“He climbed aboard the frigate, […] aware that a fight was about to take place and that men, on the bulging back of the sea, are nothing”

(Eldorado, Laurent Gaudé, Babel, page 71)

Who is the figure hidden behind this “he”? Is it Salvatore Piracci, commanding officer of an Italian warship whose mission is to look after the citadel Europe against the repeated assaults of the sea? Or might it be Soleiman, storming the European forteress in a frail skiff, taking with him visions of his past l