Ironic, at times nostalgic, with a tinge of feminine sensuality, Gisy Scerman has decided to not only blow our minds with her amazing fetish photos, but to add to that sexy combo her autobiographical inspired memoir, La Ragazza Definitiva. The book revered to many as a celebration of sex and decadent lifestyle in reality explores the dark feelings of death, loss, and trying to deal with an everyday malaise that just won’t go away. Her writing is direct, yet conversational, as though you’re having your closest friend putting her heart out on the table, hoping that you won’t puncture it afterwards. This is the kind of book that lingers within your system after weeks of having read it, like recalling your favourite scenes in a film. Her work is visceral but refined, never jaded. She may very well be the new voice for a generation of disillusioned youths who seek solace in various places to try to curb their sadness.
Like every musician who declares that there’s been one particular song that inspired them to become a singer, was there a particular book o writer that inspired you to become a writer?
“Truth is, I’ve always felt more inspired by music and by the lyrical dimension of writing than from literature itself. First and foremost the French song writers and through consequence Modugno, De Andrè, Piero Ciampi, and Bruno Martino for the Italians. Writing has always been my form of expression, although those was a moment reading the author Paola Nori’s Bassotuba Non C’è that I understood that I wanted to simply what I was writing, and I think that it was worth working on my simplification of language although it’s a paradox because it requires lots of exercise…then some literature from the englightment era Thomas Bernhard with Perturbamento, La Cantina, a lot of things from Pavese, Camus with La Caduta. There are a lot of authors that I mean a lot to me. But emotions, usually were tapped into me only through certain songs, but music wasn’t my mode of expression! I had to find my own voice. Then that one book from Paola Nori that made me understand that I lacked immediacy and since then it’s been a continuous thing, a kind of drug, having to write. We also begin through encounters.”
In the book, La Ragazza Definitiva, more than being a book about sex, it seemed more like a memoir of survival, made up of memories, death, and depression. It also seems like sex became a means to feel alive. Do you think that at times, it’s so?
“Sex can be a lot of things; it can be a remedy for boredom, it can be exhibitionism, it can be a way to exercise power (for both men and women), it can be love, it can be a need for love. Rarely sex with other people is only a physical pleasure. In this book sex is always passive from the protagonist’s point of view, there’s a lot of it, but it’s almost like if there wasn’t, there are certain men (and a few women) that try to give it their all in a more direct way, more or less refined or grotesque for that night’s conquest, they feel it like a need to have to try, even if there are no such expectations, other than the fact that the person they find themselves facing is one of sex F. The protagonist knows this, and at times it’s harder to say, No, so she gives in without passion, other times she runs away, it’s not a way to make her feel better, but at times it seems like fun. Her most important love stories in a way always deal with loss and death.”
Always in the book, you state that when you were younger you tried to complicate language to appear more prepared and lofty. Now, you’ve decided to be more simple and direct for the writing of this book, do you think simplicity at times is the easiest way to reach the readers?
“Oh yes, they put in your head this idea, that if you write complex things then you’re intelligent, but at times you may write complex things for lack of ideas! Like I said before, I think that one needs to work on the simplification of the text, on the immediacy. At least, I think, it served me well. Certain academics simply don’t comprehend it. At times the written conversational tone is seen as B or C rated, but in reality writing as you speak, isn’t really how you speak. The exercises on style in the long run become tedious, there are certain books that are so very well written, but than don’t transmit any emotions, they don’t touch a nerve. I think that one needs to find a compromise between transmitting emotions and being true to your own style. Naturally, one then changes, but lofty writing doesn’t stand for intelligence, I think it’s only a starting point! Of course, there are various ways to see and feel things..”
The author D.H. Lawrence used to state that if a person represses their body it’s because in reality they’re trying to repress their mind. Do you think that in freeing the body can ultimately free the mind?
“Omigosh, well, I don’t think it’s a reversible reaction. I think that how one acts with their body is a consequence of the mind, and if the mind doesn’t let go then it’s better not to force the body too much to give in. We need to always stay true to our own values, whatever they may be. It’s better to work first on the thoughts, and then perhaps the rest later, we’re miserably complex.”
Do you think that prejudices still exist towards women that decide to be fetish models?
“Oh yes, very much so. Naturally I don’t talk only about small towns, but even those who are into this genre, many times I’ve had people ask me if I have a companion, then I shouldn’t do this job, or if I write, why do I expose myself in this manner? These kind of phrases tell me a lot about a person’s open mentality, the only thing they would like to see open are the legs without thoughts. It’s always the same discourse, they call a woman a whore, but they can’t stay without whores, as long as the whore isn’t their wife, of course. So much hypocrisy, for what?”
Your first book was a literary ode to the singer, Piero Ciampi, where you try to bring light upon his past, and how that inspired his songs. Do you think in the future you’re going to do something similar with someone else?
“That literary ode required a lot of energy, in every sense: mental, emotional, and economical. For the genre that I wrote, I had very little public appeal, and it was obvious, but it was an act of love that was very strong towards this songwriter that made me fall in love with his lyrics, and made me understand (I think) a lot about life. An epiphany of that kind is rare thing to happen again, and then you’re not twenty years for eternity. Now I would find it harder to go around Italy to try to find the places where he had lived and try to find any traces he had left behind. There are other artists that I love very much, but already far more popular like Edith Piaf whom for me is metaphysical, Leo Ferrè, Nick Drake, Tenco, even Mia Martini hits me, Sergio Endrigo, Max Mandfredi, and a group of very talented musicians from Milan called Le Masque…then another Italian songwriter that I’d like to know better is Fausto Rossi, at least he’s still living. Then many others, but the list is too long! But the idea of actually writing something about them will happen only if I’m really into that person, something that you simply cannot renounce because you feel like it’s your need, and there really has to be this necessity in order to conceive it and transmit it to others. I wrote a few words about Tenco that will come in December for the editors, Rizzoli Bur, but for the moment there’s nothing biographic in the works.”
You’re a person who’s very interested in science, especially in chemistry. If your book, La Ragazza Definitiva were to be a chemical, which one would it be?
“Well, I tattooed the atom of lithium (LI), that has three electrons, Lithium is used as an element to cure bipolar depression….and well, I think that I’m that, even if I’d prefer to be Hydrogen (H). Fundamental but so light!”
If Gisy’s writing is like Lithium, then don’t try to miss your daily dose, it could be vital to your well-being. But let me warn you, start off slowly, because before you know it you too will become addicted to this young woman’s writing….and not only that. Take my word for it.