Had he not been an astronomer, he might have come that day to believe that the stars really do shape our fate, that there are critical oppositions, baleful conjunctions, heavenly things align and one thief is saved. Yes, whatever stars govern secrets–secrets and their unravelling–they had come into that once-in-an-eon syzygy to disclose to him not just one but two unknowns, one rather more personal than the other, but both the kind of revelation that changes everything.

The Italian Novel

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