<b>Being Homo Radix</b> // Ser Homo Radix


  • Tiziano Fratus




Woods, Roots, Writing


Losing oneself in the singing silence of old-growth forests and being reborn at the age of 30 as Homo Radix, Root Man: words can still change your life, offer a profound, formerly absent meaning. Tiziano Fratus encountered his first thousand-year-old sequoias in Big Sur, and from that point perceived the call of the voices of great trees. He began to cross landscapes in search of new fathers and new mothers. He plumbed the depths of Californian parks and the Italian, French, Swiss, and Austrian Alps; he immersed himself in the Mediterranean scrub. In botanical gardens, in the parks of historical homes, in cities and in the vast countryside, he met exotic old-growth trees that tell stories of other continents. He made his way to Singapore, Sweden, Spain, and returned to a height of 3000-3900 meters to observe the worn-out wood of the oldest conifers on the planet: more than 5000 years of living matter, again in California, in the White Mountains. He began to write books and to accompany people on journeys to meet the patriarchs of the planet. He became a faithful disciple of the verb “arborescere,” to make oneself a tree, coined by Pliny the Elder 2000 years ago.


            Perderse uno mismo en el silencio cantor de los bosques de árboles antiguos y renacer a la edad de 30 como Homo Radix, Hombre Raíz: las palabras aún pueden cambiar tu vida, ofrecer un profundo significado antes ausente. Tiziano Fratus encontró sus primeras secuoyas milenarias en Big Sur, y desde ese punto percibió la llamada de las voces de los grandes árboles. Empezó a cruzar paisajes en busca de nuevos padres y nuevas madres. Exploró las profundidades de los parques californianos y los Alpes italianos, franceses, suizos y austríacos; se sumergió en los arbustos mediterráneos. En los jardines botánicos, en los parques de hogares históricos, en las ciudades y en la amplia campiña, conoció exóticos árboles antiguos que cuentan historias de otros continentes. Viajó a Singapur, Suecia, España, y volvió a una altura de 3000-3900 metros para observar la exhausta madera de las coníferas más antiguas del planeta: más de 5000 años de materia orgánica, de nuevo en California, en las Montañas Blancas. Empezó a escribir libros y a acompañar a la gente en viajes para conocer a los patriarcas del planeta. Se convirtió en un fiel discípulo del verbo “arborescere”, hacerse árbol, acuñado por Plinio el Viejo hace 2000 años.


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Author Biography

Tiziano Fratus



Tiziano Fratus (Bergamo, 1975) is a tree seeker. He crosses the landscape searching for old-growth trees and ancient forests, which he counts, measures, photographs and writes about. Encountering the first thousand-year-old sequoias in California he coined the concept of “Homo Radix/Root Man” and “treeography,” which he developed in a number of books, including the Manuale del perfetto cercatore d’alberi [Manual of the Perfect Tree Seeker] (Kowalski/Feltrinelli), Il sussurro degli alberi [The Whisper of the Trees] (Ediciclo), L’Italia è un bosco [Italy is a Wood] and Il libro delle foreste scolpite [The Book of Sculpted Forests] (both with Laterza). He edits the column Il cercatore di alberi [The Tree Seeker] for the Turinese daily La Stampa. He guides hikes and trips for people seeking century-old trees and host exhibits of his photographs. He has published various collections of poetry in Italy and other countries (United States, Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, Switzerland); his compositions have been translated into seven languages and published in national and international journals including Gradiva, Poetry International, Les citadelles, Tabacaria, DiVersos, and Studium. His most recent collection of poetry is titled Un quaderno di radici [A Notebook of Roots] and signaled the return of Feltrinelli to contemporary poetry. He lives in a village at the edge of the plains where the mountains begin.






Creative Writing and Arts