Mariella Alberini​​

Copertina Otto Simboli Mongoli

"Otto simboli mongoli"

Collana Russa
Anno di pubblicazione: 2004
Casa editrice: Mursia
Prefazione: Ferruccio DE BORTOLI

In una notte di plenilunio, a Ulaan Baataar, capitale della Mongolia Esteriore, viene ucciso a pugnalate il trentottenne deputato Hamar Zargal, capo del Partito Democratico, discendente da Kublai Khan. Nel suo testamento designa come successore il cugino Sergheij Irbis Zargal Andreev, ex agente del KGB (oggi  FSB), tornato nella terra dei suoi avi materni dopo anni di isolamento in Siberia dove si era rifugiato. Così incomincia un intrigo internazionale che si svolge nel complesso scenario della Mongolia e dell’Asia centrale, dove le immense ricchezze di quei territori innescano lotte di accaparramento fra Oriente e Occidente. Elena Skutova, affascinante protagonista di “Fuoco Russo Segreto”, ambasciatore in Mongolia di fresca nomina, dovrà fronteggiare una situazione politico-economica incandescente. Con “Otto Simboli Mongoli” si forma una piccola saga assolutamente originale. Ci sono di mezzo le complesse relazioni che legano la crisi mediorientale al difficile ingresso della Turchia nell’Unione Europea, la tragedia tibetana causata dall’aggressività imperialista della Cina, le aspirazioni nazionaliste delle repubbliche caucasiche per tanti anni schiacciate dai genocidi compiuti dalla furia omologatrice di Mosca. E un potentissimo personaggio che trama nell’ombra. Tra le suggestioni esoteriche della terra degli sciamani, il misticismo buddista e la natura sconfinata del grande vuoto mongolo, nascono passioni e sentimenti straordinari alimentati dalla purezza  dei grandi spazi incontaminati. Una miniera di uranio e diamanti è il perno della vicenda che si svolge nel contesto molto attuale di quello che potrebbe essere il “Grande Gioco” del ventunesimo secolo. L’autrice, esperta di geopolitica, conosce a fondo non solo la storia, le religioni, le tradizioni, la cultura e le leggende di quelle regioni lontane, ma anche le evoluzioni dei rapporti politici e diplomatici. Riesce a farci sentire il profumo di quelle terre, di quelle foreste dove, tra isbe e gher, si viene a contatto con luci soffuse di albe e tramonti di un mondo ricco di storia e di civiltà. Crimini e mistero verranno svelati dopo una lunga serie di sapienti colpi di scena e rapidi cambi di inquadrature disseminate in numerosi, dimenticati angoli del pianeta.

By the light of a full moon, in Ulaan Baataar, the capital of Eastern Mongolia, Hamar Zargal, a 38-year old Member of Parliament, also the Democratic Party leader and a descendent of Kublai Khan, is stabbed to death. In his will he nominated his cousin, Sergheij Irbis Zargal Andreev, an ex-KGB agent (now know as FSB) as his successor. The same Irbis Zargal who has just returned to his homeland after years of solitary confinement in Siberia. This begins an international intrigue, which takes place in the complex setting of Mongolia and Central Asia. An exotic background, where, among isbas and ghers, one comes into contact with a world full of history and tradition. A plot which will touch upon Turkey’s difficulty in becoming a member of the European Union, maybe as a result of the Middle East crisis, the Tibetian tragedy caused by China’s imperialistic aggression as well as the nationalistic aspirations of the Caucasian republics, that have been crushed for many years by the genocides at the hands of the Russians. There is also the rivalry between Russia and China. Both after one thing the immense riches these magnificent Easter territories have to offer-uranium and diamonds. The lovely Elena Skutova, newly appointed Russian Ambassador in Mongolia, will have to face a heated politico-economic situation. She will also find herself torn between two lovers. Although already romantically involved with Stephen Schmidt, a journalist working in Israel, she is physically attracted to Irbis Zargal, who she meets several times while looking for an ally in this new and strange country,  and this leads to a brief pasional affair. Another ally comes from an unusual quarter, Dalah, Irbis Zargal’s girl friend. She accompanies Elena to see another side of Mongolia- the world of Buddhism and  Shamanism. An illuminating experience for Elena, especially the visit to the sacred temples of Khara Khorum. During this visit Elena is curious to know more about a Lama who is sitting near them, a very mysterious person. Elena also notices a strange red tattoo on Dalah’s left shoulder. Dalah explains that it is one of the eight Mongolian symbols representing goodness and wisdom and offers protection and good luck. A series of brutal murders follow and two attempts on the life of Alim Muratbek, a history professor at the University of Almaty and a member of the Resistance and Independence Movement in Kazakhistan. The last thing Alim wants is an alliance with the new Russian Federation. While out walking one day, Alim’s lover is killed by a sniper bullet meant for Alim himself. Whereas Elena, during a romantic meeting with Stephen in St. Petersburg, comes across the headless body of a Communist Party Member, Anna Melnikova. Are all these murders and assassination attempts, including Hamar Zargal’s brutal murder, connected to each other in any way? Further investigations, led by Anna Melnikova’s brother and Iris Zargal (old acquaintances ) will lead to a very unlikely suspect. Who was behind the plot? Who was pulling the strings and turning Russia and China against each other? No other than the Lama (the Buddhist monk mentioned previously), intent on taking revenge for the horrors his family had undergone at the hands of the occupying Russians. When discovered, there is only one way out: suicide. Back to normality, Elena and Stephen take a well deserved holiday and meditate on the meaning of the eight Mongolian symbols.    
Unaware of all this Elena enrolls the help of a powerful English businessman, an advisor to Tony Blair, who helps her to meet some influential people in the world of genetic research and international commerce. Still without any specific leads, Elena however, develops her own theory, which will not in fact be too far from the truth: an entire rereading of all the supposed values of the 20th century. Maybe the Russian revolution had simply been good business for Western capitalists, isolating Russia, preventing it from developing into a dangerous competitor! Perhaps the truths presented to the man in the street have been little more than a stage set, little more than an illusion. The presence of the West in Russian affairs is immediately confirmed by an enlightening flash-back to a discussion which had taken place within the Russian government before the attack on the parliament building: mercenaries and western infiltrators in Moscow....directing first the uprising and then its repression. Although nurturing the most terrible doubts Elena never stops behaving like the perfect Russian and continues her work: she will take part in diplomatic mission to Paris, Budapest and Belgrade, in a desperate attempt to deflect the growing crisis, the bombing of Serbia, the isolation of Yeltsin. Meanwhile someone has stolen Klimkin’s file which Elena had locked up at the railway station in Rome. It is a difficult time: from Hungary Elena travels to Serbia on unsafe roads, through poor villages which are soon to be demolished by war. During this time and years after the death of her husband, she meets and falls passionately in love whit a German journalist, Stephan Schmidt, who will travel whit her to Belgrade. Like Elena, Stephan, too, carries the scars of the final years of the century ( in Argentina, Videla’s coup, the desparecidos...) In forceful images (a bridge on the Danube, gypsies, jugglers, barges and bombs...) Alberini paints a picture of Serbia on the eve of war. Elena attends the futile meeting between Chernomydrin and Milosovic: the meeting breaks down and the Serbian leader leaves with an enigmatic “remember Chernobyl”. Another jolt to Elena’s memory, while we, the readers, learn from another world-wide phone call between the all- powerful that not only have they decided to spare Elena but they will try and use towards their own ends. The ghosts of Chernobyl torment Elena, who luckily up again with Stephan at the Metropole Hotel in Belgrade: a powerful love scene takes place while the bombs begin to fall on the city. Inevitably the rest of the plot takes place in Moscow : Elena decides to challenge danger to the limits. In fact the wife of the dead man lives in Moscow and probably keeps her husband’s secret papers. She lives in a squalid 5 storey block of flats on the outskirts of Moscow. Elena , however, finds that someone else has got there first and Klimkin’s wife has been horribly murdered. Yeltsin’s own police arrive and hold Elena with a series of vague excuses. It is clear that complex conspiracy is weaving itself around her, in which an ambiguous part is played by the androgenous beauty, Lilja, who Elena had previously met in Serbia. In the city, whitened by a late fall of snow, Elena meets Stephan again, with a Russian journalist friend of his, at the Majakovskij Museum where they all plan to go and find
Sergej Andreev, Klimkin’s brother, also an ex KGB agent, now hiding somewhere in Siberia. They have adventurous and lucky escape from Moscow by air. Then in Gloskovskoe (Irkustk) they come very near the moment of truth. Kimkin’s brother, Sergej Andreev, lives right on the edge of civilization, holed up in an izba, protected from the ice and snow. On their arrival the three have a ferocious fight with hired hitmen who have been sent to kill him, and he, in fact, is the last (and by now the only one) to know. Hidden under the floor of the izba are the documents that so many spies had been looking for. The first dates back to the 22nd May 1986: two Russian scientists inform Gorbachov that strange coded messages warning of a disaster at Chernobyl, had appeared in the magazine Seven Days (authentic pages of which appear in the book!), giving those in the know time to get away. The second refers to 1917: bankers from every nation had financed the Russian revolution, a document with all their signatures is the proof! Someone therefore had used Chernobyl to bring Gorbachov to his knees. Are they perhaps the descendants of those who financed the revolution? Are they the same ones who cold-heartedly decide the fates of both the world and of single individuals like Elena and Klimkin? The three heroes leave Andreev to dig deeper into the frozen Siberia wasteland in search of an improbable serenity. They return to west and will try and tell the world what they have discovered by publishing an article called “Planetary Government the dark side of the planet” in Isvestia and Frankfurter Allegmeine... The last chapter begins in a Moscow flat where Elena and Stephan manager to create for themselves a fleeting moment of love, while we hear again what now seems even more sinister prophetic warnings from the dead ex KGB agent, forewarning of new and terrible international terrorist attacks (at this time only a few years before the epoch making tragedy of the twin towers) whit which the great and the powerful of the world subjugate the people and crush those who oppose their plans. Whoever cold-bloodedly planned the millions of deaths in the Ukraine is not going to hesitate to be the architect of other atrocities, in the name of a “new man”, perhaps will never exist. 
Mariella Alberini è una collega brava, una scrittrice di vaglia. Il suo tratto umano è elegante, direi unico. Lo ritroviamo anche quando scrive. Ma sa anche alternare la dolcezza dei rapporti privati, la tenerezza delle storie d'amore, con la forza espressiva dei racconti d'azione e dei più raffinati intrecci geopolitici.  Già in Fuoco russo segreto abbiamo incontrato riferimenti di grande attualità e qualche sorprendente anticipazione. La realtà romanzesca e il suo rovescio fanno parte del repertorio di questa giornalista e scrittrice che conosce non solo la storia, le tradizioni, le leggende delle terre in cui ambienta i suoi libri, ma anche l'evoluzione dei rapporti diplomatici.  Otto simboli mongoli si svolge su diversi teatri. Il palcoscenico è quello delle complesse relazioni che legano la crisi mediorientale al faticoso approdo della Turchia nell'Unione europea, il sacrificio del Tibet alle aspirazioni imperialiste della Cina (anche quella di oggi?), i fermenti del crollo sovietico all'ansia nazionalista delle repubbliche caucasiche, una volta schiacciate e cancellate nel sangue di tanti genocidi dalla furia omologatrice della Mosca comunista. Ma tra le quinte si intravedono le patologie di democrazie fragili, dominate da disordine e criminalità, la minaccia costante di un terrorismo che si nutre di odio verso l'Occidente, voglie incontenibili di riscatto nazionale, istanze religiose, suggestioni esoteriche.  Quello che vi apprestate a leggere è il capitolo di una piccola ma assolutamente originale saga, i cui personaggi sono sparsi nel mondo dall' autrice e poi raccolti con sapienti colpi di scena e rapidi cambi di inquadratura.  Elena Skutova e Stephan Schmidt camminano sulla lama affilata di una vita vissuta intensamente, tra emozioni, amori e ideali. I simboli della tradizione, l'ombra di Gengis Khan, lo sguardo dei Lama, le icone religiose e quell' oscuro limite assai sottile fra razionale e trascendente li avvolge in una luce soffusa che è quella delle albe e dei tramonti di terre desolate, martoriate ma ricche di storia e civiltà.  Mariella Alberini fa parlare anche quelle terre, fra isbe e gher, in un ideale secondo piano di un romanzo d'avventura dove il possesso dell'uranio e dei diamanti è presagio di trame terroristiche e scontri apocalittici fra Occidente e Oriente.  I due protagonisti nell' epilogo spiegheranno il significato di quegli otto simboli, dopo aver fatto trattenere a lungo il respiro al lettore e averlo catturato tra fantasia e realtà. Come nel precedente romanzo di Mariella Alberini Fuoco russo segreto, la cronaca si mischia all'immaginazione, e, come diremmo oggi con un' orrenda parola, la fiction anticipa gli accadimenti e forse qualche volta potremmo dire che persino li ispira. Qui, invece e per fortuna le maggiori ispirazioni vengono da un passato carico di lungimirante saggezza: «Chi era Zanabazar?», chiese a un certo punto Elena. Discendente di Gengis Khan venne mandato in Tibet a studiare il buddismo e seppe fondere religione e cultura. Armonia e pace. Protagoniste anche queste di Otto simboli mongoli. Il mistero verrà svelato, come nei migliori thriller, al momento opportuno ... 
Giuliano Urbani

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