist paintings and French pate, and with beautiful women lavishing their
attention upon me, I run my fingers over the pages of "Pane burro e
paradossina." It speaks to me in low clear tones of a paradise of dainty invention
and witty phrase. If it says all this to me, a foreigner, what might it not say to you, a
Reader it is in your power to change Roberto Quaglia from a demented skulker in back
alleys into a happy man, and rich, rich, rich! Get his address, either postal or email, it
matters not which. Write to him. Ask him for copies of this masterwork of the late 20th
century. Offer him money. He will not turn you aside as some, pretending to a niceness
they do not in fact possess, might well do. Quaglia will take your money, send you his
book, put you on his mailing list, let you know of the publication of his other works both
potential and actual. You can be in at the beginning of launching this phenomenon-to-be on
the careless world. Do not delay. I have done my part. Now go forth and do yours.