Defan is a unique example of a Renaissance Man living before the Renaissance. Everything he touched, he could turn into gold. He created liqueurs and perfumes popular to this day, played his part in implementing cashless transfers in Europe, made his edits to the key documents of the period, and defined the principles to which the Vatican Bank still adheres.
He made his monastery rich and managed to make Pope John XXII rich, for whom the Babylonian Captivity turned triumphal.
A simple monk, son of a Knight Hospitaller, Defan becomes the master of the Papal treasury — Camera Apostolica — and a cardinal.
His morals diverge from the norm in his time. He does not believe in the Commandments or fear God Almighty. He fornicates, gluttonizes, lies, and even kills. Unafraid of God’s wrath, he fears other people’s judgement even less. He lives a life that’s full and abides by the Protestant ethics a couple of centuries prior to Martin Luther or John Calvin.
His end is lamentable: first, he loses his memory, then his sanity. It is a real tragedy for someone who used to think better than others and memorize better than others. However, while the pathetic old man spends his final days in the monastery, his image travels across Europe in legends and breaks down into multiple distinct characters.
Secrets of management and marketing, a great love story and multiple seductions, detective plots, intrigues of the Pope election, fear of God, God’s judgement and how to make money off of them — all of this takes place in a historically accurate reconstruction of the 13-14th centuries.
Person or state? Freedom of creativity or following established canons? Loyalty to the hierarchy or liberty in dealing with a career? Commandments, mortal sins, or your own ideas about morality? Reading or worship? Social approval or trying to build your own life? These philosophical questions run through the text of “Provincial”.
A novel without love stories for adults is like a book without pictures and dialogs for children. But “Provincial” is not like that. And love, and medieval eroticism will be in the distance.
It may seem to you that in tredento people were alien to sensual pleasures, but the novel will dispel this myth. Love, suffering, depravity – all this was long distance, and all this happens with the heroes of the work. Despite the fact that some of them are dressed in robes.
The author of A Provincial studied history in university and, therefore, setting his novel in the 14th century, he is most diligent about the details and historical accuracy.
The author saw the times of the USSR, the perestroika, and the meltdown of the political, social, and ideological institutes. While still a teenager, in need to provide for himself and his family, the author has tried dozens of ways to make money and mastered very different jobs. He worked as a school teacher, a newspaper writer and editor, an assistant for an intelligence service, participated in archive research, owned a periodical, sold liquors, and more. He had to deal with all kinds of people and become a witness to most peculiar things.
Later on, he became one of the best marketing specialists in Ukraine, created a number of popular local brands, and successfully managed businesses in different industries. His non-fiction books on marketing have become bestsellers in Ukraine.
He actively participated in two Ukrainian revolutions, called Maidan, where he obtained his first-hand experience of street unrest.
His diverse background crystallized into A Provincial. This novel took him eight years to finish and has become a part of his life.