The End is my Beginning is, in effect, a hymn to life, to the incongruences of human existence.
“Instead of introducing your children to the hypnotic world of television bring them outside, teach them how to rejoice at the sight of fireflies.”
The latter could be the perfect introductory, if not ending line, for Tiziano Terzani’s illuminating book La Fine è il mio inizio , but it is not, for it would be too cheesily acute, excessively simplistic. This is the story of a man’s life unfolded under the form of an interview between father and son. Tiziano, dressed, as always, in white, is sitting in his little hut situated in the remoteness of Tuscany’s Orsigna; he is sixty-six and will soon die of cancer.
Having dedicated his entire life working as a reporter for Der Spiegel in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam war, and living in China in the 80s just as the “middle kingdom” was opening up its red doors to the rest of the world, Terzani is now looking back at the fresco of his life with ethereal limpidity, wise as only a man who has come to terms with his own vulnerabilities and limitations can be. Even though the proximity of his death is an invisible yet perceptible thread throughout the entirety of this filial conversation, The End is my Beginning is, in effect, a hymn to life, to the incongruences of human existence.