The title of the second novel, published by Feltrinelli in 1982, plays on the acronym PAO – which means Picchetto Armato Ordinario [armed guard of the day] – and by doing so, indicates the subject matter ; a description of the “rite of passage” that is life on a military base.
This is a recurring theme in the work of Pier Vittorio Tondelli. In fact, concurrently with the book he had been writing a ten-episode series entitled, “Il diario del soldato Acci” [Diary of Acci the Soldier], that ran weekly in “Il Resto del Carlino” and “La Nazione” from February 15th to April 22nd, 1981″. These narratives constitute the major part of the second volume of his project “Un weekend postmoderno” [A Post-modern Weekend].
The same topic is also dealt with in the fourth section (“Affari Military” ) [Military Affairs] of the first volume of “Un weekend postmoderno” (1990).
The author defined the novel as the “story of a ‘different’ kind of military service” and as ” … the attempt at writing a sentimental novel about a group of young people using a rhythmic and rock style with romantic upsurges of reflections and sudden accelerations”.
Pao Pao was translated in France by Seuil in 1985, in Spain by Editorial Portic in 1988 and in Germany by Rowohlt in 1989.
25 Febbraio 2022, 11:55