I like to tell my wife. I say to my wife. I tell her not to give up on me. I tell her there's an Italian word, or a Latin word, that explains everything. Then I tell her the word.
She says, What does this explain? And she answers, Nothing.
The word that explains nothing in this case is lontananza. Distance or remoteness, sure. But as I use the word, as I interpret it, hard-edged and fine-grained, it's the perfect distance of the gangster, the syndicate mobster--the made man. Once you're a made man, you don't need the constant living influence of sources outside yourself. You're all there. You're made. You're handmade. You're a sturdy Roman wall.
Don DeLillo, Underworld